Hyderabad: With the number of foreign students dwindling over the years, Osmania University administration is going all out to increase their number from the next academic year.
The 100-year-old university has decided to promote itself on the social media platform through a video featuring the history, courses on offer, facilities, infrastructure and best teaching faculty so as to attract international students to take admission. The job of making the video has been entrusted to the Department of Communication and Journalism.
Apart from the branding, the university administration would be offering flexible courses with a variety of papers to choose from at the under-graduate level for foreign students from the academic year 2019-20. These courses would be imparting job-oriented skills which would help them find jobs back home on successful completion.
“The University Foreign Relations Office (UFRO) is making a video depicting history of the univeristy, facilities and courses offered, among others. This will be hosted on a social media platform and also on the university website. Flexibility of choosing papers in that particular course will be more and they will be more job oriented,” Prof J L N Rao, Director, UFRO, told Telangana Today.
During the academic year 2017-18, as many as 900 students from various countries particularly Somalia took admissions in the university, constituent and affiliate colleges. This number came down to 500 in 2018-19 as a large number of students, particularly from Somalia, were denied visa for their poor communication skills by the Indian Embassy. Presently about 2,900 international students were pursuing their education in OU.
“Every year, we see 900 students, alone from Somalia, getting admission into the university. The Indian Embassy has tightened the rules. As most of them do not know English, they were denied visas after an interview,” a senior official said. With most international students facing issues related to food, the administration had gone all out and employed a cook in the hostel for international students who could prepare cuisines of their preference.
This apart, the university intends to provide online facility for foreign students to pay their fee through the website starting this year. Presently, international students were required to pay fee upon coming to the university. “The university has signed a memorandum of understanding with State Bank of India. There are some technical issues regarding the launch of online fee payment. In future, there are plans to give admission cards online,” a senior official said.
The university has opened its doors for international students for 2019-20. For undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the last date to apply online is May 31 whereas for MBA and MCA courses it is June 30. For admission into diploma courses in English for foreign students, the last date is April 30. The admission dates for bachelors in engineering, pharmacy and masters in engineering and pharmacy will be announced soon.