Australian varsities

February 21, 2015

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LIKE last year, I visited this year’s Dawn Education Expo 2015 with great enthusiasm in the company of my graduation fellows at a local hotel. I want to highlight one bad experience which I had at the expo.

On the first day, at one of the stalls representing an Australian university, there was a Pakistani consultant, guiding students about different study programmes the university was offering.

Upon inquiring about a programme with respect to my area of interest, that is human rights, he asked me which area I belonged to.

Upon telling him that I was from Lakki Marwat, he replied that Australia had put a ban on granting admissions to students from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

When I wanted to know the logic behind this ban, he said that students from these areas were considered a security threat. I was shocked, but left the stall with a smile on my face.

The next day I visited the same stall to confirm whether the ban was official or only that particular university had put it in place.

I found a polite aged lady as a consultant in place of the local consultant. She was probably from Australia.

Upon inquiring from her about the ban, she categorically told me that there was no such ban and there must be a misunderstanding. I looked for the Pakistani consultant but could not find him.

I appeal to Dawn and especially Australian universities to scrutinise such irresponsible consultants among their ranks and save the credibility of the expo by purging such rumour-mongers.

Inam Ullah Marwat

Lahore

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2015

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