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Ever wondered why Pakistani high-school graduates prefer foreign universities over a local one? What makes foreign universities highly appealing to our young population?  The answer is quite simple- it’s the quality. If that’s not enough of an answer, then this blog will help distinguish the main differences with an in-depth analysis. And while Pakistan does host some of the best universities, there is no denying that foreign universities have a certain edge over the local ones.


Foreign Universities Make You An Asset For Society

Firstly, it is a known fact that foreign universities put a lot of emphasis on community work. Students have to dedicate a considerable number of hours during their high school years to community service. They try to help around in hospitals as volunteers and can even work with firefighters. The universities really appreciate this and often enlist it as a requirement for applying. In Pakistan, no one really cares much about community service which is kind of bad, considering it is a developing economy with major flaws in the social structure. However; this does not mean that there are not ANY good Samaritans around here, because Pakistan is one of the most generous nations. It would still be a good approach by the local universities to focus more on community service and make it compulsory for students. By doing this, the students would actually feel obliged to contribute in a positive way to their surroundings, and develop a strong character.


Difference In Approach For National And Foreign Universities 

There is a vast difference between the approaches towards education. The curriculum of a foreign university is a lot more focused and to the point. Unlike the typical Pakistani university, students are not expected to memorize everything off by heart. They are encouraged to give in their own insight, as long as it is relevant to the subject matter (instead of pleasing the professors by copy-pasting their own opinions in the exams). Undergraduate research is extremely advanced in foreign universities; students can even get published in prestigious research journals. In Pakistan, there still tends to be a lot of focus on just jamming knowledge into the students. Although, there are some top universities here which take a different route by giving their students a hands on experience on what to expect from a professional life. Unfortunately, such universities are very few in Pakistan. The entire purpose of universities abroad is to prepare students for lucrative careers and needless to say, they excel at it.

The atmosphere within a foreign university is of independence. Students there are comparatively more serious towards their studies and their university does not coddle them at all. They have to literally struggle throughout the four years to achieve their undergraduate degree. This is because majority of the foreign student population pay their tuition fees from their own pocket. Sure they do drown in debts eventually, but the hard-work put into completing their education really makes them appreciate the degree. Over here in Pakistan, majority of the students have a safety net beneath them i.e. parents’ money. And because of that sense of financial stability, students here tend to be a bit reckless.


Diversity in the courses 

One of the most exciting aspects of foreign universities is that they offer their undergraduate students a plethora of courses, for example Paleontology. Foreign education thrives on diversity. Pakistani universities have definitely evolved over the years but the mind set is still the same. Majority of the population still believes that only a degree in either business, finance, engineering, computing or medical is worthwhile. But recently, times have been changing and Media, Arts, Dramatics and Social Sciences have also entered the fold. Although, it is a very commendable milestone in the Pakistani education, a lot still needs to be done. Due to the lack of variety in the programs offered; students are left with a very narrow range of top universities to choose from within Pakistan, and are forced into the very few career choices. Foreign universities believe that a functional society needs all kinds of skilled people, rather than just doctors, engineers or businessmen.


Facilities At Foreign Universities

Apart from the variety of courses, foreign universities offer a huge amount of facilities to their students. The libraries are colossal, housing thousands of books and research materials. Students have access to amazing health care on campus. Basically, the quality of life is a lot better there. In Pakistan, hospitals are not even up to the standard, let alone providing an efficient health care system for university students on campus. Even better, foreign universities provide their students with therapy- a feat that Pakistanis do not believe in. Pakistani universities must realize that therapy is extremely crucial and is an effective method of relieving stress. When a student is not feeling emotionally stable, then they are rendered incapable to perform up to their full potential, which then leads to bad grades. The career councils of foreign universities are a lot more sensible when it comes to guiding their students. They not only recommend majors based on interests, but they take into account a student’s personality and then tell them which career path would be more suitable for them.

Having said all this, the main question is still un-answered; should Pakistanis pursue a foreign degree? Well, for starters, there is no doubt that obtaining a degree from Pakistan will be a lot cheaper. It is true that many Pakistanis would prefer to live debt free because foreign education is just so expensive. But then again, the returns on a foreign degree are a lot higher, and that is what the average Pakistani aims for. The value of a foreign degree is a lot more. In fact, Harvard would prefer an undergraduate from Wharton rather than an undergraduate from IBA, for its MBA program. Although, the costs of obtaining a foreign degree are empirical, foreign universities do offer generous financial aids. There are a lot of funding programs available; the student just needs to show a solid sense of dedication.

In the end, Pakistani students should consider opting for a foreign undergraduate degree because of the benefits it proposes. The journey will not be easy, but Pakistanis can be hard-working, enabling them to achieve anything.

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About The Author

Naureen Salim

Writer is a social sciences student at SZABIST and is passionate about Art, Literature and Greek Mythology.

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