Higher Education

Higher Education

Asian univs shop for IIT-B interns, Europe goes slow

PUBLISH DATE 20th August 2018




IIT-Bombay is increasingly becoming a destination for Asian countries, especially their universities, to shop for interns. While US universities still pick up the highest number oft IIT-B students for internships, offers from Japan, Singapore and South Korea have seen a significant rise in recent years.

On the contrary, data from the last three years shows that offers from UK, Germany, France and Canada, though still significant, have been on the decline.

In 2017-18, US offered 49 students—the most that year— opportunities to complete their two-month-long internships. During the same period, Japan’s universities and companies, that didn’t evince much interest earlier, made 23 offers. Data shows that firms and universities in South Korea, which never was a destination for internships in the last five years, made 12 offers in the same period.

Asian countries are aggressively visiting campuses in India to hire students, said Tom Mathew, professor-in-charge of placements at IIT-Bombay. “Countries such as Japan are involved in many activities in our country; some have strong manufacturing units. There are agencies which assist firms and universities to pick Indian students. Their senior officials visit the campus and give feedback to students,” said the professor. The number of Japanese firms in India has been on the rise in the past few years and nearly half of them are in the manufacturing sector.

Shorter internships for IIT students is the norm now

On the other hand, firms and universities from European countries do not come to the campus, added the professor. “They are established names, so students have to approach them,” he said.

An IIT-B student said there is a decline in the number of students opting for six-monthlong internships. “Earlier, there were compulsory academic credits with internships, it is not the case now. Students used to work on six-month-long projects, which are now cut short to about two months—mostly during vacations. The European countries are working around their own requirements and are taking time to adapt to these changes, whereas, the requirement at universities and firms in Asian countries is more now,” said the student. Most students are picked up by varsities abroad for internships, he added. However, international companies are not offering as many internships as universities are as they prefer to hire from local branches.

Kaustubha Mohanty, former chairman of All-India Placement Committee of IITs, said that funding at some of the universities abroad, especially in US, Canada and other European countries seems to have taken a hit. “At least the private funding from professors, who independently invited students from our campuses for doctoral research, has declined to some extent,” said Mohanty.

The internship report also indicates that offers in metallurgy, aerospace, engineering physics and energy science departments have dropped in the last three years, whereas offers in computer science, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering departments have risen.

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