In a trend that has emerged over the past four years, an increasing number of students from foreign countries have been applying for undergraduate courses in the University of Mumbai.
According to the data released by the public relations department of the university, 243 students from foreign countries are currently pursuing undergraduate courses in colleges affiliated to the university, a sharp rise from the 81 students in 2011-12. While the number of students was 201 in 2012-13, it was 227 in 2013-14.
The students include those from developed countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, China, Korea, along with those from developing nations such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Kenya, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Bangladesh and Egypt.
Earlier the trend was restricted to post-graduate courses. “We have 30 African students enrolled in our undergraduate courses,” said Chaitali Chakraborty, principal, Thakur College, Kandivli. “The number is increasing by the day, even though we don’t offer hostel facilities.”
Most of them opt for professional courses such as management studies, accounts and finance, information technology and computer application, according to the data.
Principals said the variety of courses and affordable education is attracting students to our country. “Students from poorer countries are coming here because our courses are affordable. Also, the medium of instruction is English, which is a plus,” said Dinesh Panjwani, principal, RD National College, Bandra. “NRIs, too, prefer Mumbai as it is cheaper.”
“The university needs to upgrade its hostel for international students. With lack of options, students are forced to stay put as paying guests or in rented apartments,” said TA Shiware, director, KPB Hinduja College, Charni Road.
Taking note of the trend, the university plans to improve its hostel facilities. “We are planning to increase the intake of foreign students and offer scholarships to 500 students,” said a senior official from the university.