KARACHI: As many as 14 universities from Australia opened their doors for Pakistani students for Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy programmes at the Pakistan-Australian Education Expo 2015 on Saturday.
Every year more than 400 students fly to Australia from Pakistan through Australian Education Office (AEO) Pakistan for higher education. “Today we are expecting more than 250 students to avail the walk-in opportunity to fulfil their dreams of studying abroad,” said AEO Pakistan chief executive officer and resident director Saad Mehmood.
The expo was arranged to guide students and motivate them to go abroad for higher studies. “We are here to help students in every way from the procedure of visa application to courses and accommodation details,” said Mehmood.
According to him, the percentage of students applying every year has increased during the last couple of years but only 20 per cent of females opt for studying for their Masters abroad. “We hope to see the number of female students rise as they are more competent, intelligent and promising,” he said.
The expo was open for everyone. Applicants were required to fill the ‘student assessment form’ at the entrance, providing their basic educational and personal details. The form helps the volunteers guide students about the desk he should move to in order to meet consultants for guidance or any other assistance. If the desk finds the applicant eligible and compassionate, they will provide her/him with two other forms to fill. One of these is a curriculum vitae and the other is a list of documents required for further processing of the application.
Muneeb Ahmed Warsi, a 23-year-old NED University graduate, came to the expo with the dream of studying in Australia or Germany. “AEO Pakistan is doing a great job as they are giving us so many options under one roof,” said Warsi, who is looking for a university that offers a Master’s degree in telecommunication engineering.
Shahzeb Anwar, another NED student, said he wished to see more education expo shows in Pakistan from different countries. “A majority of my seniors went abroad for their Master’s and returned to serve Pakistan,” said the 22-year-old telecommunication engineer. “I also want to come back and earn a good living.”
Dr Chris Daly of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) shared his experience with The Express Tribune of working with international students. “I am working with international students since 1995 and have seen the numbers of students increasing tremendously every year,” he said. “Twenty-five per cent of the total enrolment in UNSW is that of international students.”
Latrobe University marketing and admissions director Neil Fitzroy was of the view that Pakistani students are strong and capable. “This is why we are interested in getting a larger number of them at our campus,” he said, adding that he has been working with Pakistani students for more than ten years. Counting on his experience, he appreciated that how, despite cultural and religious differences, Pakistan has always given them the best students.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2rd, 2015.