Pakistani students at risk in UK

Thousands of Pakistani students at risk in UK
London, Oct 01: Pakistani students in Britain are in the top league of those international students who are being reported to the immigration authorities by the education providers concerning their visa status in the UK.

A study showed yesterday that more than 1,500 foreign students are being pinpointed to immigration officials each month. The Manifesto Club campaign group, which obtained the figures under the Freedom of Information Act said that the UK Border Agency didn't give them any specific figures on Pakistani students but confirmed that Pakistani students were amongst the "high risk" - indicating that they were amongst the top 4 reported groups.

"We have been told that Pakistan is amongst the high risk countries in terms of bogus students," Josie Appleton, the group's director said while talking about the findings of the 'Students Under Watch' report.

Universities and other sponsors of international students reported at least 27,121 migrants to the UK Border Agency in the 18 months leading up to August last year, figures showed.

The stringent measures introduced by the coalition government means hundreds of bogus colleges offering cheap qualifications have been shut down, forcing thousands of students out. The number of hours a student can work has also been cut from 20 to 10 hours a week.

The clampdown on the bogus colleges means thousands of Pakistani and other South Asian national students have to either pay high fees to the regularised institutions or the institution is bound to report them to the Home Office. The colleges which failed to get the highly trusted sponsor status have simply disappeared, leaving students in limbo and a hectic legal battle to recoup their fees. Hundreds of students have simply given up on the plans of joining another education provider.

Education is the most common reason for migrants coming to the UK, with three in four of the 228,000 who came to the UK for study last year coming from outside the EU. The Manifesto Club said the stringent visa controls were forcing UK academics to spy on their own students, eroding academic autonomy and damaging relationships between students and staff.

The group said: "Universities are reporting large numbers of international students to the UKBA. The agency asks sponsors to email any suspicions about students; each notification can include information about several students".Between March 2009 and August last year, the UKBA received 27,121 notifications from education providers, the equivalent of more than 1,500 a month, the figures showed.

Valerie Hartwich, author of the report said that Pakistani students represent a large portion of all international students coming to Britain and they are, therefore, crucial to the educational sector of this country. But she said, Pakistani students have reported being particularly singled out for questioning on entering the UK for their studies.

She agreed that applicants from Pakistan often suffer from the bad reputation built by a few bogus applicants, and well publicised scams and as a result Pakistani applicants for student visas are thus more likely to see applications rejected though they are genuine and fulfil UKBA requirements. She said: "With the new changes to student visas Pakistani applicants for student visas are likely to face a harder time obtaining visas to study in the UK because as a country Pakistan will probably be on the 'suspicious' list and some of its banking institutions are also likely to be on a list of unacceptable banking institutions.

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350 students still waiting for 9th class result
Rawalpindi: As many as 350 students, both male and female, are still waiting for their 9th class examination result held under the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Rawalpindi.

Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi Controller Amjad Iqbal Bahra claimed to have resolved most of the pending result cases of 9th class. However he admitted that result of 350 students was pending and said they would solve all cases within seven days. He said: When we initially announced the results, the pass percentage of students was 19%, however, after corrections the pass percentage has improved to 25%.

He said these 350 students could join 10th class and they could give their supplementary examinations with 10th class subjects.

Affected students of class 9th said that they are visiting board office every day in the hope of clearance of their results, but failed to get any kind of good news.

A male student of class 9th, said that the lower staff of the board is not cooperating with them. We are already in tension and the board staff is misguiding us. We have no idea where should we go, he added.

A female student said that she could not come to the board office every day to check the status of her result. The government should look into the matter to give relief to students.

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A slap by teacher triggers protest at FG College for Women
Rawalpindi: Students of the Federal Government College for Women, F-7/2, staged a protest demonstration and boycotted their classes, demanding an inquiry against a teacher, who allegedly slapped a postgraduate student.

According to information, a teacher allegedly slapped a student of MA Arabic final year over a minor issue. Students of the college came out of their classes in the morning and raised slogans against the college administration for not taking any action against the teacher.

The students were holding placards against the college administration and demanded strict action against the teacher. We have lodged a complaint against the teacher, but nothing has been done so far, said one of the students.

According to information, the incident took place two days ago. The students of the college have lodged a complaint against the teacher in principal s office and administration, but the college has tried to hush up the matter.

We would not come under pressure at any cost. This is not the way to behave with college students and it should be discouraged, said a student.

The students, on the occasion, said that they would continue their protest demonstration until their demands were not met. We are protesting within the boundary walls of the college right now. We will come out on roads, if action is not taken against the teacher, a student said.

This scribe contacted Federal Government College for Women (F-7/2) Principal Durdana Israr to take her version over the matter, but nobody picked up the phone at her office.

The correspondent also contacted Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director General Atif Mahmood Kiyani but he didn t pick up his cell phone. The director colleges and FDE spokesperson could also not be contacted despite repeated attempts. The news

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HEC, CCEP arrange essay writing competition on federalism
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Centre for Civic Education Pakistan (CCEP) are arranging a national essay writing competition to explore and examine the way citizens relate to federalism in Pakistan.

Regular students of public and private universities (age 18-25) can take part in the competition and submit their essays on the topic "What does federalism mean to me" by September 30.

However, no entries will be accepted after the deadline and only one submission per student will be accepted. The competition is aimed at promoting writing and analytical skills among university students along with encouraging research, analysis and argument development on the theme.

Students can write on the topic either in English or Urdu and the essay must be original and unpublished and must not exceed 2,500 words, including footnotes or endnotes. All sources used should be given proper reference and nothing should be copied from books or newspapers without using references.

Primary consideration will be given to the essay's originality and its contribution to new knowledge, its insights and creative approach. English and Urdu essays will be judged and awarded separately. HEC will award 50 marks for substance and originality, 25 marks for understanding and arguments and 25 marks for writing style, composition and organisation. The authors of the three best essays in English and Urdu will be awarded Rs 20,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000, along with certificates of honour and shields. app

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Rawalpindi: M Aun Abbas Zaidi, a student of the Roots School System, Defence Housing Authority, Phase I, Islamabad, got 15 straight As (14 A*s and 1A) in the O level examinations, says a press release. The news

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UoP clears doctorate thesis on Sufism
Peshawar: University of Peshawar's Area Study Centre has recommended Sakina Khan for award of PhD after clearing her research thesis on 'Central Asian Sufi Influences in North West Frontier Province' (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) with specific reference to Chishtiyyah and Naqshbandiyyah schools of thought.

According to a press release issued by the university, Ms Sakina maintained that influence of Central Asian Sufism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been diminishing with the spread of Islamic extremism and Talibanisation over the last two decades. Dawn

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