Students of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)’s popular four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degree course may get a chance to be part of exchange programmes with some of the leading universities in Europe and the US.
“We have been getting a lot of enquiries from top universities in Europe and the US which are interested in what we do. The universities that we are currently discussing exchange programmes with include University of Edinburgh and Scotland and ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule),” said Prof Chandan Dasgupta, dean of the BS programme and faculty member of the Department of Physics at IISc.
In the US, one of the biggest names that is likely to partner with IISc is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “A number of smaller universities too have approached us but we have elicited more interest from universities in Europe because some universities there make it mandatory for students to spend at least a semester in a different university,” he said.
However, logistics remain one of the biggest hiccups when it comes to implementing exchange programmes. “It is easy for students from Germany or the US to come and study here. But sending our undergraduate students will be a problem due to expenses. We are trying to see if summer programmes can be arranged instead,” he said. The summer programmes will have students from IISc working at some of the most prestigious labs in universities across the world such as the one at MIT.
The BS course in IISc which is on its second year is one of the most sought-after pure science courses in the country. According to Dasgutpa, the institute received close to 11,000 applications this year from students across the country of which only 116 have been selected. Students get to choose from six majors—Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Materials, Mathematics and Physics.