Pakistan, the world's sixth most populous nation, ranked 18th in the number of students studying in the United States. Pakistani students enrolled in the US fell by 5.8% to 7,475 in 2020-21, significantly less than the 15% drop in international student enrollment. However, number of Pakistanis studying in the US in 2020-21 was even less than students from much smaller nations like Nepal which ranked 12th. Overall, COVID19 travel restrictions brought down the total number of foreign students enrolled in American educational institutions dropped to less than one million in 2020-21, the lowest figure since 2015-16.
|Pakistani Students in the US. Source: OpenDoors|
China maintained its top position among the leading places of origin for international students, with 35% of all international students in the 2020-21 school year hailing from the country, according to the data released by the United States government. The second most common place of origin was India (18%), followed by South Korea (4%) and Canada (3%). Some of these countries also experienced the largest year-over-year declines in the number of students who enrolled at US institutions. The largest such percentage decreases occurred in South Korea (-21%), China (-15%) and India (-13%).
|Foreign Students Studying in US. Source: OpenDoors|
The number of students in China, the top destination for Pakistani students, was also heavily impacted by COVID travel bans. Some 28,000 Pakistani students are affected by China’s tough border closures and are studying from home. Studying in China has only been possible for South Korean students who were granted an exemption in July 2020, according to reports.
|Pakistani Students in the US. Source: OpenDoors|
During his recent visit to Beijing, Prime Minister Imran Khan brought up the issues faced by Pakistani students in resuming education in China. A joint statement issued by Chinese and Pakistani sides mentioned it thus: "Pakistan side highlighted that China has become a popular education destination. While ensuring safety against COVID-19, China will arrange for Pakistani students to return to China and resume classes in a prudent manner".
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Pakistan students complain about German visa delays
Haroon Janjua Islamabad
Pakistani students, who have been admitted to German universities, are worried that they might lose their admissions due to long waiting times for student visa appointments at German missions in the country.
When Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto visited Germany earlier this month, he said the visa issue is a big concern and that Islamabad hopes to "continue to be able to engage and make that process more easier."
His German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, at the joint press conference on October 7, said that the issue is high on her ministry's agenda and promised to address the problem.
For Farooq Rasheed, getting admitted to the University of Bonn's Geodetic Engineering program this year was one of the best things that happened in his life. He was supposed to begin his studies in the western German city last week but he's still stuck in Pakistan waiting for a visa.
The 23-year-old student from Lahore city said that he had applied for a visa in July but has yet to receive it.
"My classes started last week but the university has given me exemption, and I am attending online classes for the next two-three months," Rasheed told DW, adding that he has no idea when he will receive the student visa.
It's not an isolated case. Many other students have complained of long waiting times for visa appointments at German missions in the South Asian country.
Fatima Saleem, 23, is enrolled for a masters program in entrepreneurship management and marketing at the Otto Von Guericke University in Magdeburg. She said she has been waiting for a visa appointment since May.
"I didn't know I would have to miss my first semester due to the delay in appointments from the German Embassy, as the website stated that the waiting time is 2-3 months," she told DW.
"My classes started on October 10. I hope to get my visa soon. My university has allowed me to join later, before exams. But since there are no online classes, I am facing many issues and have to study all by myself," she noted.
Students fear losing admission
Students say they risk losing their admissions if the German missions in the country fail to make an appointment for them on time.
"I am afraid, if I won't make it before exams I might lose my whole academic year, which would have a devastating effect on my future. I request the German Embassy to kindly expedite the process now and make us a priority so that we can reach there at least before exams," said Saleem.
Students who apply for a visa appointment at the German Embassy in Islamabad are receiving an auto generated message, pointing to the long waiting times.
"Given the high demand for appointments, please note that you have to wait approximately up to more than twelve (12) months for the allocation of your appointment," it reads.
The embassy hasn't so far responded to DW's repeated requests for comment as to why students are facing such long delays in getting visa appointments.
What could be the reasons behind the long waiting times?
Rasheed believes the long waiting times are due to the fact that anyone with a passport can apply for a visa appointment and they don't actually need an offer letter from a German university to do so.
This means that people book appointments long before they have even applied for university, resulting in their taking up appointment slots that would otherwise go to deserving visa applicants who actually have offer letters.
"This creates a backlog and many serious candidates get left behind," he said, adding: "The embassy should ask the candidates to provide at least an admission letter at the time of applying for appointments so that only serious candidates who have all the documentation can be considered for visa interviews."
