In a significant move towards the global expansion of India’s premier engineering institutes, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is set to establish a branch campus in Sri Lanka, following funding support from the Sri Lankan government. This initiative is part of IITs’ ongoing internationalization efforts, reflecting a broader strategy to extend their influence beyond Indian borders.

The announcement of the new campus was made last November in the 2024 Budget by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also serves as the finance minister. Kandy, a city celebrated for its rich cultural heritage, has been chosen as the location for the branch campus.

Education Minister of Sri Lanka, Dr. Susil Premajayantha, has disclosed plans to dispatch a team of academics from Sri Lanka to IIT Madras for preliminary discussions on the establishment of the Kandy branch campus. Additionally, a team from IIT Madras is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next month to further deliberate on the proposed venture.

“The establishment of the university branch will help Sri Lankan students pursue their higher studies at an affordable price locally instead of traveling overseas,” stated Minister Premajayantha. He emphasized the global recognition of IIT Madras degrees, which he believes will enhance employment opportunities for Sri Lankan graduates.

The IIT Madras team will present a comprehensive report to Sri Lanka’s University Grants Commission, outlining the courses offered and initiating the formal process of setting up the new campus. This move aligns with the goal of making quality education more accessible to Sri Lankan students and reducing the need for overseas education.

Currently, the Indian government extends scholarships and fellowships to Sri Lankan students, allowing them to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various subjects at IITs in India. Additionally, scholarships are available for research work and non-formal courses, including training programs in classical music and dance.

Approximately 270 slots are offered each year to Sri Lankan students for higher studies in India. As part of this, the government of India has reserved up to 40 seats, including a portion allocated to medicine, at some of the most reputable public institutions. This collaborative effort is expected to strengthen educational ties between India and Sri Lanka, fostering academic and cultural exchange.

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Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Launches Ambitious Internationalization Drive, Unveiling Plans for a State-of-the-Art Engineering Campus in Sri Lanka's Historic City of Kandy, Strengthening Educational Ties and Affordability for Local Students