Studies in UK: Special cell to guide aspiring students

British Council aims to address the issue of fake agents, illegal immigration.


Peer Muhammad May 20, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


British Council Pakistan will establish a special cell in its Islamabad office to receive complaints against agents who provide incorrect information to students about study opportunities in the United Kingdom.


“British Council is planning to register a small number of genuine agents and establish a cell to address the complaints about the fake ones, who often misguide students about their career options in the UK,” said Nadia Kamran, who is head of the Education UK in the British Council, Islamabad. She was talking to a group of journalists on Thursday.

Kamran said that the British Council would register a small number of credible agents and encourage them to help Pakistani students.

However, she said that the British Council encourages agents and career councillors who give timely and correct information to the students. Kamran was of the view that the British government welcomes and encourages maximum Pakistani students to be enrolled in the UK institutions. For the purpose, she said, a number of steps have been taken by the council to facilitate genuine applicants.

To a question, she said, the British government has made the visa regimes strict only for those who use the student visa facility as route for immigration. “No restriction is there for the genuine students, who go to the UK for pursuing their studies and return back soon after completion of the courses,” she added.

Briefing the reporters, she said that the British Council is going to take a number of steps for facilitating Pakistan students. These steps include visual conferences, seminars, interaction with universities of the two countries and coordination with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.

The British Council is also coordinating with the HEC for developing curriculum relating to the new technological changes and environment, she said.

Last year, a large number of video conferences between the universities of two countries were arranged, aiming to help students know more about universities in the UK.

“Next year the British Council plans to take some prominent Pakistani industrialists to UK to attend a job fair in the UK universities to attract Pakistan students for returning to Pakistan,” she said. This would help in overcoming the growing trend of brain drain due to the lack of job opportunities in the local market.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2011.

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