KARACHI: Taking prestige in producing 25 Nobel laureates, University of Manchester in the United Kingdom comes to Pakistan, every year, with hopes that Pakistan will offer some more.
The university has a team on South Asia, which works in close association with the region’s university and students. The team is led by Liz Green, who is also the country manager for Pakistan. Her role is to reach out to prospective students in Pakistan and help them get accepted at the university.
“Pakistan has been my love ever since I started representing it,” said Green. She has been the country manager for Pakistan since 2006 and since then she has been visiting the country twice every year, except a couple of years when she was unable to do so due to security reasons. “We do not have a quota for international students, we admit students regardless of their backgrounds. All we really do care about is the student, keeping in mind their needs and abilities,” she said.
The university is affiliated with two consulting agencies - Aspire Education Consulting, represented by Azra Raza, and Preparation for Life, represented by Shaiyan Khan and Samia Ikram. These two agencies assist Green on her visits to Pakistan as they help her reach out to the universities and schools for prospective students.
A university alumnus, Tariq Malik, now works as the country director for Pakistan for Into Universities Partnerships, which is a college that offers foundation-year classes for students with 12 years of education as the university requires undergraduates to have 13 years of education.
Checklist for students
“We are looking for fully-rounded, bright young minds that are academically strong,” said Green, adding that Pakistan happens to be the hub of toppers in A’ Levels. “Pakistan has a lot of talent, students just need to reach out and find out what they really want,” she said.
Any student with grades of two ‘As’ and a ‘B’ or two ‘Bs’ and an ‘A’ in their A’ Levels examinations are encouraged to apply in their undergraduate programmes. Students who have completed their Intermediate will be required to do a foundation year with the university’s partner, Into Universities Partnerships. Personal statement plays a huge part in determining the student’s acceptance in the university. For humanities, they expect a score of between 6.5 and seven in IELTs, while for science the expected score is between six and 6.5. Their website offers more details.
A helping hand
“It’s quite problematic for young students to decide what they really want,” Green pointed out. “Students should do their research and take advice from a reputable consultancy.” All other agencies that claim they represent their university are misleading, she added, explaining that they are only affiliated with Preparation for Life and Aspire since 2007.
“With 6,000 agents in Pakistan, students usually do not know where to seek guidance from,” said Malik. “It’s better to just go to a trustworthy and an affiliated agency such as these two.”
Aspire Education Consulting’s Raza explained that they consult every student based on their individual needs. “Trends are changing and students are more aware of their capacity and needs.”
Preparation for Life has also expanded to more countries. “We help students reach there while our priority is to help students all the way from their applications to the start of their career,” said Khan.
The alma mater: Uni of Manchester ranks third in UK
The University of Manchester is a research-led university and its research is academically ranked third in the UK. It follows Oxford and Cambridge universities.
There are 100,000 students in the vibrant city of Manchester, 40,000 of them study at the University of Manchester, where two-thirds of the students are undergraduates, while one-thirds are graduate students.
The university offers a wide range of subject areas at undergraduate, Master’s and PhD levels.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2014.
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