More Pakistani Students Studying Abroad

Although the growth in the total number Pakistanis studying abroad has slowed since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 in the United States, the world's sixth most populous nation continues to be among the leading sources of foreign students in America, Europe, Australia and new emerging higher education destinations in Asia.

49,000 Pakistani Students Abroad in 2011 Source: OECD 

As the number of Pakistani students in the United States has declined from a peak of 8,644 students (ranked 13th) in 2001-02 to 5,222 in 2009-10 (ranked 23rd), English-speaking OECD nations of the United Kingdom and Australia have become the biggest beneficiaries getting increasing market share of the Pakistan education market. Both nations have benefited in spite of the fact that the UK and Australian visa rejection rates for Pakistanis are higher than for students from other nations.

A recent British Council report says that 9,815 Pakistani students (Source: HESA) put Pakistan among one of the top six countries which account for 54 percent of the UK’s (non-EU) international students. Since September 2001, it has become the market leader, a place previously held by the US. In addition to Canada in North America, several Northern European countries, including Sweden and Finland, have also become quite active in marketing their education in Pakistan. As a result, these nations are attracting thousands of Pakistani students to their universities.

There is also an upward trend in Pakistani students studying in Australia. 8,458 Pakistani students studied in Australia in 2009/2010, increase of 11/4% over 2008/2009 (Source: AEI).

The US is beginning to pick up more of the Pakistani education market share after a significant decline since 911, with its simplified visa procedures and increased marketing efforts, and the excellent scholarship opportunities that they have to offer Pakistani students. Pakistan now has the world's largest Fulbright Scholarship Program with over 200 scholarships offered to Pakistani students for advanced degrees in 2011.

Beyond the traditional destinations in OECD nations, newly industrialized countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are more visible in Pakistan and perceived as offering quality education at lower prices.

Pakistanis take education seriously. They spend more time in schools and colleges and graduate at a higher rates than their Indian counterparts in 15+ age group, according to a report on educational achievement by Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee.

With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education along with a willingness and capacity to pay relatively high tuition and fees, according to the findings of Austrade, an Australian govt agency promoting trade. Private institutions are seeking affiliations with universities abroad to ensure they offer information and training that is of international standards.

Trans-national education (TNE) is a growing market in Pakistan and recent data shows evidence of over 40 such programs running successfully in affiliation with British universities at undergraduate and graduate level, according to The British Council. Overall, the UK takes about 65 per cent of the TNE market in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2011

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

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Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices

Scholarships at Foreign Universities

Institute of International Education--Open Doors

UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency Report

Austrade on Education in Pakistan

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Comment by Riaz Haq on December 4, 2011 at 10:10am

Here's an Express Tribune story of a Pakistani young man of humble origins helping terror victims after studying Emergency Medicine at Yale:

.Today, Razzak is a renowned emergency medicine expert and the executive director of the Aman Foundation. He started his schooling at a humble primary school in Lyari, completing his secondary education from Nasira School in Depot Lines. Not one to be held back, the hard-working student subsequently attended Adamjee Science College where his impressive grades and unbounded enthusiasm won him a scholarship at the prestigious Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), the top private medical institution in the country.
In collaboration with the Edhi Ambulance Service, an arm of the philanthropic Edhi organisation and the largest volunteer ambulance network in the world, he researched and analysed road traffic injuries and emergency cases. Edhi had a mountain of documentation for every call and every case it had handled in the last two decades. The downside? None of it was digitised, so he spent days sifting through it manually.

The experience stayed with him, and the data revealed a disturbing pattern. Gruesome injuries, often suffered by the poorest members of society, were often improperly handled by well-meaning doctors, simply because of a lack of know-how. These mistakes frequently, and literally, led to the loss of life and limb.

Yet, Razzak soon realised that he needed more professional training and specialisation courses before he could progress further. He sat for the US Medical Licensing Exams (MLE) and had observations at the Beth Israel Medical Centre, New York, and the Yale-New Haven Hospital, Connecticut. In 1996, his residency and training programme at Yale University’s School of Medicine started and in 1999, he was given the ‘Best Trainee’ award by the State of Connecticut.

On the personal front, Yale was also important for the doctor since he met his future wife there. Following graduation, the two stayed in the US for a few years, always looking forward to the time when they would return home. “The plan was always to come back,” says Razzak. “That’s why we never bought a house, never completely settled in.”

