Over a hundred students from war-torn Afghanistan are studying at the New Delhi-based Jamia Hamdard University. The campus, which has 15 per cent reservation for foreign students, offers various courses in information technology, pharmaceutical sciences, paramedical sciences, social sciences and Islamic studies.
Interestingly, students from SAARC member countries are not treated as foreigners and their fee payment structure is similar to that of an Indian student. Education and health services are the two major attractions for Afghan students coming to India. Jamia Hamdard is doing an excellent job in catering not only to India students, but also to other communities. In the last few years, many foreign students have come to India seeking quality education.
Indian universities are contributing to raising the profile of professionals, especially those from the developing nations. Jamia Hamdard University Vice Chancellor Dr. G. N. Qazi said, "I think one of the major beneficiaries in the last two-three years has been Afghanistan, and we have at least 100 students from Afghanistan at any point in time, and this number is increasing."
Students from Afghanistan prefer to study in India because it is cost-effective and has good infrastructure. The university has started a special management program for Afghan students in BBA and MBA.
He said, "A majority of students from Afghanistan come here to study in the field of information technology. Fortunately, we have a very established information technology department, computer science for undergraduates and post graduates. We also have a very strong pharmacy department. Students from SAARC nations are coming here to seek admission in our university".
Nazibullah Pehman, a student from Kabul who is pursuing his B. Tech from the university, said, "It is a hope of my family, as well as mine, to do a degree outside my country, and India is standardized these days like other countries when it comes to education. That's why we choose India, and that's why I came here for my higher education, or I may go somewhere else for my masters, that's why I am here".
While praising the standard of education in India, Ahmad Fayaz from Kabul, who is pursuing Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), said, "In Afghanistan, we don't have any courses in BCA. Here, we can study BCA at an advanced level, whereas in Afghanistan, there are not enough universities. But if you want to take admission in other universities, there are security problems, and Afghanistan can't take all students. So, we go to other countries, like our neighbours."
A large number of students are studying in various colleges and universities across India, a majority of them get sponsored by the Government of India. Dr. Quazi said, "The trend is now extending to Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, and students have started coming from those countries as well. So, it's a vibrant campus here in South Delhi, and a very green campus, and the facilities are outstanding, teachers are outstanding". Jamia Hamdard University is focusing on SAARC countries and extending support in creating professionals.
Suman Naveli an M.Pharma second year student from Nepal is happy with the advanced learning opportunities in India. "Nepal is a developing country and India has emerged as a developed country and an economic giant. I think that being a neighbour of India, Nepal will take various benefits not only in economic way but in education and research fields as well. It is going to help Nepal in the long run," said Nivali.
She is grateful for the assistance received from India in terms of education opportunities in India. There is a very strong control by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and large number of councils are involved to improve the quality and infrastructure of education in India.