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More S Asians at DU this time

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reasons to smile. This admission season, DU has registered a record number of applications from Afghani students.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 02:35 IST

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reasons to smile. This admission season, DU has registered a record number of applications from Afghani students. Himself a political science student of DU, it’s yet another feather in Karzai’s cap.

“We have received more than 80 applications from Afghani students, a three-fold rise from last year. And, of course, a pleasant turnaround from the unfortunate days of the Taliban,” said Professor A.S. Narag, foreign students’ advisor, DU.

In fact, not just Afghans, this new DU session should have a very ‘sub-continental’, predominantly ‘Asian’, feel to it.

Of 550 foreign students admitted to DU each year, this time, a very major proportion of the applicants belong to SAARC, China and other Asian countries.

“Many big and successful people in Afghanistan hold some Indian education degree. Though most who want to study abroad want to come to India, but various constraints mean only a handful like us reach here. In Kabul, holding an Indian degree means a successful and bright future,” said Jahan.

A student from Afghanistan, he hopes a degree in commerce from DU would do for him what it has done for his current leader.

While on one hand there has been an increased flow from SAARC and neighbouring Asian countries — the corresponding numbers for students from the African continent coming to DU have been on a decline.

“Earlier students from African countries like Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria comprised around 45 per cent of the total foreign students. But worsening domestic situation, civil wars and change in demographics in Africa have meant much lesser students coming to the India,” added professor Narag.

While there are many different reasons for foreign students coming to DU, top quality education, even with average grades back home, features on top of the list.

A senior DU official confirmed, “While it’s difficult even for an Indian with around 90 per cent grades to get into some of these top colleges, a foreign student can very easily hope to get in, even with average marks to these colleges”.

While for some it might be the quality and cost, there are others too, who seem spellbound by the atmosphere at DU.

“In DU, compared to other foreign universities, it’s a very supportive and fair environment for foreign students. After my experiences of pursuing Buddhist studies here this year, I also referred the university to my brother and friends back home,” said Dao, a Vietnamese student studying in DU.

At any point of time, roughly 1,200 foreign students from around 60 countries across the world come to study at DU, and with the ever-rising profile of India, the officials hope these numbers to go up further in the coming year.

“Even the Chinese seem to be waking up to the DU’s presence, we have already received more than 30 applications from them,” said a university official.