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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

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

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 July 28, 2012 at 7:10pm

Here's a Wall Street Journal story of recent influx of Saudi students in US:

In the years following the security crackdown on Arab travelers after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks—in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian—tough restrictions kept most Arab students away from the U.S. In 2004, only about 1,000 Saudis were studying in the U.S., according to the U.S. State Department.

This past school year, Saudi Arabia sent 66,000 students to U.S. universities, four times the number before the 2001 attacks and the fastest-growing source of foreign students in the U.S., ahead of China, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Saudi influx is part of a broader increase in international students in the U.S. as American universities seek to raise tuition revenues. Some 723,277 foreign students enrolled during the 2010-2011 school year, up 32% from a decade ago.
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Saudi Arabia's international scholarship program, launched when Saudi King Abdullah took the throne in 2005, is a key part of his efforts to equip future generations in handling the country's main challenges, including a fast-growing population and declining oil reserves.

Since taking over, the Saudi king has emphasized scientific education and exposure to foreign countries as keys to combat religious extremism and transform Saudi Arabia into a modern state. This year, the scholarship program has about 130,000 young people studying around the world, at an estimated cost of at least $5 billion since the program began.

The king's efforts to modernize, including the scholarship program, have led to constant tension between Western-influenced Saudis and a religiously educated core who hold heavy sway over society and reject modernization because it is associated with the West.
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As late as the 1950s, Saudi Arabia had a literacy rate below 5%. Today, the percentage of literate Saudis has reached 79%, according to the CIA World Factbook. One-third have university degrees, the World Bank says.

Even so, religious conservatives have a lingering influence over curriculum. Critics say Saudi schooling is long on theology and short on science and math. The kingdom ranked 93rd out of 129 countries in UNESCO'S 2008 quality of education index.

In the past, only upper class Saudis were educated abroad. The king's scholarship program, by contrast, reaches out to promising young people in all levels of society, says Ahmed al Omran, a Saudi journalist who earned a master's from Columbia University.

At the graduation ceremony in Washington in May, Saudi degree recipients ranged from second-generation U.S. graduates, to the first in their families to read and write.

To be eligible for the program, students must have top grades and generally study in a field targeted by the government—such as business, engineering or medicine. Females are required to be accompanied by a close male relative. The government urges students to avoid political activity and media attention, students say.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304830704577492450467...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 21, 2012 at 9:10pm
Here's a report on foreign students as a lucrative source:

Most people don’t think of foreign students as an economic resource, yet that is precisely what they are. Each year, students from other countries spend billions of dollars in the U.S. economy, pumping money not only into the colleges and universities they attend, but the surrounding businesses as well. In addition, many foreign students go on to become highly innovative scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who add value to the U.S. economy in myriad ways that are often difficult to quantify. Given the economic value of the education they receive in U.S. universities, it is unfortunate that so many foreign students are forced by our nonsensical immigration policies to return to their home countries rather than putting their knowledge to use in this country.

According to a new report from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, “international students and their dependents contributed approximately $21.81 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2011-2012 academic year.” More precisely, the monetary contributions of foreign students and their families consisted of $15.8 billion in students’ tuition and fees, $14 billion in students’ living expenses, and $397 million in living expenses for their dependents. Subtracted out of the total was U.S.-based financial support of $8.4 billion. Spending by students and their dependents totaled $3.2 billion in California, $2.6 billion in New York, $1.5 billion in Massachusetts, $1.4 billion in Texas, $1.1 billion in Pennsylvania, and $1 billion in Illinois. In the modest words of the NAFSA report: “By any measure, international education makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy.”

However, as the report notes, the “$21.81 billion” figure is a conservative estimate that does not include the “multiplier effect” which spending by foreign students has on the U.S. economy. That is, some of the money spent by foreign students becomes someone else’s income, some of which is also spent, becoming a portion of someone else’s income, etc. Just as importantly, the NAFSA estimate doesn’t capture the contributions which many foreign students go on to make as part of the high-skilled U.S. workforce and the U.S. business community. For instance, the National Science Board estimates that, in 2009, immigrants accounted for 41.6% of all science-and-engineering workers in the United States who had a doctorate and 33.4 percent those with a master’s degree. According to a report from the Brooking Institution, “among people with advanced degrees, immigrants are three times more likely to file patents than U.S.-born citizens.” And a report from the Kauffman Foundation found that “immigrants were more than twice as likely to start businesses each month than were the native-born in 2010.”