Before they could come back, Razzak did his PhD in Public Health at the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, where he focused on the use of ambulance data for monitoring road traffic accidents. Finally, in 2005, the studious boy from Kharadar returned to Pakistan as a successful, qualified expert in emergency medicine.

He joined his alma mater, AKUH as a faculty member and went on to successfully found Pakistan’s first emergency medicine service (EMS) training programme at the university. “There were many doctors who were awarded their degrees without ever administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as it wasn’t a requirement,” he reveals.

This changed when his EMS programme became a mandatory rotation that all students had to serve. Subsequently, Razzak went on to build and head a new emergency department. Yet, the battle was just half won. Students in the new department faced a dilemma, similar to the one Razzak had as a student. They were required to go to the United Kingdom to sit for their exam, otherwise they would not be considered qualified.
Determined to remove, for others, the hurdles that he himself had crossed only after many toils, Razzak collaborated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) to organise a curriculum for the specialised field. The first batch for this course was enrolled last year. Now students wanting to specialise in emergency medicine will be able to obtain certification in their chosen field, without having to travel abroad....

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 10, 2012 at 11:14am

Here's an Express Tribune report on 2012-2013 Fulbright scholar program in Pakistan:

Amid strained ties and mutual mistrust, the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan has announced the world’s largest Fulbright programme in Pakistan for the 2013.

The US government’s flagship scholarship programme awards deserving Pakistani students full scholarships that cover tuition, textbooks, airfare, a stipend, and health insurance to complete their Master’s or PhD degrees in a field of their choice in universities across the US. Currently, approximately 369 students are studying in the US on Fulbright awards and another 200 will be departing in the fall of 2012.

According to Ambassador Richard Hoagland, deputy chief of mission, Pakistan’s Fulbright programme is also one of the oldest in the world. “Our agreement initiating the programme was signed on September 23, 1950 – and the first Pakistanis and Americans travelled each way in the same year. It was one of the very first agreements of its kind and has since been extended to 155 countries around the world.”

Since then, nearly 4,000 Pakistanis and over 800 Americans have participated in USEFP-administered exchange programmes.

The deadline to apply for the 2013 programme is May 16, 2012, and the application form can be downloaded from the USEFP’s website

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 11, 2012 at 10:09pm

Here's a Dawn report on Education Expo 2012 held in Karachi:

Thousands of students desiring to pursue their further education overseas flocked to the 9th two-day Annual Education Expo 2012, organised by the Dawn Media Group, which opened at the Expo Centre in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on Saturday.

According to a representative of the organizers, the exhibition, in which over 160 local and international educational institutions are participating, would remain open on Sunday as well from 11am to 7pm.

Entry to the exhibition is free.

He said the exhibition, an annual event, had regularly been held for the past nine years. The current exhibition was earlier held in Islamabad and Lahore before it moved to the city. He said about 80 per cent of the 160 institutions at the expo were international.

The countries whose educational institutions are participating in the event include Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States. Malaysia and Northern Cyprus are new entrants to the exhibition.

He said the exhibition provided opportunities to students to meet the faculty, admission officers and career councilors directly, and get enrolled on the spot with many of the institutions.

The event, as every year, has been scheduled at a time which coincides with the admission drive in educational institutions and is attracting students from various academies seeking information, coordination and enrolment details from the participating institutions.

Besides the education institutions, various governments, including the US, the UK, Australia and Canada had also set up stalls to promote educational opportunities in their respective countries. Some consultants that provide guidance to students seeking overseas education are also participating in the exhibition.

He said last year over 10,000 students had visited the expo in which around 120 educational institutions had participated.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 11, 2012 at 5:19pm

Here's an APP story on Cambridge Graduate Union headed by a Pakistani student:

A Pakistani student Arsalan Ghani from Faisalabad has been elected as the President of the Cambridge University Graduate Union. He will lead the student union representing 12,000 MA, M Phil and PhD students studying at Cambridge University. This is the first time ever, in the over 800-year history of the Cambridge University that a Pakistani student has been elected as the President of the Graduate Union.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 14, 2012 at 4:15pm

US invites Pakistani students over for study, reports Daily Times:

LAHORE: US Public Affairs Officer Brinille Eliane Ellis has said that encouraging Pakistani students to study in the United States is one of their top priories, and a great way to foster better understanding between the two countries.

He said this at the two-day US-funded South Asian US College education fair held at the Forman Christian College (FCC).

The fair featured four representatives from the US higher education institutions.

