New international partnership seeks to build recruiting pipeline for students from India

Lehigh is developing a master’s degree in engineering jointly with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), as mentioned in a recent story published by University World News on a surge of dual degree programs driven by India’s National Education Policy blueprint.

Cheryl Matherly, Lehigh’s vice president and vice provost of international affairs, was quoted in the article, saying:  

"Students will spend a portion of time in Bethlehem doing research with our faculty, but the main portion will be delivered by the IIT Bombay faculty, with both institutions recognizing the credits from the other. 

“We were already able to determine that there is a good alignment between their programmes and what we teach and research here in Lehigh,” she noted. “Frankly, it is helping people to understand the quality of a Lehigh education because they know what the quality of IIT Bombay is.”

In December, leaders from both institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Student and Scholars Exchange Program Agreement in a virtual gathering. The partnership will facilitate academic and student exchanges, as Lehigh continues its efforts to expand international opportunities for faculty and students. 

IIT alumnus Mayuresh V. Kothare, the R. L. McCann Professor and Department Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lehigh, planted seeds for the partnership over the past few years. “These kinds of agreements,” Matherly said, “begin with relationships with our faculty, who are forward-thinking enough to help these become institutionalized.” 

According to the University World News article, Matherly said the forthcoming joint degree program is also seen as a step toward establishing a pipeline to recruit more students from India, as efforts are being made to broaden areas of recruitment beyond China: “We are hoping that these would-be students would also be interested potentially in our doctoral programmes.”

The story also mentions another pending partnership, called the Collaborative Undergraduate Research Experience, that could begin this summer with the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. On the Lehigh side, that effort is being led by Ganesh Balasubramanian, P. C. Rossin Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics. The partners are “looking at common research areas between the two institutions and doing shared research where the students move back and forth supervised by faculty at IIT Kharagpur and co-advised by faculty at Lehigh,” according to the article. 

IIT Bombay

A joint master's degree in engineering with Lehigh and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, pictured, is expected to be in place by 2022. (Photo courtesy of IIT Bombay)

Mayuresh Kothare

Mayuresh V. Kothare, the R. L. McCann Professor and Department Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is an IIT Bombay alumnus.

Ganesh Balasubramanian

Mechanical engineering and mechanics professor Ganesh Balasubramanian is working on efforts to form a Collaborative Undergraduate Research Experience with the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.