Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oxford University woos Indian students, opens doors for more undergraduates

Oxford University is now open to many more Indian students than ever before. After recently opening its undergraduate class to Indian students, Oxford University's Exeter College is on an India tour, visiting some of the high schools and colleges in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore, to lure Indian students. Dr Chris Ballinger, academic dean at the college, which is the fourth oldest college of the university, is holding talks here aimed at school and junior college (high school) students and their parents about how to apply to be an undergraduate student at Oxford University.

Dr Ballinger is also meeting principals of some of the top schools in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore to attract more Indian students, who want to be undergraduates at Oxford University, and who are studying for Class XII qualification, with either the CBSE or ICSE.

"I aim to increase understanding among Indian schoolchildren, and their teachers and advisers and parents, of the benefits of studying at Oxford as an undergraduate, our criteria for admission to undergraduate degree courses, and the process by which students can apply to be undergraduates at Oxford University," he said.

Oxford altered its undergraduate admissions criteria in the 2012-13 application cycle to accept undergraduate school leavers from India who have obtained the Class XII qualification, with either the CBSE or ICSE boards. "We did this because we want to ensure that we can accept applications from the widest possible range of well-qualified applicants," said Dr Ballinger.

In a bid to woo Indian students to study in the UK, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron during his recent visit to Mumbai announced that there would be no cap on the number of Indian students to the UK or the duration of their residence there. At Oxford, there are currently 39 undergraduate students who are domiciled in India (66 of whom are Indian nationals). There are 12,310 undergraduate students at Oxford as a whole, including visiting undergraduate students.

Source: The Economic Times, April 16, 2013

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