In short, $21.81 billion in spending is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to measuring the economic contributions of foreign students. Given this fact, it is mind-boggling that so many foreign students are forced to return home after completing their studies in U.S. universities. In many cases, the United States is training workers for its own economic competitors. This does not make good business sense. A more enlightened immigration policy would encourage foreign students to stay in the United States and put their knowledge to use strengthening the U.S. economy. Perhaps lawmakers can put this on their “to do” list as they contemplate immigration reform over the coming year.


http://immigrationimpact.com/2012/11/20/foreign-students-add-billio...
Comment by Riaz Haq on January 9, 2013 at 9:21pm

Here's a News report on decline in Pakistani students going to the UK:

LONDON: There has been a significant drop in the number of genuine applications for studying in the UK universities from Pakistani students since the introduction of harsh immigration policies and vilification of immigrants under the new Conservative-LibDem coalition government.

Chief Executive of Universities UK, Nicola Dandridge, said that universities are reporting a significant drop in the number of students applying from overseas, particularly from India, Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia but Pakistani students are not only discouraged by the UK’s immigration crackdown but they also face disproportionate treatment from the immigration officers who process their applications in Dubai and during face-to-face interviews conducted in Pakistan.

She said that crackdown on bogus foreign students have driven large numbers of genuine overseas applicants to competitor countries, damaging not only universities but also the UK economy.

She said the senior ministers calling for a crackdown on “bogus students” had given the impression that overseas students were no longer welcome and was driving them towards competitor countries such as the US, Canada and Australia.

Home Secretary Theresa May last month announced the introduction of face-to-face interviews for 100,000 applicants for student visas a year.

This means that most Pakistani applicants will have to face interviews in British High Commission in Islamabad. After 9/11 attacks on the United States by al-Qaeda, the number of students from Islamic countries, particularly Pakistanis, shot up as American officials started picking on Pakistani students and Britain was seen as a benign country but that is not the case anymore as Pakistani students, including visitor visa applicants, are also a suspect in the UK now and their applications are rejected on mass scale.

Overseas students are estimated to be worth GBP8bn a year to the British economy, a figure projected to rise to GBP16.8bn by 2025, according to a study by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Office for National Statistics’ figures released in November showed a 26% fall in the number of visas issued for the purposes of study in the year to September 2012 but Dandridge said “anecdotal evidence suggested the downward trend was set to accelerate.”

Pakistan was amongst the top ten nationalities issued entry clearance visas for the purpose of study in 2011. Of the total 261,405 student visas issued, 35,660 students visas were issued to Pakistani applicants. In 2010, the number of Pakistani students issued visas was 26,490.

But Pakistan is not included in the top ten nationalities for the year 2011 when a total of 61, 381 student visitors were issued with a visa for a maximum six-month duration. Nearly 70,000 people were issued student visitor visas in 2012 but Pakistan was not added in the top ten countries.

A home office spokesperson refused to share the reasons why Pakistanis were not amongst the top ten countries’ category but referred to a statement by Mark Harper, the immigration minister. It says: “The UK’s education system is one of the best in the world but to maintain this reputation it is vital that we tackle the abuse of the student route, while making sure Britain remains open for business.”

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-153546-Student-applications...

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 28, 2013 at 11:32pm

Here's an excerpt of a Dawn report on Pakistan's university education:

According to the OECD’s 2009 Global Education Digest, 6.3 per cent of Pakistanis were university graduates as of 2007. The government plans to increase this rate to 10 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2020. But the key challenges are readiness for growth of the educational infrastructure and support from public and private sector.
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According to 2008 statistics, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year. Pakistan Telecom Authority indicates that as of 2008 there are nearly 22 million internet users and over 80 million mobile phone subscribers. A combination of all these educational and technological factors gives Pakistan great leverage to progress towards targeted curriculum development and dissemination through e-learning..

http://dawn.com/2011/02/28/towards-e-learning/

Here's an excerpt of OECD Global Education Digest 2009:

In 2007, 9% of all mobile students originated from South and West Asia. Overall, 1.5% of the region’s tertiary students go abroad, which is lower than the
global average. India, for example, accounts for 5.5% of
the global total of mobile students. Yet, its outbound
mobility ratio is very low with only 1 out of 100 tertiary
students from the country studying abroad. Outbound mobility ratios are generally low across the
region with the notable exceptions of Nepal (5%) and Pakistan (3%). In 2007, the outbound mobility ratio increased by 0.5 percentage points.

http://www.ifap.ru/library/book433.pdf

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 18, 2014 at 4:45pm

Here are a couple of links showing number of B, F and H visas issued by US worldwide:

F visas (student visas) to Pakistani citizens continue to be very low but increased from 1,224 in 2012 to 1,535 in 2013.

