Friday, April 26, 2024

Pakistanis' Insatiable Appetite For Smartphones

Samsung is seeing strong demand for its locally assembled Galaxy S24 smartphones and tablets in Pakistan, according to Bloomberg. The company said it is struggling to meet demand. Pakistan’s mobile phone industry produced 21 million handsets while its smartphone imports surged over 100% in the last fiscal year, according to media reports. The world's 5th most populous country has 192 million mobile phone users and 135 million broadband subscribers, according to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). It is the  world's 7th largest mobile phone market. 

Pakistan Telecom March 2024 Indicators. Source: PTA

Pakistani mobile phone manufacturers claim that almost all major mobile phone brands except iPhone are being assembled in Pakistan. “All mobile brands except iPhone are being manufactured in Pakistan and mobile phone import has been largely replaced with local manufacturing,” Aamir Allawala, vice chairman of the Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturers Association (PMPMA), told Arab News

Strong demand for mobile phones is driven by rapidly increasing number of digital apps being used across various sectors ranging from agriculture to e-commerce, education, finance, health and retail. This is underpinned by digital infrastructure development with thousands of kilometers of fiber optic cables being laid across the country.

Smartphones are boosting the government's Digital Pakistan initiative. It is backed by growing intellectual capital in the IT arena. Over a million students, about a third of total 3 million students (1.4 million women, 1.6 million men) enrolled in Pakistani universities and degree colleges, are currently studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM Education), according to data released by the country's Higher Education Commission (HEC). Of these students, 415,008 are studying natural sciences and mathematics, 276,659 are in information and communication technologies (ICT), 178,260 are in health sciences and 166,457 are in engineering. Pakistan produced 157,102 STEM graduates last year, putting it among the world's top dozen or so countries. About 43,000 of these graduates are in information technology (IT).  

Monday, April 1, 2024

Pakistani Student Enrollment in US Universities Hits All Time High

Pakistani student enrollment in America's institutions of higher learning rose 16% last year, outpacing the record 12% growth in the number of international students hosted by the country. This puts Pakistan among eight sources in the top 20 countries with the largest increases in US enrollment. India saw the biggest increase at 35%, followed by Ghana 32%, Bangladesh and Nepal at 28% each, Pakistan 16%, Colombia 13%, Italy 10% and Spain 5%. 

Top 8 Source Countries of Foreign Students in US. Source: IIE OpenDoors

"During 2022-2023, there were 10,164 Pakistani students, compared to 8,772 in the previous year, indicating an impressive 16% increase," according to IIE Open Doors Report for 2022-23. There has been an overall 33% increase in enrollment of Pakistani students in US colleges and universities. 

Major Destinations of Pakistanis Studying Abroad. Source: UNESCO

The most recent UNESCO data (2021) counts 71,865 Pakistani students abroad in higher education. More recent statistics published by government sources in various receiving countries show that the outbound student mobility from Pakistan was over 103,190 in 2022. There have been large increases in Pakistani students recorded recently in the UK, Australia, US, Canada, and Germany. The UK is now the top destination with over 23,000 Pakistani students, followed by Australia with nearly 16,000 students from Pakistan  in 2021/22, according to the ICEF Monitor

The most recent UNESCO data (2021) puts the total number of Indians studying abroad at 508,174. 

Pakistani Students in America. Source: IIE OpenDoors

Pakistan is ranked as the 16th biggest source of foreign students in America. China remains the top-sending country in 2022/23, with 289,526 students studying in the U.S. (-0.2% year-over-year). India, the second largest sending country, reached an all-time high of 268,923 international students in 2022/23, an increase of 35% year-over-year, according to the report.

Top 20 Sending Countries of International Students in America. Source: Statista

The United States is hosting over one million (1,057,188) international students in the 2022/2023 academic year, a 12% increase compared to the previous academic year. It is the fastest growth rate in more than 40 years. It is partly attributable to the end of the COVID19 pandemic which dramatically diminished international student mobility. 

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