The Indian Institute of Technolongy (IIT), Delhi, for the very first time, is sharing its faculty resources with a university abroad.
About 200 students of Adis Ababa University in Ethiopia are being taught by IIT, Delhi teachers in four postgraduate programmes.
And intriguingly, it’s all happening over a two-way audio-video link between the two institutions.
“We were approached by their country’s ambassador last year. Though the university was interested in improving their technical education they did not have the faculty for it. So we were asked for help,” said Professor Surendra Prasad, director, IIT, Delhi.
Both the institutions have entered into a four-year agreement. To facilitate distance education a dedicated hotline or private line between IIT-D and Adis Ababa University has been set up.
That apart, two delivery rooms have been equipped with video conferencing facility and recording of lectures.
About 46 faculty members across five departments of IIT-D have been roped in to deliver lectures to the Ethiopian students for four programmes — Construction technology and Management, Chemical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering.
“We are, however, only concerned with instruction. The students who complete these programmes will have their degrees awarded by their own university,” said Professor M. Balakrishnan, dean, post graduate and research studies.
IITs have, for a while, been discussing the possibility of tiding over faculty crunch by sharing faculty resources through virtual classrooms.
This initiative, according to Prasad, could serve as a precursor to that experiment.