Similarly, H visas (temp work visas) remain very low but increased from 1238 in 2012 to 1,301 in 2013.

The largest number of non-immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis are business visa...B1 and B2. Such visas increased from 35,768 in 2012 to 39,701 in 2013.

Similar US visas issued to Indians are several orders of magnitude higher.

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/AnnualReports/...

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/AnnualReports/...

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 13, 2014 at 12:55pm

A group of 80 scholarship winners, bound for the United States to pursue masters degrees, gathered for a pre-departure orientation on Friday evening. The event was hosted by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) at a private hotel.
While congratulating the students, USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar said, “The USEFP is pleased to be able to help talented Pakistani students like you, achieve admission to US colleges and universities. US colleges and universities welcome Pakistani students as they add to the already-rich diversity in the classroom.”
The event was a networking platform designed to prepare the students for their educational experience. Since its beginning, the USEFP has helped thousands of Pakistani students achieve their dreams of US higher education through its scholarship programmes and free-of-charge advisory services.
Education USA Advising Manager Umair Khan offered some tips to the students. He explained that professor-student relations were less formal in the United States than in Pakistani universities.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/734928/all-my-bags-are-packed-eighty-pa...

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 10, 2014 at 8:08pm

Around 10,000 Pakistani students will be awarded scholarships to study in different universities of Europe in the year 2015 by the European Union Education Foundation (EUEF). The first entries to the programme will be from Sindh, The Express Tribune has learnt.
“We are waiting for the final proposal from the provincial [Sindh] government,” revealed the EUEF director of scholarships programme, Yvonne Hunter. “The government is interested [this time] and I hope the plan will materialise soon.”
During her visit to Karachi last week, Hunter explained that the EUEF was established to promote higher education in developing countries. “Our aim is help in community development through self-sufficiency in the education sector by providing students from developing countries easy access to higher studies in Europe.”
The scholarship programme is not new to Pakistan. According to Azfar Bukhari who is the project manager and media co-ordinator for EUEF, they had tried to launch the programme two years ago but had been unsuccessful. “This time, however, the government is more interested,” said Bukhari hopefully.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Hunter said that her team has been assured of full cooperation by the Sindh government to make the programme a success. “Apart from the Sindh government, the government of Balochistan as well as the federal government are keen to participate,” she said. “In Pakistan, everything is very easily politicised so we want to ensure our efforts are not used as part of an electoral campaign by some political party.”
In response to a query regarding the level of interference and assistance required of the government, Hunter said: “Of course we need their assistance, but not at the cost of transparency and credibility.” She maintained that the government will only be brought on as stakeholders if they assure the EUEF of unbiased work. “We want to make the programme a success without making it controversial.”
According to the director, the foundation will award scholarships to up to 10,000 eligible students every year. These scholarships will be honoured in universities and colleges already affiliated with the EUEF across Europe. “Not to forget these scholarships will be valid till the end of the study programme, not just for the first term.”
The students will be given ample choice to select from both graduate and postgraduate degrees and higher national diplomas. The eligibility to apply to the programme is HSC or GCE A level, without a gap of more than a year during the candidate’s regular studies.
The applicants have to appear for a simple aptitude test that will be conducted by the National Testing Service. This is to test basic knowledge and English language skills. The first 10,000 high scorers will be awarded the scholarships. “We have kept the selection procedure simple and transparent to avoid any controversies. We want to accommodate as many students as possible.” Hunter explained.
According to the EUEF office bearers, the programme aims to enable Pakistani students to study abroad so that they can gain exposure of developed countries making them less vulnerable to volatile issues in their home country. “We are offering 10,000 scholarships every year for the next five years, which makes it 50,000 by the culmination of our project.” The programme will ultimately provide Pakistan with 50,000 highly skilled professionals by the time it concludes.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/744354/study-abroad-10000-pakistani-stu...

http://www.eueducationfoundation.eu/

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 3, 2015 at 10:49am

Some international students have the right to work here after graduation for two or more years.

“There is a ticking time bomb on post-study work rights visas, which are being seen as the route to a fast track to migration,” Mr Honeywood said. “Numbers out of India have doubled in the past 12 months. They are not rorting the system, but have the perception post-study work rights will lead to permanent residency, and that is totally wrong.”

