The Sunday Mail
Ruth Butaumocho in New Delhi, India
Zimbabwean students studying in India continue to excel in various disciplines and are ranked among the best performing foreign students, an official with the government of India has said.
Speaking at the sidelines of the 13th International Higher Education Global Summit which ended here yesterday, the secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Dr Sanjaya Bamu said Zimbabwean students in some of India’s 700 universities are among the best performing students with an unparalleled record of academic excellence.
“They have raised the bar for foreign students studying at various institutions of higher learning and they have been an inspiration to many foreign students.
“Our higher education ministry carry our periodical assessments on all our students and Zimbabwean students are among the best performing foreign students,” he said.
Zimbabwe India Chamber of Commerce representative Mr George Nhari Chitsinde, who was part of the Zimbabwe delegation to the global conference, concurred, adding that the students had made an impact, putting the country on the map in India.
“Students from Zimbabwe have been performing quite well and have been good ambassadors of our brand, something we are happy about. The Indian universities curricula challenges the thought process of students, enabling them to be innovative in their livelihoods and studies.
“Their aim is to get exposure and write a successful narrative of what they have been able to do, whilst also exporting the quality education that exists in all our schools in Zimbabwe,” he said.
He added that the majority of the nearly 3000 Zimbabwean students are studying information technology, engineering, business administration, nanotechnology, and agro related studies, premised on the projection that Africa will be the next frontier in agriculture.
An Indian higher learning institution, Sharda University in New Delhi, which currently has 30 students from Zimbabwe studying various disciplines, also expressed satisfaction at the academic commitment shown by the students.
Sharda University regional manager (international relations and admissions), Mr Saubhik Dey said the students are committed to their work, adding that the institution is working flat out to increase its enrolment of students from Zimbabwe.
Mr Chatsinde, however, called on the Government to address the shortage of foreign currency for students studying abroad, saying their situation is dire and needs urgent attention.
“The Government should address the issue of foreign currency and the banking system for students studying abroad as this is greatly affecting their studies. It has been difficult for some of them to access money for their day to day issue.
“Some parents are struggling to access foreign currency, which they need to send to their children for fees payment and their general upkeep,” he said.
In terms of the number of institutions, India has the largest higher education system in the world. It is also the second largest in terms of higher education students enrolled at its universities and colleges.
More than 20 million tertiary students are studying at India’s 677 universities and nearly 40 000 colleges.