UI, Indian University To Sign Joint Degree Program Agreement June 14

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The University of Iowa College of Engineering will host a June 14 ceremony to formally sign an agreement between the UI and Dharmsinh Desai University (DDU) in Gujarat, India, establishing a joint bachelor's/master's degree program for students of the Indian university.

The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 14, in Room 3111 of the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences and will be followed by a luncheon. Dharmsinh Desai University will be represented by Vice Chancellor Dr. Harshad M. Desai.

K.B. Chandran, UI professor of biomedical engineering and one of the UI facilitators of the agreement, says that the program will allow closer cooperation between the two universities and is the result of extensive planning and consultation. The present agreement allows for highly qualified students from DDU to spend the first three years at DDU acquiring a strong foundation based on engineering principles.

The students will then enroll at the UI Graduate College working on a master's degree in an engineering discipline. They will be taking courses and completing a master's thesis project in their chosen area of specialization during the two years at the UI. At the end of their study, the students will simultaneously receive a Bachelor of Science degree from DDU and a Master of Science degree from the UI. It is anticipated that the relationship between the two universities will grow in the future to include faculty exchanges and research collaboration.

University officials note that the agreement comes at an especially appropriate time for both India and Iowa. India is has one of the world's fastest-growing economies, with great growth in technology and the sciences, while Iowa -- and the UI College of Engineering -- are experiencing steady growth.

In 2006, UI Vice President for Research Meredith Hay was a member of Gov. Tom Vilsack's delegation from Iowa that visited India. Also, The UI Office of the Vice President for Research hosted a campus visit by a delegation from the Indian Ministry of Science & Technology and Ocean Development.

The program is expected to begin with the enrollment of about five students in the UI College of Engineering in fall 2008.