A HUGE number of youngsters with stars in their eyes made a beeline to the Durbaar Hall of Hotel Jehan Numa Palace on Monday as the two-day Study UK Exhibition – the annual education opportunity fair organised by the British Council, commenced today.
Right from 11.OO am when the fair commenced, young boys and girls, some of them accompanied by their guardians, started making their way through various information stalls put up by UK-based universities and education opportunity agents at the venue.
The students made long enquiries about the opportunities available for higher studies in United Kingdom and the representatives of the universities as well as agent companies tried to satisfy their inquisitiveness.
The advice cell and general enquiry counter of British Council also drew huge crowd all through the day. The students evinced interest in the simultaneous seminars on education opportunities – conducted separately for undergraduate and postgraduate aspirants. The seminar rooms remained packed. This was the fourth such exhibition organised in as many years by the British Council.
Shubham Raipure and Neeraj Soni – two students who recently passed their class XII exams – were among the inquisitive youth who visited. They expressed satisfaction at the level of information available at the exhibition. ‘’They interested us,’’ Neeraj said while Shubham added that the visit helped them to almost finalise their choice of university although they had been researching on opportunities over the internet since many days now. They however said that a separate visa information stall could have been very helpful.
British Council authorities mentioned that visa information was available at the general enquiry stall of council as a special seminar on the topic was scheduled for Tuesday, the concluding day of the fair.
Neharika Banerjee, representative of the Northumbria University, UK mentioned that the response was better than that she expected and some of the visitors seemed genuinely interested in information available, as some of them seemed to be generally shopping around. “Also I noticed that many youth were interested in opportunities of settling abroad and probably looked at higher education as stepping stone towards that,’’ she added.
A total 13 stalls have been put up at the venue, among them five directly by universities and others by agent companies. The entry to the exhibition is free of cost.
We want to give genuine information: Castelino
“We want the students to get authentic and impartial information about education opportunities in UK and not let them get into wrong hands,’’ Ruchika Castelino, Head Education, UK-India of the British Council said while talking to Hindustan Times. She added that for this purpose British Council is thinking of sending some official every month to the British Library so that interested candidates could regularly get one-to-one counselling.
Castelino said that during the last four years of the fair, she has noticed a very sharp change for the positive in number and interest of students in Bhopal towards higher education in UK.
“Now they certainly come well prepared and put in very probing questions,’’ she said. She said that while the fair now has more number of agents – they are well trained by the British Council through certificate course to provide more professional counselling to the aspirants. She said that in future the council would try to get representatives from UK during such fairs so that more direct information is available.
The head of education said the standard of students going to UK is very good but often they are unprepared for the kind of teaching-learning method adopted there. The British Council thus organises orientation programme for students before they leave for UK and the universities also conduct induction orientation so that students get a knack of the pattern there.