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State universities see a surge in foreign enrolments

With the release of the academic calendar for the 2021-22 session, many state universities have started the admission process for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Though some of them are still waiting for the board and final-year results to be announced to start the admission.

The University of Kerala has got more than 24000 applications including from international students for various postgraduate courses, with high priority for Science, English and Commerce programmes. The university is set to conduct the PG entrance exam from August 1-6.


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“A total of 24044 applications have been received for 61 postgraduate courses offered by the University,” says A Biju Kumar, professor and HoD, Department of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.
MA in English Language & Literature (1709) followed by Chemistry (1472), MSW (1449) and Physics with specialization in Space Physics (1215) noted the highest applications. With just seven applications, MA Russian Language & Literature has got lowest application count. Other subjects that have seen registrations in double-digit are West Asian Studies (18), German Language & Literature (29), Tamil Language & Literature (26), Islamic History (33), Sanskrit General Language & Literature (27), Music (29) and Arabic Language & Literature (52).

Foreign applications

The University says Kumar has received tremendous growth in foreign applicants this year. “For 2021-22 academic session, we have received close to 1800 applications, which is much higher than what it was in the previous years.” He adds that earlier we used to have just 30-50 applicants applying for UG and PG courses. Highlighting the reason behind the surge in foreign students’ registrations, Kumar believes that the current global health crisis might have prompted students to opt for neighbouring nations. “The highest number of candidates are from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Proximity from India seems to be one of the major reasons for this increase,” he adds.

Punjabi University, Patiala which is currently accepting applications for engineering courses, has so far received more than 600 registrations, including registrations from foreign students. “Close to 200 applications have come from global students. The majority of them are for BTech while 50 students have applied for PhD programme,” says Manjit Singh, professor, coordinator, centralised admission cell, Punjabi University, Patiala.

The University got 94 foreign students in 2020-21 academic sessions. “Last year 50 students came from Ethiopia while others who came through ICCAR, represented Gambia, Afghanistan, Ghana, Djibouti, Egypt, Nepal and Uganda,” says Singh. He adds that there were three students from UAE also. PhD, MBA, BBA, BCom are on the list of most sought-after courses among international students.

On increase in the number of foreign students on the campus, Singh reasons that apart from government initiatives, facilities offered by a particular university is also vital in attracting international students. “Better teaching-learning facilities, student support by the university make alumni our brand ambassador. The Directorate of International Students takes care of faculty and academic exchange programmes, international exposure tours, counselling to adjust to the new environment,” Singh adds.

Benefits of global students

The presence of global students makes the class more diverse and vibrant. “Their presence is beneficial for both local students and teachers as they bring a different perspective,” he adds. Apart from financial, they make classroom and campus more vibrant with their experience in respective fields.


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