Kozhikode: Nine students from Afghanistan, part of the first batch of 500 students that came to India in 2006 under Central government sponsorship, are doing well in various degree courses here. The students, doing their BBA and B.A. courses at Farook College, have adapted well to the local situation. “They are brilliant in studies and converse well in English, showing their willingness to learn by fully making use of the opportunity,” said College Principal A. Kuttialikutty. Sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Research, the students feel proud to gain education in India. “The educational set-up here is excellent and far better than what we have in our country. “The number of educational institutions at the higher level in India cannot be dreamt of in our nation,” says Mohammad Zakir Mustafa, a third year BBA student, who also wants to do his MBA in India. “We are careful to ensure that these students do not lose their direction in any manner other than gaining education, the purpose for which we have sponsored them,” says ICCR official M.R. Krishnamurthy. One of the students was offered placement by the technology company Nokia, but the ICCR did not clear it as that would have amounted to violating the government directive. “We come from cities like Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharief and Jalalabad after passing a written test and interview conducted by the ICCR,” says Sieyal, a final year student, from Kabul. He had scored over 75 per cent in the higher secondary examination in his country. His parents decided to send him to India to help him gain quality higher education. Besides meeting the students’ fees, the ICCR grants Rs. 6,000 a month as scholarship to each student.