A Global Academic Amalgamation

Due to the recent hot discussions about “Erasmus Mundus”, team MM decided to clear out all the doubts on this topic. The team had a rendezvous with Professor Mukesh Gupta, the faculty concerned with the prestigious scholarship, to clear all the doubts surrounding it.

Starting with the basic details, Erasmus Mundus is basically a foreign exchange programme which gives funding for different programme to maintain equilibrium between the academic process at the Asian institutes and the European ones. A group of institutes from Asian countries and European countries have a programme which is usually for the exchange of students and faculty members and we apply to the European commission for funding. There are many different types of such programmes and according to that NITR is associated with two such programmes. One of them is “Heritage” which is ending in 2016 and the other is “Namaste” ending in 2017.

These are unilateral programmes. Students from India will be going and doing their part of study for one semester or two semesters. In case of Masters, it is also possible that they will get their whole degree from that particular European University. The details of the time period usually vary from programme to programme.

NITR has partnership only with the European universities. They work with the host universities together and work out how best they can make a smooth mobility of the students so that they can get the credits transferred without causing any trouble. 

There is a central university which gives advertisement. Applying to this is the same as applying for a common fellowship, say the GATE. A student applies directly to the committee. The institute does not have any control over the website. The website demands for certain certificates and during the application process there are a certain certificates which only the institute can provide. One of which is the language certificate. The institute has worked out a deal with these universities that a student studying in NITR has a good hold over English language. So instead of giving the TOEFL, the student can simply apply for this language certificate issued by the institute. The other certificate which the institute provides is the bonafide certificate. 

Coming to the eligibility, the candidate must have spent at least one year in the home institution to become eligible to apply. That being said, the first years are excluded. Sophomores are unable to go as they have core courses which are very difficult to find in the course list of the foreign institutes. Our institute guideline allows the student in their sixth semester as it does not have any core subjects and just professional electives. The reason being the institute wants to encourage the students to go for Erasmus Mundus. 

As there are a limited number of seats, to set up a checkpoint, the institute has set a criterion of minimum of 8 CGPA. If this was not done, then there will be voluminous number of applicants unnecessarily and it will be very tedious to select among them.

There is an understanding signed by all the institutes that when a student goes to an European institute whatever credits and grades he acquires has to be transferred when he comes back. Second clause is the mobility should not cause the extension of the student’s study period. To make sure that this happens, they ask for the learning agreement. Learning agreement is an agreement signed by the home as well as the host institute that if a student takes a particular number of courses of particular number of credits our institute assures that these credits will be transferred so that he does not lose his semester.

Further adding up, Prof Mukesh Gupta wanted to address a question which was asked by MM to the director.

“There was the question to the director whether we are intentionally prohibiting the dual degree students. The director did not answer the question and directed it to me. I’d like to answer that.”

We have not eliminated the dual degree students. No student has been rejected without any reason. Atleast two students from the dual degree course have come up. Two dual degree students came back after finishing a semester and they wanted to go again so we suggested that they give other people a chance. Many dual degree students have applied in their final year and as per the institute guidelines, due to their project and the problem in matching up the credits, they couldn’t be allowed. So, it is nothing like that. All students are given equal opportunities.

In the end, the professor added a message for the students that Namaste has extended its deadline to 17th of November. The interested students still have a chance to apply to it.