PUNE: The enrollment of foreign students at universities across Pune has been steadily declining since 2019, according to data released by the Foreign Registration Office (FRO) to the police commissioner.
While the Covid-19 pandemic is the single most important reason for the fall in registrationsUniversity representatives said that student mobility and also the preference for an online mode of education can be contributors.
In 2019, FRO registered 1,967 foreign students, while there was a sharp decline in 2021 when only 519 foreign students registered. The university expects a revival this year and said that as soon as admissions start from the end of July for the academic year 2022-23, enrollments will pick up.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special branch) R Raja told TOI“The reason for the low enrollment of foreign students at Pune’s educational institutions is surely due to the pandemic. Also poor connectivity as air travel has almost stopped during the few months of the pandemic is another factor. Very few students have any of their countries to Pune to secure admissions. ”
Raja said: “The number of students currently coming to the city of Pune is low, but the admissions process will last until August and September. We expect numbers to increase.”
Symbiosis International University attracts many foreign students every year. The university also experienced a decline in enrollments of foreign students, especially during the pandemic years.
Symbiosis Society CEO Vidya Yeravdekar said, “Covid-19 is the obvious cause of an overall decline in international student mobility worldwide. Thus, all countries are facing a decline in international students. For 2022-’23. “Admissions have just started. We will see an increase. There are many Indian universities that have started online programs, so many foreign students prefer to do so.”
Officials at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) said the university attracted the largest number of foreign students as compared to other Indian universities. Apart from presenting a multicultural and interdisciplinary learning environment, one of the main reasons for studying in Pune was the manageable cost of living and a conducive environment for education. The university has approximately 14,000 students from more than 102 countries studying at the university and its affiliated colleges.
“The cold response over the past two years will definitely be wiped out this year with a revival in admissions of foreign students. The university has already received several inquiries about courses and other related information. Despite the pandemic, enrollment was decent although not the best. because we offered online education to these students, so that they will arrive in Pune in the next two months to complete their courses, ”said Vijay Khare, director of the International Student Center at SPPU.