Institution Profile

SSN College of Engineering, Chennai

Promoted in 1996 by Shiv Nadar, promoter-chairman of the blue-chip HCL Technologies Ltd, SSNCE is poised to make a quantum leap in academics and pedagogy innovation

Sited on a sprawling 250 acre campus on the Old Mahabalipuram Road, the cyber corridor of Chennai (pop. 4.6 million), the Sri Siva Subramaniya Nadar Group of education institutions including SSN College of Engineering, SSN School of Management and Computer Applications, SSN School of Advanced Software Engineering and the SSN Research Centre, is on the threshold of a major institutional development drive.

Founded in 1996 by Shiv Nadar,  promoter-chairman of the IT blue-chip corporate HCL Technologies Ltd (revenue: Rs.9,842 crore in the year ended March 31, 2009) under the aegis of the SSN Trust, the SSN Group of education institutions were hitherto managed by a committee comprising Shiv Nadar, his wife Kiran and daughter Roshini. However with effect from July, the SSN institutions are being managed by a new ten-member board empowered to introduce best corporate practices into them, improve learning outcomes and mobilise external funding to ensure sustained development. The new management board is chaired by globally famous entrepreneur R. Srinivasan, founder and managing director of Redington (India) Ltd, and includes eminent professionals from the fields of education, law, government and business.

With the aid and advice of the revamped management board, the SSN College of Engineering (SSNCE), the group’s showpiece institution, is poised to make a quantum leap in academics and pedagogy innovation. Already within a short span of 13 years, SSNCE is ranked among the top 10 private engineering colleges in the country and first among the over 350 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, affiliated with Anna University. In a survey of India’s best private engineering colleges by the Delhi-based business newspaper Mint (June 24, 2009), SSNCE was ranked No.9. Earlier last year, the Delhi-based Outlook magazine also ranked SSNCE No. 9 among private engineering colleges countrywide.

“Our objectives are to develop SSNCE into a world-class institution, and make it accessible to meritorious students from all strata of society. To this end, during the past two years we have invested Rs.3 crore to make our campus wi-fi enabled, and introduced  e-learning technologies to enhance the teaching-learning process and make it learner-centric. But even as we strive for academic excellence, we are determined to make our schools socially inclusive institutions providing holistic education. Our students actively organise public awareness campaigns on social issues and enthusiastically participate in sports and extra-curricular activities,” says Kala Vijayakumar, president of SSN institutions.

The SSN Trust and SSNCE management are evidently serious about attracting a diverse student mix. Therefore it offers 400 annual scholar-ships valued at Rs.4 crore to toppers and state rank holders in the Plus Two examinations as well as meritorious students from economically disadva-ntaged sections of society. “We also offer a three-week bridge course in English communication skills to students from rural areas,” says Vijayakumar.

Currently, SSNCE which has 2,750 students instructed by 230 faculty on its rolls, offers seven BE/B.Tech programmes, five Masters in engineering (ME) degrees, Master of computer applications (MCA) and Master of business administration (MBA) progra-mmes. It also hosts four supporting departments in maths, physics, chemistry and English. Quality research is actively encouraged, and 87 faculty members and 18 students are currently researching doctorate theses.

Moreover to build world class educational and research capabilities, SSNCE has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with three universities: National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan in 2005, Carnegie Mellon University, USA (2001), and the Aichi Institute of Technology, Japan, for exchange of students, faculty, course material and cooperative research.

Investment in enabling infrastructure is also a priority area for the college management. Its campus featuring elegant white buildings interspersed with gardens and verdant lawns offers spacious classrooms with 1,159 computers; well-equipped laboratories for all departments; a 1,000-seat auditorium built to international standards and a 300-seater mini auditorium; a gymnasium; separate seminar halls for different departments; and a well-stocked central library with 45,662 volumes, 3,948 e-journals, 199 national  and 111 international journal and magazines/subscriptions.

Sports facilities include outdoor playfields for cricket, football, tennis, volleyball and athletics and world-class indoor stadiums for basketball, badminton, table tennis and squash. Moreover there are separate hostels for men and women students where 2,100 students are accommodated in clean, well-furnished rooms with 24-hour internet connectivity.

Unsurprisingly, SSNCE has been achieving the highest pass percentages and grades among the over 350 engineering colleges affiliated with Anna University, Chennai, for the past  three years. Therefore campus placement is a major event with over 75 companies descending on the college during the eighth semester of each batch to recruit graduates. They include Cognizant Technologies, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Syntel India, and iFlex Solutions among others.

Having established an excellent reputation for academic innovation and learning outcomes, the SSN Trust/ SSNCE management is now looking to acquire deemed university status, which will empower the college to devise its own curriculum to suit industry requirements, introduce the credit system and award degrees. “Our future plans are to mature into a world class research university, build a fully residential campus, and start a business incubation centre to nurture entrepre-neurship. Our search for excellence is uninterrupted and continuous,” says Vijayakumar.

Admission and fees

SSN College of Engineering admits students on the basis of merit, and 65 percent of seats are allotted through the single window system (SWS) of Anna University and 35 percent through the management quota. Admission deadlines are notified on SSNCE offers seven BE/B.Tech, five ME, and the MCA and MBA programmes.

Tuition fee (per year): Rs.30,000-65,000
Additional fees: Rs.17,000.
Hostel charges (per year): Rs.21,500

For further details contact the Registrar, SSNCE, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Kalavakkam 603110, Kanchipuram district. Tel: 044 2747 4844; e-mail:; website:


Hemalatha Raghupathi (Chennai)

Institution Profile

Sheffield Hallam University, UK

UK’s sixth largest university with an enrolment of 30,000 including 3,000 international students from 120 countries, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU, estb.1992) offers more than 610 full-time undergraduate, postgrad, part-time and distance learning programmes across four faculties, and has established a global reputation as one of Britain’s most liberal and outwardly-oriented universities.

