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Tightening the noose

July 17, 2012

ACQUIRING education is the right of every human being. Zubeida Mustafa’s article ‘Tightening the noose’ ( July 11) has shown her grave concern over tightening the noose around Pakistani students aspiring for research and higher education by British universities.

There are reasons for binding restrictions over the intending students to seek quality education from recognised and reputed universities located abroad.

There is no doubt that there are fake universities in foreign countries which enroll naïve students on paper and then fleece them and award degrees to them.

The large influx of such students has compelled UK educationists to lay down conditions for entry in their educational institutions after passing the various tests and interviews. The object is obviously to curb the nefarious activities being carried out in the education field.

Such foreign educational institutions are damaging the cause of education in Pakistan.

The changes in the UK’s student visa rules for Pakistan highlight the collapsing education system and the number of these students escaping to the UK by hook or by crook. It was estimated that about 40 per cent of Pakistani applicants were ineligible for studies in the UK.

This is true that quality and advance education can be received in the UK. The UK being the seat of learning treats the incoming students as cash cows and these students reinforce its economy. It sounds well if foreign countries apply checks and balances on the admission policy in education.

In the country, English is taught and treated as an urgent need for development but it is a fact that most stress is laid on writing skill of all. The predicament is that other skills like listening and speaking lag behind.

The UK has told applicants to be fluent in speaking English and hence Pakistani students hoping to study in the UK will now have their spoken English assessed. This can deprive many good students of quality education because of their poor performance in speaking skills.

M. A. SALEEM Karachi