After receiving not a single registration from foreign students forPhD courses in the previous three years, the University of Pune (UoP) has seen a surge in applications this year.
Thanks to the online application process wherein overseas students don’t have to visit the varsity for the entrance exams, 56 foreign students have shown interest in pursing PhD courses at the UoP.
The prospective students can now appear for the online test scheduled for January 16, and all they need is a laptop equipped with webcam, for which they no longer need to travel all the way to Pune.
Applicants can give the exams from the comfort of their homes. Interestingly candidates from many developed countries like Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and Korea are also in the list of applicants.
After the UoP had initiated an entrance test to shortlist PhD candidates in 2011, the response from international students decreased as for many it is difficult to come to India just for an entrance exam. As a result, in first PhD entrance, only eight foreign students had appeared for the test.
“We have now developed a special software to conduct entrance tests of international students and the first such online test will be held on January 16. All 56 students who have confirmed their registration for the test can appear for the exam from their homes,” said Dr Vijay Khare, director of UoP’s International Students’ Centre (ISC).
Initially, UoP received 150 applications from foreign students, out of which 91 were valid. But, as the January 6 deadline neared only 56 paid the fees and confirmed their registration for the entrance.
The test will start at 10 am and students have to solve the paper in the given time. The test will check their subject knowledge and recent trends in the area for which the students wish to pursue PhD.
“It would be difficult to monitor all students if the response was high. But since we have received limited response, it will be much easier than what we are prepared for,” Khare said.
The highest response for the PhD course has come from Iran wherein 32 students will take the entrance exam, while eight from Iraq, three from Jordan, and one each from Germany, Japan, UK, Brazil, Vietnam, Afghanistan, South, North Korea and Saudi Arabia have applied.
When asked how many international students UoP can accommodate with current strength of guides, Khare said, “According to the rules, each guide can take one foreign student. Presently, including all faculties, we have around 800 guides. So admitting international students that crack the entrance exam would not be a problem.”
The number of applications initially received from foreign students by the UoP