Students from across Punjab, especially Lahore, obtained information about student life and studying opportunities in the United States directly from the representatives.

EducationUSA, a US State Department-funded global network of student advising centres, organised the event.

Also on hand were representatives from the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, and the Educational Credential Evaluators from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who joined the tour to demonstrate the unique benefits of a US university education.

This is the second South Asian annual education fair tour organised by EducationUSA. Last year, US university representatives travelled across the region from Sri Lanka to Bangladesh to Nepal and then to Pakistan. The programme was so successful that it was repeated again this year, while Afghanistan was also included in the list of countries.\04\13\story_13-4-2012_pg7_15

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 15, 2012 at 10:53am

Pakistan has become top education market for Australia in vocational training, reports The Australian: PAKISTAN has become the top growth market in the struggling international education industry, even though revenue from its neighbour India fell almost $1 billion in a single year.

New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that Australia's fourth-biggest export industry is turning to new markets to counter a $2.2bn loss of revenue last year.

Experts say some of the new students are attracted to Australia by the prospect of working or even claiming refugee status.

Earnings from the top 12 markets all fell last year, topped by India, which slumped by 37 per cent, but Pakistan bucked the trend, with revenue rising 15 per cent to $253 million.

The Philippines was the only other significant market to record an increase, with earnings rising 13 per cent to $205m. All other top 25 markets experienced declines.

Revenue from Pakistan has risen steadily, more than tripling over the past five years. Earnings from the boom-bust Indian market have almost halved in two years, collapsing from a 2009 peak of $3.1bn.

Shabbir Ahmad, a PhD economics student at the University of Queensland, said fellow Pakistanis were being lured to Australia by the availability of scholarships from both countries.

Dr Shabbir, who is studying for his second doctorate, said he had come to Australia because the leading academics in his field -- efficiency and productivity analysis -- were based here.

He said while his family had been denied public health and schooling in Australia, the overall experience had been positive. "As far as the academic environment goes, I'm very happy, and people are very welcoming," he said.

However, international education researcher Alan Olsen said the growth in the Pakistani market was in vocational training, not top-end higher education.

Mr Olsen said that while the number of Pakistani students had increased by about 1200 last year, private vocational students had claimed about 1000 of them.

International Education Association of Australia executive director Phil Honeywood said some colleges had moved staff to Pakistan to help meet the demand. He said most Pakistani students came for genuine educational purposes, but significant numbers were here for work and residency opportunities in a peaceful country. "It's dangerous in Pakistan," said Mr Honeywood, a former Victorian tertiary education minister.

He said many Pakistanis studied for business diplomas at private colleges at a cost of about $9000. This gave them advance standing in university degrees, which in turn conferred the right to work for two years in Australia after graduating...

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 7, 2012 at 5:36pm

Here's an ET report on Australia-Pakistan trade ties:

Australia has said that it will open a trade office in Faisalabad and immediately lower customs duties on imports from Pakistan – steps that are aimed at giving a boost to bilateral trade.

Speaking at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Thursday, Acting High Commissioner of Australia Paul Molloy also announced that his country would provide $100 million in aid for various development projects in Pakistan.

He promised that visa concerns, highlighted by FCCI members, would be addressed and asked the business community of both sides to try to deepen trade ties.

He assured that he would facilitate the visit of an FCCI trade delegation to Australia. Australia had a liberal investment policy and an open economy, he said.

Molloy said more than 100 students of Pakistan were getting Australian scholarships every year.

FCCI Vice-President Rehan Naseem Bharara, while highlighting the tremendous trade potential between the two countries, stressed the need for Australia to give special market access to Pakistan, which is suffering a lot as a partner in the war against terror.

In order to strengthen economic activities, he said, exchange of trade delegations and joint trade fairs were a prerequisite.

Agriculture support

At another event, Paul Molloy, while addressing scientists at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), affirmed that Australia would continue to support and develop the agricultural sector of Pakistan.

“UAF is working with different Australian organisations on various projects that will bring prosperity, especially for the farmers,” he said.

He asked the scientists to keep working with commitment and share their innovative ideas with Australia for attracting funds in order to excel in different sectors that would pave the way for development. “Idea is an issue, but money is not,” he remarked.

Speaking on the occasion, UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad announced that Lorry Water House’s chair would be established at the campus soon to address genetic and breeding issues of various crops.

