Bedfordshire University & Pak students

KARACHI, July 24: Bedfordshire University (BU), that claims to have the largest number of Asian students in the United Kingdom, has set a target of enrolling over 60 students from Pakistan for its session starting in September.

The university stated that conditions for admission, accommodation and daily life facilities are the easiest as compared to other universities in the UK. Scholarships worth 500 to 1,000 pounds are awarded based on merit and part-time job opportunities for students are ensured.

The visiting BU delegation explained all the options to interested students on Monday at a local hotel, where one-on-one interview and qualification evaluation sessions were conducted.

Dr Faiz Hussain, senior lecturer at the university and business development manager for South Asia, explained why a student should choose BU for an education. He said that there is a list of reasons for selecting BU - quality education, a suitable location, a lower cost of education and living, luxurious but cheaper accommodation and various Asian communities.

"The University of Bedfordshire is a 'five-star' university for media education. A similar grade goes to courses like IT, telecommunication and business education," said Hussain. In his view, the university concentrates mainly on hands-on vocational education that is more of a focus on practical work.

Secondly, education in BU is comparatively cheaper than other universities of similar categories in the UK. It costs 6,000 to 10,000 pounds per annum. Graduation courses take three years and an MA takes one year to complete.

The location of BU's two campuses is another attraction for students. "It has two highway crossings, three railway stations and an airport within one kilometer of the main campus," Hussain said. "It only takes 20 minutes to reach Central London from the campus."

"Accommodation is not only luxurious but relatively cheaper in the student villages. For 150 pounds a month, a student can enjoy a bedroom and modern communication connections," he said.

Luton City is a small but rapidly growing business city in the UK. Students can easily earn four to six pounds per hour in a part-time job, said Syed Abidi, CEO of Falcon Education and Consultancy Services. "Additionally, something that our South Asian students enjoy is the presence of a large number of Asian students in this campus." He said that 4,000 students out of a total of 17,000 enrolled in the university are South Asian. "One would never feel like he is living abroad in this campus."

About the town that the university is in, Luton, Hussain said, "it has a number of mosques and madrassas, a huge Muslim population, halal meat shops and several familiar cultural activities. This will help a student adjust easily."

During the admission seminar held at the hotel, about 20 students enrolled themselves after their qualifications were evaluated by the BU delegation. "It is a rare opportunity for us. Our qualification and financial status was evaluated on the spot," said Muhammad Makki, a student who came to the seminar for admission.

He was looking for a postgraduate course in the field of IT. "After the evaluation, we came to a conclusion of applying for the masters in networking. I am satisfied," he said.

Another participant, Rafiq Ahmed, who had just completed clinical science and is looking for a postgraduate course said, "I was advised to apply for a foundation course because my IELTS score was less than six points, which is the minimum requirement. After the evaluation they gave me that option and I think I will take it," he said. Daily times



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