There is an increase of 119% of foreign students in the past six years on the Panjab University campus and its affiliated colleges.
According to dean, international students, Ramanjit Kaur Johal: “The maximum number of foreign students coming to study at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and its affiliated colleges for the past six years are from Afghanistan, followed by Iran. The PU has 10% seats reserved for foreign students/ NRIs in all its courses, but the actual strength is only 1%.”
“Maximum students are from Afghanistan and Iran as they come through the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). Even this year, we have 125 applications through the ICCR, 41 applications have been received from the Ethiopian Embassy and four applications have come from the American Foundation for Third World Countries,” added Johal.
According to a data provided by the PU, in 2013-14, of the total 391 foreign students, 219 Afghan (56.01%), 63 Iranian (16.11%), 25 Tibetan (6.39%) and 24 Canadian (6.14%) students enrolled themselves on the campus and its affiliated colleges.
In 2014-15, of the 419 foreign students, as many as 268 were Afghans (63.96%), 49 were Iranians (11.69%), 31 Canadians (7.4%) and 23 were form Tibet (5.49%). According to Johal, professional courses, including LLB, BDS and engineering, are popular among foreign students. “Though there is 2.5% hike in the fee structure, the fee for foreign nationals is much lower than other universities in India,” she said.
From this academic session, the PU will also allow admission to those students who are interested in studying just one semester on the campus. “China and India are attractive destinations for such students. We will check for university equivalence before taking the student. After paying fee in their respective universities, students can join PU for a semester,” said Johal.
In another initiative, PU would encourage foster family concept, where foreign students would be able to bond with local families. The university has also signed a MoU with Institute for International Education (IIE), New York. “Now, we and 1,300 other institutes are on the same page,” she said.