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Universities in New Zealand and India Offer Joint PhD Programme

Auckland University and IIT Kharagpur Joint PhD Programme

New Zealand’s University of Auckland has signed a historic agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur to offer a joint PhD programme.

About the Initiative

It is the first of its kind between a New Zealand university and an Indian Institute of Technology.

According to a recent press release, the programme will begin in engineering but is open to other subject areas.

IIT Kharagpur is India’s fifth-ranked university and is known for its research and teaching in advanced manufacturing, affordable healthcare technology, advanced transportation systems and infrastructure, and sustainable food security, among others.

University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon says the joint PhD programme significantly strengthens the economic and research ties between New Zealand and India.

It recognises the importance of top institutions engaging internationally.

India is of tremendous economic importance to New Zealand and this partnership will enhance research outputs at both institutions, as well as the enriched learning it will deliver for PhD students.

Benefits

Students from IIT Kharagpur and the University of Auckland, who participate in this programme, will study under the supervision of academics in both institutions and will spend time in both universities.

Employers are looking for doctoral graduates who can work in culturally diverse teams and who are able to adjust to new environments in a timely, positive way.

Dr Caroline Daley, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Auckland, shared that doctoral candidates will have access to opportunities at both institutions.

This access can either be related to their research programme or their professional development.

Graduates of this joint PhD programme will have an excellent academic record, and a CV that stands out as employers are looking for doctoral graduates who can work in culturally diverse teams and who are able to adjust to new environments in a timely, positive way.

Faculty of Engineering Dean Professor Nic Smith shared about the talent of IIT students and their interest in participating in New Zealand-based research projects.

Some of the research areas identified for collaboration include computational modelling, cyber-security, and advanced materials, as well as precision-driven medicine and cancer research.

Professor Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya, IIT Kharagpur Director divulged that the scope of collaborations between the two institutions is vast.

Background

Brett Berquist, Director International at 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, research was commissioned to review 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.

They led a senior delegation to Kharagpur in 2018 and since then, leadership from six of the eight faculties have visited the IIT Kharagpur campus.

The rapid levels of engagement among the institutions are a good indicator of productive collaboration.

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