KARACHI, November 6
(Internews): The Pakistan government is working on a
plan to lower the fee structure for foreign students studying
in Pakistani universities and educational
institutions, it is learnt.
The fee structure is being revised by the ministry of education in the
light of a recent directive by President Pervez Musharraf.
Sources said the President had in the recent past issued directives that
fee structure for foreign students be appropriately reduced to a
realistic level to encourage enrolment in the country's universities.
The University Grants Commission has asked the universities and
institutions in its jurisdiction to suggest a revised fee structure for
foreign students in the light of Musharraf's approved guidelines and
intimate the Commission immediately.
The Ministry of Education had revised the fee only twice for foreign
students during the last two decades.
Under a policy of the ministry, five per cent of the total seats are
initially reserved for foreign students for a period of 45 days from the
last date of receiving applications in a particular academic session in
all universities subject to availability of hostel facilities, and if
aspirants do not apply, these are filled with local students.
The ministry had fixed an annual tuition fee between Rs 50,000 and Rs
450,000 for foreigners studying at different levels of professional and
general study in 1997.
The fee rates are as follows: BA/BSc Rs 50,000; MA/Arts, education,
law/MPhil/PhD Rs 50,000; MBA/Computer Rs 60,000; MSc/MPhil/PhD, all
science subjects Rs 70,000; engineering Rs 350,000 ($9,000); agriculture
Rs 100,000 ($2,500) and medicine/dentistry Rs 450,000 ($11,000).
A survey of the public universities in Karachi reveals that the foreign
students are being charged less than what was prescribed by the
education ministry in October 1997.
The NED University has devised its own system of charging fee from
students, including foreign students. The system, sources said, has been
approved by the statutory bodies of the university.
The last time that tuition fee for foreign students was enhanced in
An amount of Rs 56,000 has been fixed for first year, and Rs 18,000 each
for second, third and final year per head which is presently being
charged from foreign students, who numbered around 12.
In the case of the University of Karachi, where 54 students are enrolled
as regular students, the fee structure of 1997 is applicable, but at the
same time authorities also adhere to an order of the education ministry
issued in 1988 in which the university was asked to give special
concessions to students belonging to some 30 countries.
According to the education ministry list, students from Somalia,
Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Palestine, Lebanon, Thailand,
Philippine, South Africa, Yemen Arab Republic, Nepal and Bangladesh are
entitled of a 100 per cent exemption, but liable to pay fee at par with
Students coming from Iran, Iraq, Sri-Lanka and diplomats and their
children could be given an exemption of 75 per cent, while students from
Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria,
Kenya, USA, Australia and Germany are entitled of a 50 per cent
exemption in fee prescribed by the education ministry, added the source.
It was further learnt that some years back, the ministry had informed
the university about withdrawal of exemption, but the instructions could
not be implemented as another letter was received by the university
asking again for concessions in some cases.
It was deemed better to strict to the 1988 list of countries allowed
exemption in fee as the fresh orders were more confusing on the subject
of tuition fee of foreign students, said sources in the varsity.