“UAF is a partner and beneficiary of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research project and engaged in citrus and mango research activities. We need to expand our areas in order to address various issues including water, energy and climatic changes,” he suggested.

However, Ahmad pointed out that the same Australian research programme in India was quite diversified, covering a wide range of activities with a special focus on food security, water resources and climatic changes. He called for introducing the programme on the same pattern in Pakistan.

Ahmad said UAF would send 10 PhD students to the University of Sydney in the near future to strengthen their capabilities, which would help Pakistan cope with agricultural problems.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 7, 2012 at 7:14pm

Here's PakistanTribune on US research grants to Pakistanis study economic development:

Twenty-two Pakistani scholars have been awarded a total of $490,000 worth of grants by the United States government for research on various fields related to economic development and markets.

The 22 winning proposals were selected from more than 180 research applications from all over the country and abroad. The selection was made by a 15-member committee consisting of internationally acclaimed scholars with extensive research experience in Pakistan and abroad, says a press release.

"This is yet another example of the US support for Pakistan's development priorities. We believe that this research will help lay foundations to the growth of Pakistan's economy, thus contributing to a more prosperous future for the people of this country," US embassy coordinator Richard Albright said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 20, 2012 at 4:55pm

Here's a News story on 90 French scholarship for Pakistani students:

Under need-based scholarship programme, the French government will support 90 promising students of six Pakistani universities in the fields of social science, business and architecture.

In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between France government and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) at French Embassy on Thursday. Ambassador of France Philippe Thiébaud and Chairperson HEC Dr Javaid R. Laghari along with vice chancellors of the corresponding universities and institutions signed the MoU.

France, through its Embassy in Islamabad, will offer scholarships to 90 promising students primarily from FATA, KPK and Baluchistan to pursue their education in top universities and institutions of Pakistan.

The universities include Quaid-E-Azam University, Islamabad, COMSATS Institute of Technology, Islamabad, Government College University, Lahore, Institute of Management Sciences, IMS Peshawar, Institute of Business and Management, Karachi and Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University, Quetta.

The scholarships awards are designed to cover the complete cost of education during the entire academic program of the 90 recipients (e.g.2-4 years for the MBA, BBA and Social Sciences) for a total cost of Rs23 millions.

The selection process will ensure that at least 25 per cent of the awarded scholarships go to girls, especially those coming from areas where the access to higher education is difficult.

Speaking on the occasion, French Ambassador Philippe Thiébaud, termed higher education key area in the bilateral relationship of both countries. He said that this scholarship grant scheme will further strengthen the close and long term bilateral friendship between the Pakistan and French governments.

Chairperson HEC Dr Javaid R. Laghari said that the HEC is committed to provide equitable access to the higher education in Pakistan and a number of practical steps have been taken in this regard. He also extended thanks and appreciated the gesture of the government and people of France.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 20, 2012 at 5:05pm

Here's a News story on 200 Pakistani students going for a semester abroad under UGRAD program:

A pre-departure orientation workshop was organised by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) for departing students here on Wednesday evening.

Students were briefed by the USEFP on the programme, visa regulations, American culture and US higher education and campus life. All students would return to Pakistan to complete their bachelor’s degrees. As many as 200 undergraduate students from all parts of Pakistan will be departing over the next year for a semester of study at colleges and universities in the US as part of the Global Undergraduate Programme (UGRAD) in Pakistan. As many as 100 will travel in August-September for the fall semester and an additional 100 will go to the US in January 2013.

An initiative of the US Department of State, the UGRAD programme will send Pakistani students to over 50 campuses in the US where they will take classes along with American students, do public presentations on the culture and people of Pakistan, and be an active part of the local community they will be staying in. Since the programme began in 2010, approximately 500 Pakistani students have participated. The fellowships cover all expenses for the students including travel, lodging, stipend, and tuition.

“To see so many impressive Pakistani young people — each of you an incredibly talented representative of this great nation’s bright future — is inspiring,” said Brent Beemer, cultural attache at the US Embassy, who addressed the group, “To think that my country has had some role in advancing your education and helping your nation’s prospects makes me feel very good, and even proud.”

“The really exciting thing about this group of undergraduates is that so many of these students come from remote or economically disadvantaged areas of Pakistan. The group includes students from every province of Pakistan and 52 per cent are women. The students come from a wide variety of disciplines, including humanities and social science subjects, engineering, basic sciences, law, art and design, economics, and business administration,” said Rita Akhtar, Executive Director of the USEFP...


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