Indian universities court African students

August 13, 2013

With student demand soaring and local African universities struggling to cope with placements, India has committed to position itself as a leading HE destination for African students.

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According to a newspaper report in The Times of India, Indian higher education providers are actively advertising, appointing recruitment agents and hosting education workshops in East African capital cities in a bid to entice students from the region to study in India.

With competitive tuition fees, a wide variety of programme options and lower admission requirements compared with public and private universities in Africa, the Indian higher education sector is an attractive prospect for African students. In addition, students can often enrol without undertaking a pre-university course first, and many institutions provide assistance with visa applications.

“India offers quality higher education at an affordable cost. The use of English as a medium of instruction, reasonable living costs, the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in the country, similarity of life experience in a developing country and the presence of foreign student communities from various countries, continue to act as an attraction,” said Indian High Commissioner to Kenya, Sibabrata Tripathi. “Distance courses offered by some institutions are also becoming popular in recent years,” he added.

Among those competing for a slice of the African outbound student market are Manipal University, Sharda Univeristy, R.K Degree College, SRM University and Paktar College.

Bachelor degrees in commerce, engineering, information technology, health sciences including nursing and law are being marketed to the African student market.

It is estimated that Kenya has approximately 3,000 students currently studying throughout India, while Tanzania represents a further 1,000, primarily at universities in Delhi. Uganda, meanwhile, has a further 800 students studying mostly in the Hyderabad region. The latter source is engaged in talks with the Indian government to ease fluidity of issuance for visas and temporary work permits for Ugandan students.
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