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IIT Madras set to create history by establishing an international campus in Zanzibar-Tanzania

Higher Education IITs

IIT Madras set to create history by establishing an international campus in Zanzibar-Tanzania


Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), the top-ranked Educational Institute in the country, has become the first IIT in the country to launch an international campus, which is coming up in Zanzibar-Tanzania. An MoU was recently signed between India and Tanzania, the final procedural step that paves the way for this campus.

Zanzibar Campus, IIT Madras (https://www.iitm.ac.in/zanzibar/) will be located in Zanzibar Island, off the East African mainland and is being planned as a unique and game-changing educational partnership between India and Zanzibar-Tanzania.

Faculty will be deputed from IIT Madras or recruited from India during the initial days of this campus. Activities to ensure local talent is developed and can be employed as faculty are underway already. The Government of India is offering numerous scholarships for citizens of Tanzania/Zanzibar to study in various degree programs at IIT Madras in Chennai, starting from July 2023.

Addressing a Press Conference here today (10 July 2023), Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “It is indeed a major milestone in this history of IIT Madras that we are establishing a Campus at Zanzibar. Through this, we look forward to active participation in the future higher education initiatives at Zanzibar.”

Classes for the first Academic Year (2023-24) are scheduled to commence in October 2023, offering two full-time academic programs – A four-year Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and a two-year Master of Technology in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. The total student intake will be 70. Applications for 2023 batch are currently open.

Elaborating on this new campus, Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras, said“This is the most significant step forward in the internationalization efforts of IIT Madras. A detailed strategic plan that includes increasing the number of international students, fostering meaningful and synergistic joint degree programs with international academic institutions and enhancing faculty/student mobility has been laid out by us. Opportunities for a full-fledged physical campus abroad were being strongly explored and it is heartening to see the realization of these ambitions”

The NEP 2020 encourages opportunities for the expansion of Indian higher education outside the country. The Ministry of Education, Government of India, received strong interest and excitement from the corresponding Ministry in the Government of Tanzania. After several delegation visits on both sides, the partnership was found to be ideal and the first international campus of an IIT is now ready to launch in Zanzibar-Tanzania.

Highlighting the impact of this international campus, Prof. Preeti Aghalayam, Dean of School of Science & Engineering & Director-in-charge, Zanzibar campus, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras is proud to bring its deep and long-term education and research strengths to East Africa. The campus is planned in similar terms as Madras, with verdant natural surroundings, state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, research facilities, and innovation centres.”

The faculty strength will be based on required teaching expertise and the quality assurances of IIT Madras including but not limited to maintaining robust faculty-student ratios. The IITM Zanzibar campus is planned to have a structure with degree programs hosted by schools. The first school is the School of Science and Engineering, which will host both the planned degrees for 2023-’24 academic year. A detailed evolution plan for academic programs is under development, with inputs from expert members in India and Zanzibar/Tanzania.


The Office of Global Engagement, IIT Madras, will coordinate the student entrance process, which will include a screening test developed by faculty experts at IIT Madras and an interview, as per the IITM Senate-approved admission process for international students.

This campus will leverage the wide expertise of IIT Madras faculty in interdisciplinary education, research and technological innovation, and is on an accelerated plan of development and growth. With strong support from the local government, IITM Zanzibar is planned as a one-of-a-kind international campus.

The campus will have the ability to accommodate students in dorms and provide dining facilities. Scholarships to defray tuition costs for deserving students are being worked out with various stakeholders.

Discussions with ministry officials and heads of academic institutions at Zanzibar/Tanzania have articulated the importance of Data Science as a field, for the country. The programs were also planned based on the popularity of the courses in IIT Madras currently, the potential for future careers and the aspirations of young people across the world.

At this time, a temporary campus with comfortable accommodations for offices, classrooms, auditoriums and student dorms has been identified. It is located in the Bweleo district in Zanzibar. Dining facilities, a dispensary and playgrounds are planned. The permanent location of IITM Zanzibar is 200+ acres in an up-and-coming area of Zanzibar Island, with the master plan being developed by IIT Madras experts.


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