Strict UK visa regime threatens Pakistani students
Strict UK visa regime threatens Pakistani, international students
London, April 03: In a complete overhaul of the student immigration system, Britain has
introduced stringent rules to outlaw bogus colleges and only support accredited
The new measures, under the Tier 4, aimed at
students from the non-EU countries, are bound to affect thousands of Pakistani
students for whom Britain remains the most favoured country for higher
education. Of the 1.6 million full-time undergraduates currently studying in the
UK, around 99,000 are classified as international students.
Britain saw a
sharp rise in number of Pakistani - and Muslim - student applicants after the
9/11 attacks on the US and the following crackdown on the Pakistani and Muslims
students. According to the UK Home Office figures of August 2008, there were
36,200 students enrolled in the UK colleges and universities from the Indian
subcontinent - 10,600 from Pakistan, 22,100 from India and 3,490 from
The international students in Britain last year paid tuition
fees worth £2.5 billion. The British government claims that the new student visa
regime will make the visa process simpler, more objective and more transparent,
while preventing abuse of the immigration system.
According to new rules,
all the British schools and colleges taking in international students from
outside the European region will need to be registered with the UK Border Agency
(UKBA). Hundreds of colleges, many of them owned by the Pakistanis, have been
shut down in the recent crackdowns.
There will be five visa types for
students, including child student, child visitor, adult student, student
visitor, and prospective student. Announcing the new Tier-4 rules, Home Office
Minister Phil Woolas said fake colleges set up to help illegal foreign workers
get into Britain were the biggest "loophole" in the immigration system.
"I believe that the new system will benefit major institutions, colleges
and private universities, but the backstreet bogus college is being exposed." A
greater responsibility rests with the colleges to ensure that students meet all
the requirements before applying for the visa. This means students will have to
attain 40 points: 30 points for showing an unconditional offer of a recognised
study place; and 10 points for showing that a student has approximately £10,000
in his account for tuition fees and maintenance.
The new visa regime has
met opposition from a leading supplier of international students in the UK.
Study Group Managing Director James Pitman said that the new rules had
put a burden on the institutions for these institutions were being treated as
education providers as well as immigration administrators. "The institutions
will now have to act as sponsors of students wishing to study in the UK and will
have a requirement to report non-enrolment and prolonged absenteeism. We
understand that the visa extension process will become more complex as well and
such changes will certainly add to workload and administration costs. The time
to fill in an application and go through it with a student will also increase
"When this is taken in the context of the new requirement
for biometric visas, an increase in visa fees from £99 to £145, and the recent
introduction of ID cards for international students, it is clear that the
international education industry faces significant changes. This is a sector
that is worth £13 billion to the UK economy and we need to make sure that (the)
industry works closely with (the UK) government to ensure that these changes are
Seminars on UK visa rules for students
Islamabad: The Falcon Education & Consultancy Services (private)
Limited (FECS) will hold seminars in various cities of the country with an aim
to provide effective and updated information to the local students seeking
admission in prestigious universities in the United Kingdom (UK).
seminars addressing the recently launched new UK visa rules, known as Points
Based System (PBS), will be held in four major cities - Karachi (April 7),
Lahore (April 8), Islamabad (April 9) and Peshawar (April 10).
seminars will help all Pakistani students in preparing their visa files and
documentation without the help of immigration agents and education consultants,
who often fleece the students by charging them with heavy fees for the
preparation and submission of student visas.
The newly launched PBS
replaces the old system and has been designed to facilitate genuine and bona
fide students through simple and clear rules. The UK Boarder Agency encourages
students not to use agents-consultants and follow the rules specified and
available on the websites of UK Boarder Agency and the British High Commission.
The seminars will also look into ways and means of getting various kinds
of scholarships available in the UK for those students who are stuck due to
funding problems from the HEC.
The FECS provides services in various
areas including the choice of prestigious universities, career counselling,
swift admission services, fast track visa processing, pre-departure orientation,
post arrival guidance, institutional collaboration and customised
FECS CEO Syed Abidi, in his message, said that studying abroad
is a very important and expensive decision, and one wrong advice might lead the
students to end up in a wrong course at a wrong university. "It's essential for
students to choose their academic service provider with a proven track record,"
He said the FECS has been working with an aim to help and
assist students in finding their goals through study opportunities around the
globe and promote educational institutions through cost effective marketing
Established in 1993, the FECS has, so far, placed more than 4,500
students throughout the world, not only from Pakistan but also from Bangladesh
and Oman. It has a team of fully trained, professional and friendly staff at all
its offices, ready to provide any information regarding the study opportunities
abroad. "Our visa success rate throughout our operations has remained above 90
per cent, which clearly reflects the quality of our applications and our
intention to only accept and process genuine students," Syed Abidi
"In order to achieve our aims, we operate a full-time education
counselling service. Our primary goal is to ensure that students, who are
planning to study abroad, are given professional advice and information on the
various requirements and procedures in a systematic manner and processing their
applications for admission," he said.
