The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) on Friday said it has decided to slash the tuition fee for undergraduate foreign students by 31% and that of doctorate students by more than 96%.
The rare reversal comes against the backdrop of IIT-D seeking to attract more foreign students to increase its global standing and become a more diverse institution than an India-focused engineering and technology school.
The move assumes significance as IITs were planning to double the tuition fee for foreign students from the current $4,000 to $8,000 per annum to keep apace with the global trend of foreign students being charged three to five times domestic students.
At the doctorate level, a foreign student will now pay ?10,000 per annum instead of little more than ?290,000 earlier.
For undergraduate foreign nationals, the yearly tuition fee will be ?200,000 instead of ?290,000.
“We are not looking to make money from students. Our board has approved the new fee structure to be effective from the next academic year. We want to internationalise the institution in terms of students, faculty and research collaborations,” said V. Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT-D.
“The tuition fee for foreign students will be the same as Indian students, which means a significant cut in the fee structure for them,” Rao said.
IIT-D is one of the Institutes of Eminence (IoE) shortlisted by the central government to become a world class university and improve its rankings in the global league table.
Internationalisation is a key component to improve global standings.
At present, 1% of the students at IIT-D are foreign nationals and the institution aims to take that number to 25% over a period of time.
Rao said his institution is looking at doctorate students from foreign countries in a big way. Other than slashing the tuition fee, the school will offer a special fellowship for these students to make IIT-D a study destination for foreign students, he said.
“To begin with we are going to offer 100 fellowships to foreign students next year and the number will grow each year. We aim to have around 1,000 foreign doctorate students over the next three to four years,” the director said.
The institution over the next few months will send teams of professors to countries in south Asia, west Asia, Africa and Europe to discuss with top universities how to create awareness and attract top talents as students and faculty, said M. Balakrishnan, deputy director of the institution.
The dearth of international students and international professors is a huge drag for IIT-D during global rankings and it is looking to improve this aspect, Rao said.
In the QS World University Ranking, IIT-D was placed at 172 and Rao said, if international aspects are improved, the institutions can easily rank among the top 100 universities in the world.