State universities register surge in foreign enrollments



With the publication of the academic calendar for the 2021-2022 session, many state universities have started the admissions process for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Although some of them are still waiting for the announcement of the board of directors and the results of the final year to start the admission.

The University of Kerala has received over 24,000 applications, including international students, for various postgraduate courses, with high priority for Science, English and Business programs. The university is expected to hold the PG entrance exam from August 1-6.


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“A total of 24,044 applications were received for 61 postgraduate courses offered by the University,” said A Biju Kumar, Professor and Chief Executive Officer, Department of Aquatic and Fisheries Biology, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. The MA in English Language and Literature (1709) followed by Chemistry (1472), MSW (1449) and Physics with specialization in Space Physics (1215) noted the highest applications. With only seven applications, MA Russian Language & Literature has the lowest number of applications. The other subjects that recorded double-digit enrollments are West Asian Studies (18), German Language and Literature (29), Tamil Language and Literature (26), Islamic History (33), general Sanskrit language and literature (27), music (29) and Arabic language and literature (52).

Foreign applications

The university claims that Kumar has seen tremendous growth in the number of foreign applicants this year. “For the 2021-2022 academic session, we received nearly 1,800 applications, which is much higher than in previous years. He adds that previously we only had 30-50 applicants for the UG and PG courses. Highlighting the reason for the increase in international student enrollments, Kumar believes the current global health crisis may have prompted students to opt for neighboring countries. “The largest number of applicants come from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The proximity to India seems to be one of the main reasons for this increase, ”he adds.

Punjabi University, Patiala, which is currently accepting applications for engineering courses, has so far received over 600 registrations, including registrations from overseas students. “Nearly 200 applications came from international students. The majority of them are destined for BTech while 50 students applied for a doctoral program ”, explains Manjit Singh, professor, coordinator, centralized admission unit, Punjabi University, Patiala.

The University welcomed 94 foreign students during the 2020-21 academic sessions. “Last year 50 students came from Ethiopia while others, who went through ICCAR, represented The Gambia, Afghanistan, Ghana, Djibouti, Egypt, Nepal and Uganda Explains Singh. He adds that there were also three students from the United Arab Emirates. PhD, MBA, BBA, BCom are on the list of the most sought after courses by international students.

Faced with the increasing number of international students on campus, Singh explains that aside from government initiatives, the facilities offered by a particular university are also essential in attracting international students. “Better teaching and learning facilities, support for students by the university make alumni our brand ambassador. The International Students Directorate takes care of exchange programs for professors and academics, visits to international exhibitions, advice on adapting to the new environment, ”adds Singh.

Benefits of international students

The presence of international students makes the class more diverse and dynamic. “Their presence is beneficial to both students and local teachers as they bring a different perspective,” he adds. Besides the financial aspects, they make the classroom and the campus more dynamic thanks to their experience in their respective fields.


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