Future of Engineering is in the Asia-Pacific

Omens are everywhere. World news media are agog with bleak forecast as to the future of the world we live in. Global financial turmoil brought about by over consumption, greed, waste and mismanagement of resources is cascading down sparking social and political unrest, spreading like a cancer, gobbling up so called first world countries. Greece and Ireland were first to see red, now Italy with Portugal and Spain deep in debt, running into trillions of dollars, turmoil continuing with mass scale job losses, property foreclosures and recession. Euro zone is in disarray, United States teetering on the brink of a financial abyss. On the other hand, hitherto so called third world countries and emerging economies in Asia are showing tremendous potential. Lead by giants China and India, with ASEAN countries not far behind, have shown remarkable resilience and growth so much so that the current century we live in is tagged as the one that belonging to Asia.

It is so evident for quite some time now, that industries and commerce shifting, looking for more lucrative markets in Asia, followed slowly but surely by financial and political clout. Without being hampered by negative population growth like in the west, Asia- Pacific’s infrastructure, industry and trade sectors are booming, so are the employment opportunities. Particularly in the infra-structure development and in the industries where opportunities in the engineering disciplines surpass most of that for other professions.

The turmoil, recession and the depressed state of economies is not only affecting the jobs but frighteningly it has already affected the field of education. Many universities in Europe, particularly in UK are feeling the heat, laying-off many staff, cutting down on funding and restricting visas for foreign students. Scenario is similar across the Atlantic in the United States. Gone are the days when foreign undergraduates could find part-time jobs to support their expenses, which have gone up as much as 50% during the last few years. Instead, frustrated elements have started targeting foreigners, particularly foreign students, culminating in horrendous racist attacks and abuse.

It is in this backdrop that students and their parents look to blooming Asia-Pacific region with excellent standards of education facilities, huge job prospects, high standard of living and friendly local population and most importantly, affordable tuition fees and living costs. With many Asian universities emerging as centers of excellence for teaching and research, more and more students are seeking to enroll in Asian universities for their undergraduate studies with greater confidence that they will fulfill their dreams of better prospects. It is among these emerging universities that one university stands out as a bright beacon of light. Established in 1959 as an inter-governmental, independent, United Nations backed post graduate institute and as a center of excellence in research for the entire Asia-Pacific region, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has proved time and again what it takes to become a truly world class university.

Located 60Km north of Bangkok, Thailand, AIT is served by academics and scientists of 30 different nationalities with the student from 68 different countries. Spreading over an extent of 400 acres of lush surroundings, AIT has the infrastructure not second to any of the top universities in the western world. With the completion of 50 years as a post graduate university, from 2009 AIT has ventured out to offer undergraduate degrees in engineering for deserving bright students from Asia-Pacific for a heavily subsidized tuition fee with the noble intention of providing more opportunities for the young to become world class engineers.

It is indeed heartening to see many young Sri Lankan students grabbing the opportunity with already more than 250 students having enrolled in engineering degree programs through the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM). Already, the first batch, comprising of 54 Sri Lankan students have been transferred to AIT pursuing BSc. Engineering (Honors) degrees in Civil & Infrastructure, Mechatronics, Electronics, Information & Communications Technology (ICT), Industrial and Telecommunications engineering. The degree courses, which are of 4 years of duration and therefore acceptable to all professional bodies, are conducted in two phases with the first two years at SAITM in Sri Lanka and the final phase of two years at AIT in Thailand.

SAITM, which has won the highest confidence of AIT for its excellent faculty and high standards will provide the Sri Lankan students with the necessary academic support where the course modules conducted by some of the best available professors and senior lecturers available in Sri Lanka. Also refreshing to see is that all courses are well backed up by state of the art laboratories and related infrastructure facilities. This undoubtedly is providing a firm platform for the students to excel at AIT and enter the industry as top-notch professionals or even pursue higher studies at post graduate level at AIT or many other universities around the world, with which AIT has strong links.

These lucky students will join over 1000 world class Sri Lankan AIT post grads, already practicing throughout the world, as proud AIT engineering graduates in the very near future. Eligible Sri Lankan students can now enroll in AIT degree courses at SAITM for the 6th intake to be commenced on the 3rd of January 2012. For inquiries please contact on +(94)112413331,

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