Political unrest and agitations show little impact on the admissions
Notwithstanding its negative image in popular discourse, Osmania University continues to be a favoured destination for foreign students, a fact which reflects in the increased admissions this year.
Expected to rise
OU has admitted 1,300 students so far, in comparison to the 1,250 that joined last year. The number is expected to rise as admissions are still open. Maximum students have joined M.Sc courses (215), while 126 of them joined various MA courses. In the undergraduate courses, B.Com topped the list with 173 foreign students, followed by BCA (146), B.Sc (112) and BBA (106).
Most students this year are from Iraq, followed by Sudan and Afghanistan. A considerable number are from the East African nations. The number of candidates sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is on the rise, said G.B. Reddy, Professor of Law and Joint Director of the University Foreign Relations Office (UFRO).
There are more than 300 ICCR fellows this year, most of them from Afghanistan. Students from the country are covered under a special scheme, following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s promise to increase intake from the war-torn country.
Apart from regular programmes, the one-year Certificate course in English as Foreign Language, offered by Centre for English Language Training (CELT) at the OU Engineering College and English Language Training Centre at the Arts College, are sought-after by the foreign students.
With seats in engineering colleges also opened up for foreign students, officials expect to attract more numbers in the future, particularly from the African countries. Demand, even from NRIs from the Gulf region, is on the rise and is seen as a positive sign.
With a separate hostel for international students open from this year, officials say the number is expected to increase in the coming years too. The modern hostel with international facilities, that can accommodate close to 200 students — was recently inaugurated by UGC chairman Ved Prakash.