The number of foreign students at Rajshahi University (RU) has gradually been rising for the last couple of years by dint of various positive reasons.
RU sources said enrollment of foreign students in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses has also been increasing in the country's second-largest university. A total of 14 foreign students got admitted in the university last year: four are from Nepal, some from India, and one from the US, reports BSS.
After long 18 years, an American student got admitted to PhD program in the Department of Folklore this year. Demon Joseph Monticule, a teacher at USA's University of New Mexico, enrolled in the varsity last June. Earlier in the academic session 1999-2000, two American students got admitted to undergraduate course of the department.
RU saw a record number of students from foreign countries in academic session of 2016-17 in its different academic programs, including undergraduate, postgraduate and M. Phil. courses. A total of 29 international students have been admitted under different academic sessions.
Of them, 11 are from Nepal, three from Somalia, one from Jordan and nine others from various countries at the graduate level, which is the highest in a single year in the 63 years of RU's history. Earlier, seven foreign students took admission here during the academic 2015-16 session, all Nepalese.
Nepalese Gilani Ansari, a student of the applied physics and electronics engineering department, mentioned the simple online admission process, quality of education, improved accommodation facilities and friendly atmosphere as the key reasons for the increasing number of international students at the RU.
Another student, Nayeem Mollik of the applied physics and electrical engineering department, said many foreign students prefer Bangladesh as an education destination considering its affordability. "Some departments of RU conform to international standards. More foreign students and researchers can be attracted if the university authorities improve their infrastructure development and ensure a congenial atmosphere," he added.
RU Pro-Vice-chancellor Prof Ananda Kumar Saha said, "Previously, the admission process for the international students was lengthy and complex. But we've made it simpler; that's why a good number of students are here." The RU arranges some seats for foreign students and researchers in undergraduate, M.Phil and PhD programs. Of the seats, 10 are under the Science faculty, five under the Business Studies faculty, five under the Law faculty, and five seats for researchers under the Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS) as well.
The Shaheed Mir Abdul Kayum International Dormitory has been constructed for male students and the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnessa International Dormitory is for female students. Different kinds of foods are served to the students as per their interest. Prof Saha said, "We have taken various steps with regard to their security concerns as they are our guests.
Besides, their ideas about Bangladesh are changing." He said for ensuring comfortable and secured accommodation for the students, they have also renovated the international dormitory. The number of students would increase next year, he hoped.
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