Chinese universities becoming major attraction for Pakistani students

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/2/7 13:56:48

Rubab Batool, a student from an underdeveloped village of Nawab Shah district in Pakistan's southern Sindh Province, recently left for China to pursue a master's degree of management sciences.

Talking to Xinhua upon her departure, Batool said that she chose China for higher studies because the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened up a huge demand for Pakistani graduates from Chinese universities.

Batool is only one of 22,000 Pakistani students who have chosen China for their higher education. In 2017 alone, about 2,500 new students were enrolled in China to pursue their degrees in various fields, according to a recent statistics released by the Pakistani embassy in China.

Muhammad Shaheen, Batool's father said that he belongs to a conservative family and many of his relatives stopped him from sending his daughter to a foreign country for education, but he has faith in Batool and the Chinese education system.

"I am sure she will achieve her dreams by acquiring quality education from China," Shaheen said.

Last month, the first batch of Pakistani students who were enrolled in a two-year program of Chinese language learning program at Beijing Language and Culture University returned home after successfully completing their course.

The students, who left for China in 2016, said that they not only learnt the Chinese language but also got a clearer idea of the Chinese culture and the people.

An official with the country's Higher Education Commission said that they provide merit-based doctorate scholarships annually to brilliant students to five top-rated Chinese universities.

"The students showed great interest in studying in China as Chinese universities are among the best universities of the world so students from different faculties including science and technology and arts chose China for pursuing their degrees," the official said.

According to latest statistics of Pakistani embassy in Beijing, currently, 2,700 Pakistani students are pursuing masters and doctorate degrees in top Chinese universities on fully funded scholarships sponsored by the Chinese Government.

Kalsoom Sumra, a doctorate degree holder in policy sciences from Peking University, is working as an associate professor in Pakistan's top-ranked university Comsats University of Information Technology in Islamabad.

Sumra told Xinhua that as a Pakistani, it was a good experience for her to know the culture of China and the deep ties of Pakistan with China.

She said that China is becoming a destination for students from Pakistan and other Asian countries as the country is competing with higher education in developed countries and Chinese higher education institutes have introduced advanced teaching resources.

Usman Ali, a 28-year-old Pakistani who got a Bachelors degree in medical sciences from China, is now serving at a well reputed government hospital in Pakistan. He said Chinese universities provide medical studies to Pakistani students at affordable rates.

In Pakistan, private medical colleges charge 0.6 to 1 million rupees (about 6,000 to 10,000 US dollars) from a student a year, whereas Chinese universities provide much better education at a cost as low as 3,000 dollars a year.

"I have had a great learning experience from my practical work in Chinese hospitals. Pakistan has a long way to go to get to the level of China in health sector and I hope that I and other graduates from China will use our experience to improve the situation of medical health care in Pakistan."

Most of the students who are studying in China say that the attitude of Chinese people towards them is very friendly and affectionate. Naima Sadiq, a Pakistani student in Beijing, said that she feels like at home in China as people give the Pakistani students love and respect when they tell them they are from Pakistan.

Her father told her that China is the best friend of Pakistan when she was a small kid, and now when she is living and studying in China, she herself believes that the friendship is "higher than Himalayas and deeper than oceans," said Sadiq.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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