Engineering at Nebraska, Spring 2008
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College of Enginering Partners with University in India

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering signed a five-year agreement recently to offer a dual-degree program with Anna University in Chennai, India.

The agreement opens opportunities for faculty exchanges, study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students, curriculum development and research collaboration. UNL and AU also will be able to submit joint applications for research and educational grants, said David Allen, dean of UNL's College of Engineering.

QuoteAnna University specializes in engineering, technology and allied sciences. Doraiswamy Viswanathan, AU's vice chancellor, said the top students from his institution will be encouraged to attend graduate school at UNL.

Namas Chandra, the College of Engineering associate dean of research, said developing partnerships between U.S. and Indian universities can be complicated because of barriers to creating democracy in India. However, Chandra said, forming this relationship was easier because he is an alumnus of the University of Madras, one of the schools AU absorbed when it was founded in 1978.

Allen said international collaboration is essential to being able to compete in an increasingly global economy. Outsourcing to countries such as India and China has become a reality, he said, and students need to learn other languages and cultural skills to succeed in the workforce.

This is the college's second dual-degree program. Since March 2006, the college has offered a dual master's degree in engineering mechanics and materials engineering with the University of Rouen in France.

Growing the international education program is one of the College of Engineering's key priorities. Engineering students are encouraged to participate in at least one international experience before they graduate. UNL faculty lead short-term study abroad trips to France, China, Brazil, Greece and Spain, where students can earn up to four credit hours taking special courses only offered during those trips. Semesterlong research programs and international internships also are available. The college hosts a number of exchange students from partner institutions as well.

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