The Foreign Students Registry at Delhi University has received over 2,500 admission applications from students from over 108 countries, underlining DU's growing popularity as an international hub of learning.
In fact, the number of aspirants from abroad has increased steadily over the recent years. Last year, the university received 2,200 applications from international aspirants and admitted more than 700 of them, according to Veena Mishra, Dean (foreign students) DU.
At present, Delhi University has students from over 80 countries. Majority of them belong to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan. There are many students from South Asian countries such as Korea, Thailand and Vietnam as well. Students come from as far as Russia and Africa.
This year, over 600 applications have come from students applying for the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) fellowships.
The university has introduced an English Language Proficiency Course this year. The course is part-time and is mandatory for all international students. "Most of the students have come from countries where English is a second language. The course is designed to help such students cope better with the language barrier," said Mishra.
ICCR covers the course fee for students who receive the fellowship. Medical insurance and a fitness certificate has been made mandatory for international students from this year.
Apart from the reputation of the university, affordable education is another factor that attracts students from abroad. The admission procedure for the foreign aspirants is purely based on merit and they are required to have completed 12 years of schooling before the time of application.
There is an admission committee that assists the international applicants. "Most of the foreign students are unaware of the size and expanse of Delhi University and the colleges which are spread throughout the city. We help these students in finding the right college and also the right course," said Mishra.