Article originally from UAlberta International News

The University of Alberta has signed new agreements for Joint Doctoral Degree Programs (JDPs) with three of India’s premier institutions: IIT BombayIIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee.

The JDPs create a two-way flow for academic exchange, giving participating UAlberta and IIT students the chance to undertake research at the partner institution for six months up to a year and providing them with international experience and special certification upon graduation. Participants from UAlberta, IIT Kharagpur, and IIT Roorkee will receive recognition of completing the program jointly with the partner institution through a formal notation on their transcripts and parchments, while participants from IIT Bombay will receive a certificate confirming that their thesis was completed jointly at IIT Bombay and UAlberta.

“These programs create new opportunities to equip doctoral students with perspectives and skills that will benefit a global society,” says President David Turpin. “When we connect with leading international institutions such as the IITs, we’re fuelling new capacity for teaching, learning, and research.”

During their JDPs, collaborating professors from UAlberta and the IITs will serve as joint supervisors, identifying research projects for students to pursue during their doctoral studies.  Both UAlberta and participating IITs have agreed to create doctoral fellowships that will provide financial support in the form of a monthly stipend to cover the cost of accommodation and meals for JDP students during the duration of their visit.

While many other countries around the world have found success in strengthening their collaborations with the IITs through JDPs, UAlberta is the only Canadian university to have established such programs at this time.

“The University of Alberta’s overall relationship with India is of key importance, and a high priority in achieving innovative solutions to global issues,” says Dr Cen Huang, Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (International) at UAlberta. “I am encouraged that the launch of the Joint Degree Programs with IITs Bombay, Kharagpur and Roorkee will help further establish academic relations with India in Canada and allow our students to enhance their global learning and perspectives.”

UAlberta has a rich history of academic collaboration with India, holding various partnership agreements to support academic mobility and joint research in place with IIT Bombay since 2009, IIT Kharagpur since 2013, and IIT Roorkee since 2011. 

UAlberta is also fortunate to have many IIT alumni as faculty members, who have been champions for advancing relationships with India. Dr. Amit Kumar, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; NSERC/Cenovus/Alberta Innovates Associate Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering; Deputy Director of Future Energy Systems & Interim President of Engage India: Association of Professors, is an IIT Kharagpur alumnus and has been working closely together with University of Alberta International to help establish the JDPs.

“Engage India was launched in April 2019 with the aim of promoting academic exchange and relations between U of A and India,” shares Kumar. “Our membership has expressed considerable interest in collaborating on joint research with Indian partners as well as recruiting high-quality graduate students from India. The Joint Doctoral Degree Programs with the IITs will help us accomplish both of these goals.”

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