June 26, 2012
Engineering an opportunity: Collaboration with university in India launches K-State’s Engineering Summer Institute
For many students, summer is a time to travel and explore new opportunities. A group of students from India is doing just that — at Kansas State University.
Last year, the state of Gujarat, India, initiated a collaboration with K-State, signing a memorandum of understanding to launch the Engineering Summer Institute. Students from Gujarat Technical University, or GTU, will complete two eight-week courses in electrical engineering taught by K-State faculty. Classes began this month on the Manhattan campus.
“This institute is a very important step toward increased internationalization of the campus — part of K-State’s 2025 vision,” said Mohammad Hosni, professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at K-State. “It brings students to the campus, not only teaching them technical courses, but also helping them understand the culture in the United States.”
Hosni says the Gujarat Technical University administration selected the first group of students. All are pursuing degrees in electrical engineering from Gujarat Technical University. Each student has passed national university entrance exams and the Indian university's requirements. The selected students have strong technical and academic backgrounds.
Classes include Wireless and Mobile Communication and Digital Signal Processing.
“Students will receive credit for these courses as part of their curriculum at their institution, and this provides the opportunity for them to possibly seek graduate school admission at K-State or another institution upon graduation,” Hosni said. “It gives them more options to see something outside of India.”
Sue Maes, dean of continuing education, said the institute is another step forward in the university’s efforts to introduce international students to the breadth and depth of Kansas State University programs, starting with a summer experience.
The program is funded by Gujarat Technical University and covers K-State faculty instruction and graduate teaching assistant support for the two classes as well summer institute fees. Students are responsible for their travel, lodging and personal expenses.
“The students also are helping the local economy by shopping in local stores and participating in events,” Hosni said.
Students are documenting their academic and cultural experiences at K-State and in the United States through a weekly newsletter, part of the institute curriculum.
“We intend to take them to museums, a baseball game and Fourth of July activities. We want to give students a flavor for the culture here while impacting the diversity of the campus,” Hosni said.
K-State has been in contact with the vice chancellor of Gujarat Technical University to continue the program and provide opportunities for larger groups of students to attend. According to Hosni, one challenge will be ensuring that students who are accepted into the institute are granted visas from the U.S. consulate, opening doors for more students to participate.
“The long-term vision of this institute is to expand to other areas in engineering as well as business, education and agriculture,” Hosni said. “Gujarat Technical University is interested in expanding it to Big 12 schools and beyond, with K-State as a continued primary partner.”
Campus partners include Kansas State University's Office of International Programs, College of Engineering and Division of Continuing Education. Hosni says the program would not be possible without the help of these multiple campus collaborators.
“Dean Maes and her division staff, particularly Sharon Brookshire, conference services director — along with engineering faculty and administrators — helped lead this program’s development and make it a reality,” he said.