Spread across two campuses in the northern city of Sheffield (pop. 500,000), SHU is specially reputed for its bachelors and Masters study progra-mmes in sports education covering sports business management, sports injury management, sports engineering, sports and exercise science and physical activity for health. Moreover with its 30 advanced research centres, SHU’s 12 subject areas — art and design, English, education, mathematics, psychology, molecular biosciences, teacher training, sports and tourism, etc — were all ranked excellent by the National Assessment Body recently. And for the high quality of its international student support services, SHU was recently ranked No.1 in the UK by the International Student Barometer.

Its research excellence and wide academic menu apart, SHU’s close links with industry ensure that its study programmes provide the skills and knowledge required for career success. “We have a long history of commitment to employa-bility and attach great importance to responding to employer needs. We routinely interact with employers and professional bodies, and consider their views when we plan new courses and update exist-ing ones. Many of our degree programmes are sandwich courses. These are four year programmes which offer a full-year paid work experience. Even our three year courses have a more flexible approach and some build periods of work experience into study programmes. This work experience means that you start your working life with a distinct advantage,” says a university spokesperson.

SHU traces its roots to the Sheffield School of Design, promoted in 1843, which built itself a reputation as one of Britain’s top schools of art and design. In 1969 the Sheffield School of Art and Design and the city’s College of Technology merged to become the Sheffield Polytechnic. In 1976 the polytechnic was renamed Sheffield City Polytechnic when it absorbed the city’s two teacher training colleges. In 1992, the City Polytechnic was conferred the right to award its own degrees and renamed Sheffield Hallam University.

Sheffield. Sited in scenic South Yorkshire, Sheffield is UK’s fourth largest city and winner of the destination of the year award of International Confex 2008. One third of Sheffield lies within the scenic Peak District National Park, a natural reserve which attracts more visitors than any other national park in Britain. In addition Sheffield hosts over 50 parks and 150 woodlands, making it Britain’s greenest city in its own right. Also widely reputed as the epicentre of British sports, it boasts fancied sports teams such as Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United football clubs.

With a cost of living arguably amongst the lowest — around 40 percent lower than the national average — in the UK, it’s not surprising that the city hosts a student population of over 50,000. Shopping and nightlife are exciting with the city hosting shopping complexes, restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs. London is two and a half hours by rail while Manchester and Leeds are an hour distant.

Campus facilities. SHU is spread across two locations in the city. The City campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, a two minute walk from the railway, bus and coach stations. At the centre of the City campus is its spectacular Atrium, which houses cafes, seating areas and a retail store. Next door is the Adsetts Learning Centre, one of the country’s most advanced library and learning centres, providing access to thousands of print and online resources. Last year, the university inaugurated its spanking new Arundel Building, housing the education faculty and Furnival Building, hosting the media, communications and computing schools.

The university’s Collegiate Crescent Campus is sited two miles from the city centre in a  leafy suburb which boasts splendid Victorian buildings as well as modern lecture halls and laboratories. The showpiece of Crescent campus is the £13 million (Rs.104 crore) Robert Winston Building, which houses the health and medical faculties.

Both campuses are well equipped with a wide range of food outlets, shops, learning areas, social spaces and bars for students to socialise or work on group projects. Sports facilities include multi-use floodlit games areas, gymnasium, movement and dance studio, tennis and squash courts, soccer pitches, indoor cricket schools, outdoor cricket grounds and sports hall. Moreover over 40 societies and cultural organisations conduct events year round for students.

Admission. Entry into all undergraduate study programmes in the UK is managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Foreign students are required to apply online through the UCAS website The university’s UCAS code is SHU and number S21. The minimum eligibility criterion for admission into SHU’s undergrad programmes is successful completion of class XII/ Plus Two. Additionally, foreign students have to show proof of proficiency in the English language. An IELTS score of 6 and/or TOEFL score of 550 is acceptable. For postgraduate programmes, students must apply directly to the university’s admission office. The minimum eligibility criterion is a first class bachelor’s degree.

For further information contact the Admissions Office, Sheffield Hallam University, City campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 114 225 5555. E-mail: admissions@; website:; or SHU’s India office (Tel: 011 23706239).

Accommodation. First-year students are guaranteed a place in university owned accommodation which includes catered halls of residences and self-catered university-managed residences. The catered halls are sited in the Collegiate Crescent campus and provide private study bedrooms and use of shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. University-managed residences are located within walking distance of the campuses and offer single and double study bedrooms, shared kitchens and bathrooms. Moreover a wide variety of self-catered partnership properties — allocated by the university but owned/managed by private landlords — are available in popular student areas.

Degree programmes. SHU offers more than 610 undergraduate and postgraduate (full-time and part-time) study programmes across four faculties (see box).

Scholastic options at Sheffield Hallam

Sheffield Hallam offers a wide range of full-time undergraduate and postgrad, and part-time and distance learning programmes. The four faculties include:

Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences. Art and design; business systems and IT; communication and media; computers and computing; engineering and technology; mathematics and statistics; multimedia and internet

Faculty of Development and Society. Built environment; counseling; criminology and community justice; education; English; environment; film, theatre and performance; forensics; geography; history; law; planning, regeneration and housing; psychology; social sciences

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. Biosciences; diagnostic radiography; nursing and midwifery; occupational therapy; operating department practitioners; paramedic studies; physiotherapy; radiotherapy and oncology; social work and sport and active lifestyles

Sheffield Business School. Business and management; facilities management; finance; food and nutrition; language and culture; tourism, hospitality and leisure

Tuition fees (per year): £8,700-11,400
Living expenses: £6,700

NB: £=Rs.80

Summiya Yasmeen