Course correction: Foreigners flock to PU, affiliated colleges

When many city students are making a beeline for foreign universities to pursue higher studies, there are foreign students who are coming to India for higher studies. And Panjab University and its affiliated colleges are their preferred choice.

The number of foreign students, including non-resident Indians, in PU and its affiliated colleges has increased over a period of time. For the academic session 2012-13, 410 foreign students had got registered in various courses. Out of this, 126 are in PU and the rest are in the city-based colleges.

However, in 2011-12, the number of foreign students was 288. Out of this, the varsity had 104 students. This session witnessed 278 more students on the campus.

Interestingly, the students from Afghanistan lead the pack followed by Iranian students. As per the official figures, more than 50 per cent students are from Afghanistan, and the majority of the foreign students in PU are enrolled in PhD courses. "PU and its colleges provide good education. So whenever we get chance, we do come here for higher studies. If the varsity tries, many more students can come here," says a representative of Afghanistan students, Rashad Durani.

Najmeh, a foreign student pursuing PhD at Psychology department, says, "PU is an accredited university and has all sorts of educational facilities. Moreover, the varsity holds high position outside India. So, foreign students do prefer to study here."

As many as eights foreign students are doing PhD at English department, and seven foreign students are doing their masters and two PhDs at Economics department. At Gandhian Studies, a total of six students are doing research while at History, Environment Studies and Mass Communication departments one foreigner each is doing research. Three foreign students in Philosophy, four in Physical Education, two in Public Administration and nine in Psychology have taken up research. Three students are there at Education department doing masters course and one student doing masters in Psychology.

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