UK emerges as top destination for Pakistani students seeking master’s degrees
Pakistani students receive access to millions of pounds worth of scholarships and bursaries in the UK
Due to its rich educational history and culture that fosters a global perspective, the UK has become one of the most sought-after destinations for Pakistani students looking to acquire higher education. As of June 2022, the number of student visas issued for Pakistani students has surged to 28,188, marking a significant 95pc increase from the previous year.
A major contributing factor to this trend is the UK’s Graduate Route (GR) programme, which was launched in 2021. This programme allows Pakistani students to kick-start their careers immediately after completing their course, with a two-year upper limit to find employment. Doctoral graduates (PhD) are given an additional year, providing them with a competitive edge in the job market.
Moreover, the UK’s master’s degree programme is another key factor attracting Pakistani students. The programme offers extensive transformational instruction in just 12 months, comprising a combination of classes, projects, studies, and papers. Compared to other countries where the postgraduate programme lasts two years, students in the UK can start working almost a year earlier, giving them a competitive advantage while also being more cost-effective.
As a global hub for education, the UK boasts four universities in the top 10 list of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2023. Graduates from the UK have access to the best-in-class industry professionals, research facilities, and infrastructure to acquire practical skills, making them highly employable. According to QS Graduate Employability Rankings, UK graduates are the most employable globally. Additionally, according to a Universities UK International (UUKI) report, 83pc of international graduates stated that their UK degree helped them secure a job.
For Pakistani students who cannot afford tuition fees, numerous scholarships and bursaries worth millions of pounds are available, including the Commonwealth Scholarships, Chevening Scholarships, and others. The British Council also provides exceptional scholarships to young, brilliant Pakistanis, such as the British Council Women in STEM Scholarships and GREAT Scholarships, opening up even more opportunities for them.
A UK education prepares young students to become the leaders of tomorrow, researchers who address global challenges, entrepreneurs, and policy leaders of the future. For Pakistani students considering postgraduate education abroad, the UK offers innumerable benefits for their future professional careers.
According to the latest data available from the Chinese Ministry of Education, as of 2020, there were 28,023 Pakistani students studying in China. This represents a significant increase from previous years, as the number of Pakistani students in China has been steadily growing over the last decade. Pakistan is among the top countries sending international students to China, and the two countries have been strengthening their educational ties in recent years through various initiatives and exchange programs.
According to the latest data available from the German Federal Statistical Office, as of 2020, there were 25,609 Pakistani students enrolled in German universities. This represents a significant increase from previous years, as the number of Pakistani students in Germany has been steadily growing over the last decade. Pakistani students are one of the largest groups of international students in Germany, and the country is a popular destination for Pakistani students seeking higher education opportunities abroad.
According to the latest data available from the Department of Home Affairs, as of June 2021, there were 23,207 Pakistani students enrolled in Australian education institutions. This represents a significant increase from previous years, as the number of Pakistani students in Australia has been steadily growing over the last decade.
According to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), as of the academic year 2020/2021, there were 21,045 Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutions in the UK. This represents a decline from the previous year, which saw 22,385 Pakistani students enrolled in UK universities. However, Pakistani students remain one of the largest non-EU groups of international students in the UK.
According to the Open Doors Report 2021, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), during the 2020/2021 academic year, there were 10,606 Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States. This represents a decline from the previous year, which saw 11,916 Pakistani students enrolled in US universities. However, Pakistani students remain an important part of the international student community in the United States.
According to the latest data available from Campus France, as of the academic year 2019/2020, there were 2,903 Pakistani students enrolled in French universities and other higher education institutions. This represents an increase from the previous year, which saw 2,582 Pakistani students enrolled in French institutions. Pakistani students make up a relatively small proportion of the international student community in France, but there has been a steady increase in their numbers in recent years.
According to the latest data available from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), as of May 2021, there were 2,096 Pakistani students enrolled in Japanese universities and other higher education institutions. This represents a slight increase from the previous year, which saw 2,057 Pakistani students enrolled in Japanese institutions. Pakistani students make up a relatively small proportion of the international student community in Japan, but the country has been making efforts to attract more international students, including from Pakistan.
Norway: As of 2020, there were 496 Pakistani students enrolled in Norwegian universities, according to the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education.
Sweden: As of 2020, there were 1,433 Pakistani students enrolled in Swedish universities, according to the Swedish Council for Higher Education.
Denmark: As of 2020, there were 152 Pakistani students enrolled in Danish universities, according to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
Overall, the number of Pakistani students in Scandinavia is relatively small compared to other regions, but there has been a steady increase in recent years.