The students wishing to
participate in the seminar should contact on the cell number 0300-8443272 or
visit the website falconec@b rain.net.pk. Entry is free but only on prior
appointment. The News
Kundi for more Pak-UK cooperation in edu sector
Islamabad: It is obligatory upon West, especially UK and USA to work for
winning hearts and minds of people of Pakistan by giving them sufficient aid to
promote their health and education.
These views were expressed by the Faisal
Kareem Kundi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly on Thursday while speaking at
conference on "Pak-UK Relations: Challenges and Opportunities".
The event was
organised by the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) in
collaboration with Deen International a British based non-profit, civil society
Faisal Kareem Kundi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly was chief
guest while Abdul Rasheed JP, Lord Mayor of Birmingham UK and Chancellor
Birmingham City University, UK, Dr. Khursheed Ahmad CBE, Member board of
Governors, Aston university UK and Chairman 'Deen International', Dr Anwar
Siddiqui, President IIUI were also spoke at the occasion.
A large number of
students from various faculties of IIUI and other educational institutions were
present at the occasion.
While speaking on the occasion Faisal Kareem Kundi,
Deputy Speaker National Assembly said that more Pakistani students should be
given admissions to UK and USA universities so that they may be able to bridge
gap between Pakistan and West.
In his address Dr Anwar Siddiqui, President
IIUI said that the university is working for creation of harmony among
Pakistanis and the Western world by promoting culture of understanding and
He further continued that the Islamic University is open for all and everyone is
welcomed at its campuses. He quoted visits of Former British PM, Tony Blair,
British Foreign secretary David Miliband, renowned scholar Karen Armstrong and
others to the university.
While speaking on the occasion Lord Mayor of
Birmingham and Abdul Rasheed condemned all sorts of terrorism and said that only
by creating a culture of dialogue among civilizations we can make this planet a
place to live.
APP adds: It is also a matter of pride that two percent
Pakistanis live in Britian while the number of Pakistani doctors in Britian
hospitals is seven percent.
Showing concern over the situation in FATA and
NWFP, the Deputy Speaker stressed the need to provide quality higher education
to the people of the areas for the promotion of peaceful
Muhammad Muneer, Representative IIUI gave presentation on
'Suicide Attacks: Martyrdom Operation or Acts of Terrorism.' About suicide
attacks , he elaborated that the killing of innocent children and women is
prohibited in Islamic law. Similarly on the name of Jihad, destruction of
civilian objects and property is also forbidden.
Dr. Khursheed Ahmad,
Chairman Deen International UK highlighted the aspects of campaign "I am
Britain; I am Muslim" initiated by the institute to further strengthen
Pak-Britain relationship and highlight the achievements of Britain-based
Pakistanis working in different fields.
The campaign also aimed at removing
misconceptions between both the countries and enhancing people to people
Dr. Khursheed also appreciated the efforts of IIUI in maintaining
standard of education.
Chaudhry Abdul Rashid, Lord Mayor of Birmingham UK
also called to strengthen bilateral ties between both the countries. President
IIUI, Dr Anwaar Siddiqui also expressed his views on the occasion. The Nation
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Undergraduate convocation of MCS held
Rawalpindi: The 17th undergraduate convocation ceremony of the Military
College of Signals (MCS) was held Thursday, says an ISPR press release.
Federal Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar was chief guest on
the occasion. Degrees in BSc Telecommunication Engineering and Computer Software
Engineering were awarded to the officers of Corps of Signals, Technical Cadets
and Cadets of NUST who successfully completed the course. A total of 110
students were conferred degrees.
President's gold medals were received
by NUST cadet Syed Raza Mohsin and NUST cadet Sara Rehmat. Chief of Army Staff
Gold Medals were clinched by Technical Cadet Nauman Rauf and Captain Azhar
Javed. Rector's gold medals were awarded to NUST cadet Amna Saeed and NUST cadet
Farwah Ahmed. The chief guest, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar while addressing the
convocation lauded the performance of NUST. He said that NUST is a premier
institution of country in the field of science and technology and is serving the
nation to utmost of its capabilities. He also appreciated the recent
developments carried out in NUST.
Earlier, Military College of Signals
Commandant Brigadier Waqar highlighted the brief history of the college and its
achievements. He informed the distinguished guests about the multifarious tasks
of MCS ranging from imparting multi level training in combat communication to
producing talented engineers in the fields of Telecommunication and Software
The commandant also highlighted the efforts made by the
College in the fields of information security and communication technology.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahnaz Wazir Ali, who is Incharge of Higher
Education Commission and Lieutenant General Muhammad Asghar, rector of National
University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), were also present on the
Islamabad College for Girls, F-6/2 student's distinction
Islamabad: Maira Khalid, a student of Islamabad College for
Girls, F-6/2, obtained first position in class VII, says a press release. Maira
Khalid is the daughter of Khalid Nazir, an electrical engineer at the Iesco.
Agri university takes over hydroponics plant
Rawalpindi: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi
(PMAS-AAUR) has taken over the possession of Farmers Market (private) Limited, a
The university, which has its credibility and
confidence among community for agriculture education, research and development
of arid areas, was chosen by the international organisation to receive the asset
on unconditional basis.
