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Indian-Universities-rope-in-more-foreign-students
ST Team
Thursday, September 4, 2008
As the competition from foreign universities comes calling in the home turf, Indian universities too have determined to give a neck-to-neck fight in wooing foreign students. Statistics show that Indian universities have been quite successful in their effort and have seen fresh enrollment of international students in domestic varsities from 13,267 in 2004-05 to 14,456 in 2005-06.

With 2,455 internationals students on its rolls, University of Pune added 300 students in 2004-05 but has slid down from the numero uno position to give way to Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). In one year, the enrolment figures at IGNOU ramped up by 300 percent, especially after designing special information booklets for foreign students, instead of the earlier patchy approach that required students to visit several windows to get information.

A recent report published by a wing of the Union HRD ministry, states that the change is due to some of the initiatives that have been put in place by these institutions. Some of them are establishing exclusive departments for international students, setting up fully air-conditioned accommodation equipped with facilities similar to those found in American hostels.

In order to attract Indian American students, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) has joined hands with international universities to allow medical aspirants to pursue a part of their programme at the Manipal campus and then transfer credits to an American medical college, thus bringing down the cost of higher education.

Data collected by the AIU from 1992-93 to 2003-04 suggests that the number of international students coming to India has steadily increased during the first half of the 1990s, with a peak of over 13,000 achieved in 1993-94. In 2005-06, most students came from West Asia, followed by South and Central Asian countries. The UAE sent the maximum students to India for higher education. In 2004-05, the country has sent 1,500 students, which rose to 2,034 in 2005-06. Neighboring country Nepal followed closely with 1,411 students, while 1,264 students from Iran came to India to pursue a degree.

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