Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), the Ministry of Education in India, and the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-Delhi) have come together to establish the first international campus of IIT-Delhi, known as IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in a ceremony attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
This collaboration between ADEK, the Ministry of Education in India, and IIT-Delhi is aligned with the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), highlighting the shared commitment of both nations towards educational excellence, innovation, knowledge exchange, and investments in human capital. These foundations are seen as crucial for future prosperity, long-term economic growth, and sustainable development.
The signing of the MoU was attended by several key figures, including the Minister of State for Early Education and Chairwoman of ADEK, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, and the Director of IIT-Delhi. Musallam, the Chairwoman of ADEK, expressed the significance of this partnership in realizing Abu Dhabi’s vision of establishing a world-class education system that aligns with national development goals and priorities. She stated, “The execution of this MoU marks a milestone in our plans towards actualizing a globally competitive education ecosystem. In line with our national strategy, this MoU reflects our commitment to providing world-class educational experiences. We anticipate that the IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi partnership will support our transition towards fostering an environment that nurtures innovation and accelerates high-level research.”
Musallam further emphasized the strategic focus of Abu Dhabi on advancing technology and engineering higher education, cultivating local STEM talent, and empowering future Emirati graduates to make a global impact. She concluded, “This strategic MoU will attract high-caliber faculty, researchers, and student talent, and is a major stepping stone in paving the way for exponential growth and development.”
Dharmendra Pradhan, the Cabinet Minister for Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship in the Indian government, hailed the agreement as a significant development that will strengthen the longstanding bilateral ties between the UAE and India while enriching the higher education landscape in the UAE. He stated, “The MoU to establish the IIT-Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi unfolds a new chapter in the internationalization of India’s education. An exemplar of new India’s innovation and expertise, the IIT Delhi campus in the UAE will be an edifice of friendship. It will set a brand-new template for leveraging the power of knowledge for both mutual prosperity and global good as envisioned in NEP.”
The IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi campus will collaborate with prominent institutions such as Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi, Technology Innovation Institute, and Hub71. This collaboration aims to complement the academic, research, and innovation ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. The partnership will offer complementary programs, conduct cutting-edge research, and advance the local startup ecosystem.
The IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi campus is scheduled to launch its academic programs in January 2024, offering a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs. It will also operate research centers focusing on sustainable energy and climate studies, as well as computing and data sciences. The academic disciplines covered by IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi include Energy and Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics and Computing, and various other engineering, science, and humanities fields.
Graduates of IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi will become part of an esteemed alumni network from 23 campuses across India. IIT-Delhi itself boasts a strong reputation, recently ranking among the top 50 institutions worldwide for engineering and technology. In the 2022 QS World University Rankings, it secured a top 30 position for global employability. The institute has played a pivotal role in India’s research and development ecosystem across diverse sectors, including defense, healthcare, rural development, transportation, IT, and software.