Give India a miss, Africans told back home

The Association of African Students in India is writing off India as a study destination. With the attack on Nigerian students, this destination is being marked as an “unsafe” country and students back home are being asked to not fly down to pursue education.

India’s international student composition sees a thick slice of Africans. While candidates from Asia make up the largest share, those from Africa form 19%.

Nigeria stands out prominently amongst the 17 countries of western Africa, as 883 students from there were studying in India in 2014, when the last headcount of international candidates was held.

“Across Indian campuses, we are facing harassment. Not only is it difficult to interact with the host students and faculty, we face issues with accommodation, visa, FRRO office, name calling, the list is too long. We are writing to students back home to not come here to study,” said Samuel Jack, president AASI, who is studying political science at Delhi University. How to live on campus, where are the course application forms available, how does one open a bank account, get a phone connection and some other basic data is also not available easily, complain students.

“We come here to study because it is cheaper than our country,” said Jack. “But the problems are too many and there are no special cells to assist the international community on campuses.”
The international students studying in the country during 2014 came from as many as 160 countries from across all continents. Around 75% were found to be from Asia followed by Africa, which accounted for about 19% of the total international students in India. America, Europe, Oceania and the persons of Indian origin and the non-resident Indian account for only 6% of the international students studying in India. While the largest count of international students came from Nepal (6,009), followed by 3,855 from Afghanistan, Africa comes next.

Of these, 647 boys and 236 girls came from Nigeria, the maximum from Africa, followed by 871 from Ethiopia and most of them are pursuing an undergraduate programme and they largely head to campuses in Uttar Pradesh, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Delhi.