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In another first, IIT Kharagpur has set up a joint PhD programme with the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The Kiwi university called it a historic agreement, noting that this was the first engagement of its kind between the two countries. The joint PhD programme is aimed to strengthen the economic and research ties between New Zealand and India.
The programme, set to admit the first batch of students in Autumn 2020, will initially focus on Engineering but is open to all other subject areas. The joint doctoral student will pursue their research under the supervision of academics in both institutions and will split their time between the two campuses. Doctoral candidates will have access to opportunities at both institutions, whether it’s related to their research programme or their professional development. A single thesis will be submitted at the end which will be examined by both institutions, and if accepted by both, the student will be awarded a testamur bearing the seals of IIT Kharagpur and the University of Auckland.
The University of Auckland led a senior delegation to IIT Kharagpur in 2018 and since then, leadership from six of their eight faculties have visited the IIT Kharagpur campus; this rapid engagement culminated into this productive collaboration. Professor Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya, IIT Kharagpur Director, along with Dean of International Relations Professor Baidurya Bhattacharya, recently visited Auckland to officially sign the agreement.
Director Bhattacharyya said, “We take immense pride in initiating this joint PhD programme with New Zealand’s top university. The scope of collaborations between the two institutions is vast and we will provide all necessary support to take our relationship to greater heights. Some of the research areas identified for collaboration include advanced manufacturing, cyber-physical security, and advanced materials, as well as affordable healthcare and intelligent transportation technologies.”
University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Dr Caroline Daley, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Auckland, and Professor Nic Smith, Dean and Faculty of Engineering were present on the occasion.
University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said, “This historic agreement recognises the importance of top institutions engaging internationally. India is of tremendous economic importance to New Zealand and I welcome the opportunity this partnership will bring to enhance research outputs at both institutions, as well as the enriched learning it will deliver for PhD students.”
IIT Kharagpur has recently announced scholarships for Doctoral students from Australia, who enrol under Dual Doctoral Programme of IIT Kharagpur and the University of Melbourne. The Institute already conducts joint doctoral programs with several world-class Australian universities such as Curtin, Wollongong and James Cook, designed to build academic and research collaborations from the grounds up. Read More
Talking about the intiative reaching out to New Zealand for the first time, Dean of International Relations Professor Baidurya Bhattacharya said, “Our faculty and research & teaching infrastructure are world class; we are making rapid progress in upgrading living facilities for our international visitors. I am looking forward to welcoming University of Auckland students and faculty into our campus at Kharagpur in the near future. This is part of our strategic engagement with the southern continent: We have already taken significant steps in deepening our engagement with Australia at all levels. The diversity in academics and cultural experience will improve the adaptability and employability of these joint doctoral students.”
A statement by the University of Auckland says all eight New Zealand universities are working collaboratively to increase their engagement with Indian institutions. To identify appropriate partners for the University of Auckland, the university commissioned research and reviewed existing connections with India across all faculties with a reference group of academic staff, many of whom are from India, including several graduates of IIT Kharagpur.
Messages from The University of Auckland:
Faculty of Engineering Dean Professor Nic Smith says the agreement formalises and deepens the relationship that has been developed over many years between the two universities.
“This is a fantastic step that provides greater support at the institutional level for the strong and diverse relationships between our staff and students. The talent of IIT students and their interest in participating in New Zealand-based research projects is a really exciting development,” Professor Smith says.
University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon says the dual PhD programme significantly strengthens the economic and research ties between New Zealand and India.
“This historic agreement recognises the importance of top institutions engaging internationally. India hold tremendous economic importance to New Zealand and I welcome the opportunity it will bring to enhance research outputs at both institutions, as well as the enriched learning it will deliver for PhD students,” Professor McCutcheon says.