Education council asks varsities for details on foreign students

Wants to keep tabs on overstaying scholars

The Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) has asked all public and private universities in the State to compile a database of their foreign students, stating that it wants to get a clearer picture on the number of such students.

“We have an overall picture of foreign students in Karnataka, but we do not have the specifics. For example, we know that there are around 13,000 foreign students in the State, but we do not know where and what are they studying,” said N Ramesh Kumar, advisor, Overseas Centre for Foreign Students, KSHEC.

The database will have such details as name, nationality and visa status of each student. Details on the visa status will be crucial to weed out students who may be overstaying without proper documents or permission. All state-run, private as well as deemed institutions have been asked to provide the data.

13,000 foreign students
Out of the 13,000 foreign students in Karnataka, around 8,000 are studying in universities while the rest have enrolled in short-term courses in private colleges.

“There may be cases where a student has been admitted into a four-year course but their visa is only for three years. I once encountered a case where a foreign student had enrolled into MBBS course but wanted to move to another programme as he found it difficult to study,” Ramesh said. “This is not permissible.” The council has also asked the universities to set up foreign students sections to cater to their needs such as admission, marks, etc.

Acknowledging that no specific data on foreign students was maintained at Vijayanagara Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Ballari, its vice- chancellor, M S Subhas, said that every institution needed to be sensitive about such issues.

“But such measures should not make foreign students feel isolated. Nothing should be done to make them feel like outsiders. At the same time a proper data should be maintained, only for the sake of education,” he said.
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