No international students, MBA from University of Pune loses sheen

Written by Ardhra Nair | Pune | Updated: Sep 15 2013, 17:45pm hrs
MBA courseThe response was not good for MBA course: UoP official Reuters photo
University of Pune's (UoP) entrance exam for Master in Business Administration (MBA) course for international students has failed to attract students from abroad. With poor response from international students, all the 90 students who had applied and appeared for the entrance have been selected despite the fact that some students scored just 16 marks in the test. All the students who have applied are from the developing countries, making the varsitys claim of being world-renowned sound hollow, said officials.

In the merit list put out by the university for foreign nationals and NRIs, the highest marks obtained is 58 out of 100 in the MBA entrance exam. The response was not good for MBA course. But then this is not a unique case as the overall response to MBA course has decreased nationwide. We got 90 applications and we took them all. We have given ranking as per the marks obtained in the entrance and the discussion and interview held afterwards, said Vijay Khare, director of the International Centre of UoP.

But all the students who have applied belong to countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Yemen and Iran. None of them are from any of the developed nations. The last years list of students too did not have anybody from developed nations. Many students go by world ranking of universities, where UoPs global ranking has further dipped to 701+ this year as compared to last years 601+, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

As per the QS, the universitys ranking among Asian varsities has also remained low, between 180 and 200 in the last one year. Not only world ranking, even the marks obtained from NAAC have decreased for the university by almost 10 per cent. Also there were many reports against the university in the media due to its wrong policies and delayed action. All this has affected the international students perception of the university, said a senior academic council member.

There are world-class institutions in the US and the UK. So the students from these areas will not come to India to study. Most students from developed countries come in exchange programmes. These are mostly for a single semester or a year. What the students want is to study cross cultural issues, thoughts and ideas. They are not here mostly to have degrees, said Khare.

Although European Union takes students from India to their countries for exchange programmes, this year, no EU student came to India. The EU officials have promised to send their students from next year. This will definitely increase in the coming years. I joined here last year and the entire admission process has been done online. There is better transparency now and we even have English language classes for students from non-English speaking countries. We are also signing a lot of MoUs with various countries and we hope the number of students will definitely increase, said Khare.

Officials said students from developed countries are also influenced by the rising cases of sexual violence in the country. We have a memorandum of understanding with Canada and various European countries where in the students come to Maharashtra and Goa for exchange programme. But with increasing rape cases like the Delhi gangrape, there is a fear among students, especially girl students from abroad, in coming to India. Hence there is a dip in students coming for exchange programmes too this year, said a senior varsity official.