Mumbai: A recent ‘Semester Exchange Report’ published by IIT Bombay’s Data Analytics and Visualisation (DAV) Team revealed that the majority of the students going abroad for the Semester Exchange Programme come from the institute’s Electrical Engineering (EE) department, as per data recorded between 2003 and 2021.
An arm of IIT-B’s Undergraduate Academic Council, the data team shared that electrical engineering students accounted for 31% of total semester exchange students in 2020, and 26% of the students in 2021. As per the team’s reports, 51 students from the EE department went for a semester exchange between 2018-202. As many as 38 students from IIT-B’s Industrial Design Centre (IDC) and 32 MBA students went for the programme during the four years too. IIT-B’s Department of Energy Systems Engineering (DESE) and Mechanical Engineering Department respectively saw 23 and 22 students opt for a semester exchange.
As per the report curated by the data team, only the Electrical Engineering Department presents an upward curve of participation in the Semester Exchange Programme after the Covid-19 pandemic, while the other departments are still gradually bouncing back.
Explaining the popularity of this programme within the department, a senior professor from IIT Bombay said, “Most electrical engineering students tend to go to European Universities as they offer vast programmes that suit the curriculum of this department. Many, however, choose to do so because it is easier to score a higher Cumulative Performance Index or CPI than those varsities when compared to IIT-B, this boost in marks is a driving factor for many.”
While analysing the popularity of semester exchange across departments, the Data Analytics and Visualisation team also noted that most students going abroad for the semester exchange come from undergraduate courses at the institute, with a comparatively lower number of students participating in the second year of their master’s or Ph.D.
Graphs presented by the team indicated that the maximum number of students choose to go abroad during the third and fourth year of their undergraduate courses at the IIT, as compared to the earlier years of the master’s courses.
“Undergraduates spend four years on campus without being tied to a research project in their curriculum, this allows them a lot of flexibility to explore such programmes. MTech students usually don’t find the time to do the same during their short two-year course. Ph.D. students, on the other hand, find a hard time finding labs outside the country that are okay with having them just for a few months,” shared a research scholar from IIT Bombay, bound to go abroad for her fellowship.
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