New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) Many Indian students want to study abroad, paying through their nose in the process. At the same time, students from across the world are filling university seats here for 'cheap, professional and internationally ranked' Indian education.
On an average, about 3,500 students visit India on educational programmes from over 70 countries every year, courtesy the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), one of its officials told IANS.
The ICCR awards 2,000 scholarships to these students every year.
'People from my country come to India because the cost of education here is very low. Besides, India offers really high quality and good education in a very short duration - the courses here do not take that much time to complete and we can go back home and easily get a job,' Jessica Dayal, a special education volunteer from Tanzania, told IANS.
Dayal is in Delhi for a year to learn how to help out children with disabilities.
Sam Kast, anothr Tanzanian, is studying pharmacy at the Jamia Hamdard University: 'India is constantly developing in terms of technology and that is also one reason we want to come here,' he said.
'Pursuing pharmacy back home for me would have taken around eight years and if I'd failed, it might have got stretched to even 12 years. However, in India, it's only for four years and I can do a specialization in the time I'd have taken just to graduate in Tanzania.'
Dody Siregar from Indonesia is majoring in economics from Khalsa College, Delhi University (DU). 'India is much cheaper in education costs compared to studies in the Education University (EU) of Indonesia,' he said.
'It is even more advanced here and easily accessible to outsiders. If we study over here, we get better job opportunities back home or anywhere in the world.'
Hasan Mir Ali, a musician from Uzbekistan studying Indian classical music at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra's college of music and dance, had the same reasons for shifting base.
Nick Mohammad Sultani from Afghanistan, a Bachelor of International Business and Finance (BIBF) student at Jamia Milia Islamia, came here to avoid ending up working in his country.
'Every student in Afghanistan prepares to come to India. In fact, most of the students don't want to work in their own countries; they want to study abroad and serve as a UN member and studying here makes it easier for them,' he said.
But 33-year-old Andre Deamidenko from Moscow, another student at the college of music, had a different reason for coming here.
'Most of our local culture was wiped off during the 70 years of Soviet rule and it is the thirst for culture that brings us here. There is no place to learn it but India. The well-preserved deep roots and the Vedic culture here call us,' he said.