Recently, an International Education Expo took place at a university, where almost 20 international universities showcased their opportunities and presented their officials to deal with the students of Pakistan. This international expo was followed by EURAS training that opened global networks for the students.

Considering the number and the variety of students that stood near the stalls, A questioned popped in my head “Is international education in Pakistan dissolving boundaries?” It was seen that the distance had somewhat dissolved between various countries and in terms of education, even the class stratification was dissolving.

In Pakistan, an international degree has its worth but at the same time unfortunately a very small sector of our society can get benefit from it. There is a certain class who can enjoy the luxury of having an international tag at their resumes and get jobs like they are selling hot cakes in winter. This is a sad dilemma in Pakistan because international degree is credited greatly but not everyone creditable can have access to it. Due to huge financial demands and boarding charges, people with an employee approach cannot think of spending their saving on such a cause. In most of the cases, we see many brilliant students getting admission in international institutes but are not able to pay their fee or arrange accommodation and in the end leave their seats, simply because it seems impossible in the longer run.

Adding on to this, there is an opportunity in the name of scholarship, but this too at times is damaging because most of the students are complaining telling their families that they must work abroad in order to pay the small amount which is not too meagre when converting in our currency. In this regard, most of the students freeze or skip their degree and drop out from international institutes.

The focal point is transparency which is not just the responsibility of international institutes, but it is also the responsibility of the consultancy firms and academies that are supervising international admissions.

In this regard, BREEO international along with many other educational consultancy firms are setting new trends in the field of international education. With the advancement in research in foreign education, the tactics are also advanced, and student centred. Each student has the capacity to see the exact amount of money required for getting a degree in just one visit, with the help of one list that is given to him/her by the firm.

In the past, a lot of organizations have been working solely for those sectors of the society for whom money matters are not a concern and that they can afford in spite of the unusual consequences. But the trends are now certainly changing.

Furthermore, another interesting aspect in dissolving the geographical boundaries is the split degree programs offered at various institutes that is also one great initiative taken by international offices in Pakistan. Split degree programs are basically short course works that students adjust in foreign universities, completing their credit hours abroad. These programs are beneficial in two folds i.e. their duration is short, and the fee structures are affordable and most importantly, students have tags of various international universities in their resumes to showcase.

A decade ago, International Full Bright scholarships was also one excellent initiative taken by the government, but this too had its set back. Considering the cultural and religious perspective of Pakistan, it was not acceptable for the families to send their young ones to the land of unknown. Especially in terms of female education, parents were very reluctant. This boundary has also been dissolved with the formation of young alumni interactions held by the consultancy firms and universities, where the students are able to meet the Pakistani graduates who share their success story. More importantly, these alumni share their links and at times make sure that you have no problem abroad in arranging boarding and jobs.

International education has always been a dream of many parents, and at the same time so many students. With introduction such advance and helpful techniques, the universities and the consultancy firms are introducing a new emerging trend in higher education. These facilities are dissolving boundaries not just geographically but financially as well. Everyone deserves a fair chance for better education; therefore, the government and all the perspective departments must consider this an opportunity for our youth and try to encourage international centres in all the private and public sector institutes so that the students can have access to international education and can gain proper guidelines without being treated badly as a second citizen in a foreign land.

 

The writer is Mphil in English Literature.

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