June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.504.1 - 13.504.14
Engineering Education Excellence – Start-up to Number One
An amazing event has occurred in India where Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), started in 1984, became the top private university in engineering as rated by India Today. VIT University started as Vellore Engineering College in 1984 with 180 students and little growth occurred during its first nine years. During the next seven years the infrastructure expanded rapidly, quality education was emphasized and graduate programs were started. In the last seven years VIT became a deemed university, continued adding infrastructure and starting new graduate programs, started a business school and implemented a continuous improvement quality management system. For the 2007-2008 year VIT University had over 88,000 applications for its Bachelor of Technology Programs, but could accept only 2,234 students due to facility and staff capacity limitations. The total number of new students for 2007-2008 in all undergraduate and graduate programs was more than 4,400 and the total university enrollment exceeds 12,000 students.
The two main ingredients for new universities emerging as leaders have been a commitment of leadership and a commitment to quality. One author has observed two start-up universities which have achieved outstanding success and they are Aalborg University (AAU), which was started in 1974 in Denmark and VIT University which was started in 1984 in Vellore, India. In both cases the universities had strong leaders who served as rector (AAU) or chancellor (VIT) for approximately 25 years and both leaders had strong support from the faculty and staff. Sven Casperson was the rector at Aalborg University which focused upon project based education and AAU became the world leader in that type of educational system. Govindasamy Viswanathan was founder and chancellor of VIT University and focused upon assuring quality in the education system. Previous papers have presented the Aalborg Educational system1,2,3 and this paper will focus on VIT University.
VIT University Background
The keys to the success of VIT University have been the leadership of Mr. Viswanathan and his commitment to quality at the university. His BS and MS degrees were in economics followed by a law degree. He was a popular leader with oratory skills, and was elected to the Indian Parliament and served from 1967-1977. He later served as a member of the state legislature of Tamil Nadu during 1980-1984 and again in 1991-1996. During his second term in the state legislature he also served as a Minister in the Government of Tamil Nadu. These
Creese, R., & Adithan, M. (2008, June), Engineering Education Excellence: Start Up To Number One Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3299
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