The Delhi University (DU) has received students’ applications from 106 countries this year, the highest so far. With the admission process still underway, more foreign students are still enrolling, with the total number of foreign nationals who applied to DU this year reaching over 3,368, which is 1,200 more than last year’s figures. So far, the university has finished the admission process for 410 foreign students and is still counting.

Over 20 African students have got enrolled in DU so far. Most of them belong to Congo, Uganda and Nigeria. Dr Amrit Kaur Basra, Deputy Dean for Foreign Admissions, said, “Among foreign students  coming to study in DU, a significant number are African nationals. Even though the recent alleged racist attacks might have got one thinking that African nationals would avoid DU, there has been no decline in their numbers. Also, earlier, African students used to opt only for vocational studies, but now they go for mainstream courses.”

Many students from Afghanistan, too, apply to DU but there has been a sharp decline in their numbers this year. Dr Basra said, “The number of Afghan students has been close to parity with the number of students coming from Nepal and Tibet which are the two countries with the maximum foreign students in DU. But this year, only 30 Afghan students enrolled so far against 80 last year. Since the inflow from Afghanistan had been increasing over the past few years, we had expected that applications from Afghanistan would reach around 100 this year. This has been a shock for us, too, since the Indian government has given huge scholarships to Afghanistan. The Afghan government, too, has been keen on education of their youth. One of the reasons behind this sharp decline could be the difficulty in procuring visas.”

Dr Basra added, “In fact some of the brightest students in DU come from Afghanistan. This year, we have also admitted two Afghan ‘refugees’. Afghan students are most fond of political science honours.”

Initially, around 22 students from China had been sent invitations to study Hindi in DU, but none of them got enrolled. Only four Chinese nationals have enrolled in DU this year, two in Hindi honours and the rest in MBA and other post- graduate courses. Dr Basra said, “This is a true loss for us. Students across the world apply through their embassies to study in India and those applications are processed with the help of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The 22 Chinese nationals who were invited by DU, didn’t get enrolled here.”

Among some first-timers are students from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Interestingly, all the first-timers from UAE and Mongolia have enrolled to study Hindi language in DU.

Dr Basra said, “Maybe, this is because of India’s increasing global participation that Hindi is catching on. Another first-timer in DU is Phillipines from where we have enrolled one student in B.Com Hons.”

Two students from Syria, seven girls from Turkey, six students from Sri Lanka, eight students from Maldives and some other students from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have also become part of the DU campus this year. In post graduation courses, three students have enrolled from Bangladesh and Thailand.

This year, DU received 306 applications against 10 seats for Faculty of Management Sciences from over 30 nationalities. Around 45-48 foreign nationals applied for M.Com against 18 seats. Similarly, a higher number of applications were received for undergraduate courses as well.

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