By Mahua Venkatesh
New Delhi, Jan 29 : New Delhis prestigious St Stephens college has invited applications from Bangladeshi students to join the three-year bachelors programme taught at the premium education institution. The move is part of Indias efforts to cement its ties with Bangladesh as it marks 50 years of independence of the south Asian country.
The Indian High Commission in Bangladesh, put out a tweet too asking Bangladeshi students wishing to study at St Stephen’s to send in their applications to the ministry of education in Dhaka.
However, an insider said that Bangladeshi students will be given “some sort of priority” even in other colleges, including medicine, engineering and business administration in case they apply.
In 2018-19, India had over 47,000 foreign students from 164 countries. Over 1,500 students hailed from the US, reports said.
After Nepal and Afghanistan, Bangladesh stood third in terms of number of students studying in India.
“As a close neighbour, it is a very positive opportunity for Bangladesh to grab for its students. Because Bangladeshi students are now more active than any previous history in higher education. Bangladeshi students are now going abroad very frequently for educational purposes… And Indian education is a lucrative option for them to get,” the Diplomatist, a monthly magazine focusing on international relations and foreign affairs said.
The Narendra Modi government is also expected to carve out more measures that would showcase India as an education hub. The government’s ‘Study in India’ programme, approved in 2018, aims at boosting India’s image as a soft power. Promoting the Study in India programme will also serve as “a powerful tool for diplomacy” especially with countries in the south-east Asian, Middle East and African region.
“After Make In India and Vocal for Local programmes, the thrust could now shift to Study in India,” an insider said.
While traditionally India remained the preferred destination among foreign students from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and even Sri Lanka to pursue higher education, China has turned out to be a huge competition in the last few years.
The number of foreign students opting to study in China has been steadily rising while the same had plateaued in India, Brookings India noted. However, two analysts said that India could regain momentum in attracting larger number of foreign students in the coming years as the geopolitical situation has changed considerably.
Under the recently approved National Education Policy (NEP), India has also thrown open its doors to foreign universities. “This is also one way to attract a larger number of foreign students,” the educator said.
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Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.