Open AI ChatGPT answers:
According to the latest available data from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, as of 2021, there were approximately 50,000 Pakistani students enrolled in various universities and institutions in Saudi Arabia. This number includes students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs as well as those enrolled in technical and vocational education and training programs. It is worth noting that this number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant authorities or organizations in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Education of Iran, as of 2021, there were approximately 12,000 Pakistani students studying in Iranian universities. This number includes students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs, as well as those enrolled in short-term language courses and other training programs. However, it is worth noting that this number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant authorities or organizations in Pakistan or Iran.
I'm sorry, but I do not have access to real-time information on the exact number of Pakistani students currently studying in Egypt. However, according to the Embassy of Pakistan in Cairo, as of 2021, there were approximately 6,000 Pakistani students enrolled in various Egyptian universities. This number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant authorities or organizations in Pakistan or Egypt.
I'm sorry, but I do not have access to real-time information on the exact number of Pakistani students currently studying in Turkey. However, according to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, as of 2020, there were around 4,200 Pakistani students studying in various universities across Turkey. This number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant authorities or organizations in Pakistan or Turkey.
I'm sorry, but I do not have access to real-time information on the exact number of Pakistani students currently studying in Iraq. However, according to the Embassy of Pakistan in Baghdad, as of 2020, there were around 2,000 Pakistani students enrolled in various Iraqi universities. This number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant authorities or organizations in Pakistan or Iraq.
I do not have access to real-time information on the exact number of Pakistani students currently studying in Poland. However, according to the data of the Polish Embassy in Islamabad, as of 2021, there were approximately 1,000 Pakistani students studying in Poland. It is worth noting that this number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant authorities or organizations in Pakistan or Poland.
I'm sorry, but I do not have access to real-time information on the exact number of Pakistani students currently studying in South Africa. However, according to the High Commission of Pakistan in Pretoria, as of 2020, there were approximately 1,200 Pakistani students studying in various universities across South Africa. This number may have changed since then, and for the most up-to-date information, it would be best to contact the relevant auth
UNESCO stats on Pakistani students abroad
United Arab Emirates 24,863
United Kingdom 7,802
United States 7,511
Saudi Arabia 1,635
Korea, Rep. 1,465
Iran, Islamic Rep. 377
New Zealand 274
China, Hong Kong 272
South Africa 138
Russian Federation 115
Brunei Darussalam 19
Viet Nam 5
15,000 Pakistani Students are Currently Studying in Australia
The envoy shared the willingness to boost the ties further in areas of trade and investment. He apprised the minister that 100,000 strong Pakistan diaspora and 15,000 Pakistani students in Australia are playing an important role in bringing the two countries closer.
23,450 student visas issued in 2022 for Pakistanis to study in the UK, representing 377% increase over 2019.
The UK approved a record-breaking number of UK student visas on record in its time series. Out of 486,868 sponsored study visas granted (to both main applicants and their dependants), 117,965 went to Indian nationals. This is an increase of 80,569 (+215%) compared to 2019, and slightly more than the 115,056 granted to Chinese nationals — but Pakistani nationals saw a bigger increase in approvals for their UK student visas at 377% compared to India’s 215%.
Following India, Chinese nationals received 115,056 approved UK student visas, 4% lower than the number seen in 2019 (119,825). Almost half of all UK student visas (48%) went to Chinese and Indian nationals.
Nigerian nationals make up the third largest nationality group in the latest year, with a record high of 65,929 approved UK student visas. This is a 686% jump from 2019, marking the largest relative increase in Sponsored Study grants among all nationality groups.
Indian students now see the UK as more appealing after it reintroduced opportunities to remain in the country to work after graduation.
Data from Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is showing an uptick in the number of Indian international students enrolled in British universities in 2020-21.
First-year Indian international students have increased by 27%, from 41,815 in 2019-20 to 53,015 in 2020-21, representing 19% of all non-EU enrolments. While China still leads in terms of student enrolments, their numbers have decreased over the 2020-21 period.
Speaking to Times of India, Indian National Student Association UK president Amit Tiwari said: “Indian students also appreciate the fact that they get a chance to apply experience to their studies due to the post-study work visa. We can only see the trend increasing of Indian students coming to the UK.”
Sanam Arora, founder and chairperson of National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK, said India is the most natural partner for the UK when it comes to education. She added that it is in India’s interest if the UK increased their intake with a compelling offer.
“Post-study work rights are critical to that offer, and the results of that are already being seen in the doubling of numbers from India and I do think this increase will continue. I am excited to see what comes out of the FTA negotiations,” Arora was quoted saying.
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