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Sun 21 Mar 2010 09:05 AM

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India eyes 'substantial increase' in Saudi students

India hopes to tap lucrative Saudi market with move to allow overseas universities.

India eyes 'substantial increase' in Saudi students
SAUDI STUDENTS: India is hoping to attract more students from the kingdom. (Getty Images)

India hopes to attract substantially more students from Saudi Arabia after a move to allow overseas universities to operate in the country.

Education officials told a press conference in Jeddah that India’s “liberal” attitudes towards issuing visas for students would make the country more attractive to Saudis young people.

“The move to allow overseas educational universities and institutions, including some of the prestigious ones, will only help many more Saudi and other foreign students to study in India,” Indian Consul General Sayeed Ahmed Baba was quoted by Arab News as saying.

According to the paper, about 25,000 Saudi students are currently enrolled at universities in the United States, with a further 10,000 due to go this year.

Indian institutions are hoping to tap into this lucrative market by increasing choice and making the process of enrolling simpler.

Baba said bilateral trade had increased over the past three years and reached $20bn in 2008-09. Indian exports to Saudi now exceeded $5bn a year, the paper reports.

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