Hyderabad: The Osmania University administration is mulling a screening test for foreign students joining the varsity. It has been decided after an increasing demand from teachers and principals to have an entrance test as several foreign students are found to be lacking in required communication and writing skills in English.
The test is likely to consist of comprehensive passages, tests in spoken English and writing skills in the language. It will be on the lines of International English Language Test System (IELTS) and is expected to come into force from next academic year i.e., 2017-2018 admissions.
“We are planning to conduct our own screening test for foreign students in English. We have received representations from some embassies also to have a bridge course in English. After assessing foreign students, we will give them bridge course, which will last for six months to one year,” said S Ramachandram, Vice Chancellor, OU.
While the university wants to introduce screening test, there are apprehension among officials on such test reducing the number of foreign students joining the university. At present, the university gives international admissions through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations or directly.
In both cases, admissions are given based on the marks secured by the candidate in the previous qualifying examination. Students admitted under ICCR, are eligible for scholarship. Universities such as English and Foreign Languages University and University of Hyderabad already have an entrance test and interview to admit foreign students.
At present, 3,897 international students from 81 countries are studying in the university campus, constituent and affiliated colleges. This year, a total of over 1,666 international students were admitted to university so far against 1,246 admissions the last academic year.
With an increasing number of foreign students opting to join OU, the varsity administration is planning to construct a new international student centre for foreign students on the campus. It wants to have state-of-the-art building with fully automated services and seminar halls for international students. This apart, the university administration has decided to make all registrations and payments for international students online.
Besides, the administration has also decided to extend present hostel facility to more foreign students by constructing additional floors at the existing hostel in Tarnaka as part of centenary celebrations of the university. Around172 foreign students are residing in the hostel and additional floors would accommodate a total 300 students. “We have a permission to have G+4 floors for the hostel, but it only has G+1,” said an official.