KARACHI: At least 500 students aspiring to study abroad attended the open day session of the London Metropolitan University at Marriott hotel on Wednesday.
The university held on-thespot interviews and conducted briefings on visa applications and other procedures. The open day was organised by the international regional head office of the university in Lahore and was attended by parents and agents as well. Mark Bickerton, the director of student recruitment and international development London, addressed the audience while regional director Faisal Hasan and manager operations Seema Khan were also present.
Bickerton explained that the university is a merger between two universities, London North University and London Guildhall University, which took place in 2002. “We offer high quality education on campus and try to have international students to create a multi-cultural environment,” he said. He appreciated the talent of Pakistani students and said that some of them had achieved really good results. Bickerton hoped that Pakistani graduates from his university will help improve human resource standards in the country. The university has 14 departments with a total of 36,000 students and they have so far enrolled 6,000 international students from 160 countries.
According to the university’s database, almost 200 students from Pakistan attend the London Metropolitan University every year and among them 60 per cent are from Karachi. University officials said that they receive around 2,000 applications from Pakistan every year out of which 600 are offered admissions by the regional directorate of the university. “The offer is initially conditional and when the conditions are met then it automatically becomes a regular offer,” said the operations manager.
Khan said that they guide the students throughout the visa process and inform them about life in the UK. “One-third of those who get admissions make it to the UK,” she added. The office bearers in Lahore make frequent visits to Karachi, Islamabad and other cities for interviews and for visa briefings to facilitate the students. Most Pakistani students opt for programmes on business studies, according to the university administration. “Some of them are also opting for computing, food sciences and international human resource management,” Khan explained. A 21-year-old aspiring student, Hina Kamal, told The Express Tribune that she was interested in a postgraduate course in information technology. “I have completed my bachelors degree from Karachi University and now I want to go to the UK for higher education,” she said.
“One of my cousins went to the same university and has advised me to take admission here.” London Metropolitan University, located in Central London, has 245 undergraduate courses and 160 post graduate courses. The fee for the undergraduate programme is 9,600 pounds per year while that for the post graduate programme varies from 9,900 to 12, 100 pounds. The university has started a scholarship of 1,000 pounds to all its students from this academic year.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 27th, 2010.