Destination Australia: Students line up for interviews at education expo

Prospect of a foreign degree coupled with employment opportunities major attraction.


Peer Muhammad August 10, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


An increasing number of Pakistani students are applying to higher educational institutions in Australia. According to a visiting educationist, they are attracted by greater employment opportunities and a greater return for their effort.


Beverley Reilly, an official of the University of Canberra, was interviewing students at the “Education Expo” that was held on Thursday. She added that the most popular choices among the students were Business, IT, Engineering, Media, Communication and Law.

At the event, university representatives, who had come all the way from Australia, were present to answer prospective students’ questions about admission requirements.

Previously, demand for postgraduate degrees was high, but the number of students for undergraduate programmes is also rising now. She attributed the surge to quality education and employment opportunities in Australia coupled with an uncertain atmosphere at home. According to rough estimates, around 6,000 students from Pakistan go to Australia for higher studies, she added.

Praising Pakistani students for their focus and adaptability, she said Australia permits students to work 20 hours a week alongside their studies, which is sufficient to meet additional expenses. “Additionally, the government allows graduates to stay for two years after completion of their studies on work permit and students benefit from the employment opportunities in Australia,” she added.

Amna Haq, an MBA, who was interested in getting admission in an Australian university, said “The Pakistani degree is losing its worth with the passage of time and you can only survive in the competitive job market if you’re foreign qualified,” she said. Haq added she would work to gain practical experience, which would give her career a boost.

Chief Executive Officer and Resident Director of Australia Education Office (AEO) Pakistan, Saad Mahmood said, “We organise education expos in multiple cities every year to facilitate students.”

“We represent 35 Australian institutions of higher education and assist students in getting admission and visa,” he added.

Mehmood stated that besides quality education, universities provide better facilities in terms of hostels, entertainment and sports as well as other extra-curricular activities. The moderate weather, he said, was another attraction for international students. The event, held at a local hotel, was organised by AEO Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012. 

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