This is one of the unique facilities, which has
got all cutting edge technology for production, packaging and marketing of green
house crops, grown on solution culture only.
Hydroponics Plant carries
on this business from its five acres green houses located in Rawalpindi, which
has integrated facilities that include cold storage, packing and shipping
facilities, offices and residences, over an area of 13.5125 acres situated at
Kalyam Mughal, near GT Road, Rawalpindi.
The university has been mandated to produce high quality agricultural scientists
and to form an organised scientific infrastructure for teaching
and research, for the development of arid areas of the country.
university will now be able to produce highly skilled manpower, trained on
production of green house crops, which is a need of time.
will also provide a leadership role and advisory services for tunnel production
and green house crops. The News
IIUI students visit SC
Islamabad: A group of female students of Faculty of Sharia and Law
of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on Thursday visited Supreme
Court (SC). According to a press statement, the SC staff received and welcomed
the group that also included students belonging to Somalia, Afghanistan and
Egypt. The students visited the SC building, courtrooms, ceremonial hall,
auditorium and monument. They attended the court proceedings in the courtroom of
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and later
called on him. They also visited Judges' Library, where SC Registrar Dr Faqir
Hussain delivered a lecture to them on court procedures, jurisdiction and
composition of the SC.
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FJWU Women's Week kicks off
Rawalpindi: The Women Week celebrations kicked off at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) in a festive
style on Thursday.
"Knowledge, Peace and Our World" is the theme of the
week, aimed at engaging youths in co-curricular activities on the university
FJWU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan
inaugurated the week. US Embassy's Cultural Attaché Constance Colding Jones and
Islamic International University Islamabad Director Anis Ahmad attended the
Qirat, Naat, bilingual declamation, quiz, photography,
painting, drama, singing and documentary competitions and Mehfil-e-Mushaira will
be main activities during the week.
Qirat and Na'at competition: On the
first day, students from different universities of the country mesmerised the
audience with their soulful voices during Qirat and Na'at competitions. Hafiz
Muhammad Hameed Raza of University of The Punjab secured first position, while
second position went to Qari Abdul Aziz from Gomal University Dara Ismail Khan
and Hafiz Ubaidullah from Government College University Lahore secured third
In the Na'at competition Saad Zia of Government College
University Lahore won the first prize while Ms Asma Imdad of University of The
Punjab won second prize. Third prize went to Ms Shumaila Kanwal of University of
Quiz Competition: Another activity of the day was Mastermind
Quiz Competition. Government College University Lahore won the title of the
event, while University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore stood the
runner-up in this competition. Eight teams from different educational
institutions of the country participated in the event.
Artisan Mela: The
best part of the women week is the Artisan Mela, which was inaugurated by Dr
Khan along with Jones. Dr Khan and Jones visited different stalls. Jones also
got her hands decorated with Mehndi designs.
In the Artisan Mela, the
craftswomen and students from all over the country have displayed handicrafts,
woodwork, rugs, clothing, jewellery, accessories, interior décors and greetings
cards. Most of these items are handmade. Some food stalls have been also set up.
Today's (Friday) activities include bilingual declamation; photography,
painting and flower arrangement competitions and Mushaira. Daily Times
AIOU excels in spring flower show
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University outshined in the annual spring flower
show by securing top six positions in different competitions held at Fatima
Jinnah Park here, said a spokesperson of AIOU here on Thursday.
flower show was organised by the Capital Development Authority, in collaboration
with Islamabad Horticultural Society and was participated by AIOU, Islamabad
Club, Pakistan Air Force, KRL and Pak PWD.
The competition was held in
flower decoration, growth and variety in which the university outshined by
bagging top six positions in all the competitions.
"Securing top six
positions in competitions of small organizations is no doubt due to efforts of
Supervisor of Garden Department Mohammed Nazir," AIOU Vice Chancellor Professor
Dr Mehmood-ul Hassan Butt while receiving the trophies and prize of Rs2,000.
Teachers oppose ICU establishment on campus
Peshawar: The teachers of all the educational institutions on the premises of
Peshawar University campus Thursday demanded of the government to withdraw the
decision of establishment of Islamia College University within the jurisdiction
of University of Peshawar so that the status of historic Islamia College and
Islamia Collegiat School could be maintained.
A general body meeting of
the teachers of all the Peshawar-based public sector universities-University of
Peshawar, Islamia College University, NWFP Agricultural University, NWFP
University of Engineering and Technology - and colleges and schools affiliated
with them, was held here under the aegis of Federation of All Pakistan
Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA).
The meeting, through a
unanimous resolution, opposed the establishment of Islamia College University
(ICU) close to University of Peshawar, the largest public sector general
university in the province.
The participants of the meeting stressed that
the decision of establishing ICU on the Islamia College premises should be taken
back and the status of Islamia College and Islamia Collegiate School as
affiliated bodies of the University of Peshawar should be maintained. They said
that due to the ICU, the two historic institutions faced the most serious harm.
The participants said the establishment of ICU was aimed at taking the assets of
the Islamia College. The News
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