China remains by far the biggest source of overseas students, with 153,000 in 2014 — almost one-third of all international students. Government data shows several countries in addition to India have seen big spikes in enrolments. They include Nepal, up 27 per cent on 2013, Pakistan, up 16 per cent, Hong Kong, up 22 per cent, The Philippines, up 21 per cent and Taiwan, up 24 per cent. Mr Honeywood said Australia was still in need of an overarching strategy and independent advisory council, much like Tourism Australia, as recommended in a 2012 review by Michael Chaney.

While the government said last year it had accepted all 35 recommendations of the review, no official response has been released and only seven recommendations have been implemented.

Mr Honeywood said there was little or no co-ordination between the various ministries with responsibility for the sector: education, trade, foreign affairs and immigration. “We have this constant issue of federal government departments in splendid isolation making decisions that impact the sector without adequate consultation,” he said.

A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said a draft national strategy was due for release this year. “The government is also planning a number of ministerial roundtables,” he said.


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/foreign-students-bring-in-16bn...

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 3, 2015 at 10:49am

Some international students have the right to work here after graduation for two or more years.

“There is a ticking time bomb on post-study work rights visas, which are being seen as the route to a fast track to migration,” Mr Honeywood said. “Numbers out of India have doubled in the past 12 months. They are not rorting the system, but have the perception post-study work rights will lead to permanent residency, and that is totally wrong.”

China remains by far the biggest source of overseas students, with 153,000 in 2014 — almost one-third of all international students. Government data shows several countries in addition to India have seen big spikes in enrolments. They include Nepal, up 27 per cent on 2013, Pakistan, up 16 per cent, Hong Kong, up 22 per cent, The Philippines, up 21 per cent and Taiwan, up 24 per cent. Mr Honeywood said Australia was still in need of an overarching strategy and independent advisory council, much like Tourism Australia, as recommended in a 2012 review by Michael Chaney.

While the government said last year it had accepted all 35 recommendations of the review, no official response has been released and only seven recommendations have been implemented.

Mr Honeywood said there was little or no co-ordination between the various ministries with responsibility for the sector: education, trade, foreign affairs and immigration. “We have this constant issue of federal government departments in splendid isolation making decisions that impact the sector without adequate consultation,” he said.

A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said a draft national strategy was due for release this year. “The government is also planning a number of ministerial roundtables,” he said.


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/foreign-students-bring-in-16bn...

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 29, 2015 at 9:48am

A two-day conference on Pakistan featuring prominent speakers kicked off this Saturday at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA near Boston organised by the Harvard Pakistan Forum (HPF).

The inaugural conference last year, attended by over 250 students, academics and professionals, was themed “Pakistan of the Future” focusing on three crucial facets of Pakistan’s economy: public policy, international investment in the private sector and financial sector support.

The 2015 conference, ‘Rediscovering a Nation’, aims to “reevaluate our understanding of Pakistan’s past, its present, and its potential future” and invites students, academics, practitioners and community members to reassess their assumptions about Pakistan.

The organizers plan to make the conference an annual event.

Ahsan Jamil of the Aman Foundation, one of the main sponsors of the conference, says that the support “is aimed at harnessing the leadership talent of Pakistani students at Harvard, in the pursuit of their careers, to contribute in the development of Pakistan.”

The first keynote speech on Saturday was delivered by Dean and Director of Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Dr. Ishrat Husain, speaking on “Realizing Pakistan’s Economic Potential: Restructuring the Central Bank”.

Other keynote speakers include media entrepreneur Sultana Siddiqui (“Affecting Social Change Through the Arts”), Dr Sania Nishtar (“Health in Pakistan: A New Look”) and well known industrialist and philanthropist Hussain Dawood speaking on “The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Building an Empire”.

Other sessions on Saturday featured a panel discussion on “Entrepreneurship in Pakistan” including speakers like Badar Khushnood and Amir Wain. A discussion on “The Role of the Arts and Literature in a Future Pakistan” featured prominent artists including singers Arooj Aftab and Zeb Bangash, police officer turned novelist Omar Shahid Hamid, and British-Pakistani actor Nadia Manzoor.

Sunday’s sessions include “Pakistan and Afghanistan: Analyzing Foreign Policy and The Future of the Taliban” with Maleeha Lodhi, former ambassador to Pakistan Thomas W. Simmons, Jr., and Hassan Abbas. The “Successfully Impacting Policy Change” panel includes Ahsan Jamil, Samar Minallah Khan and Adil Najam.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-36680-Pakistan-conference-...

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