Koreans top foreign students in PH universities
MANILA, Philippines — South Koreans top the list of foreign nationals enrolled in the country’s colleges and universities, according to the Bureau of Immigration.
At least 1,530 South Korean students had acquired student visas to pursue higher education in the country as of May 26, BI data showed.
The four other top foreign enrollees are: Indian nationals with 1,069 enrollees; Iranians, 1,032; Chinese, 1,000; and Nepalese, 561.
Elaine Tan, BI spokesperson, said the increase in the number of foreign students could be attributed to the proficiency of Filipino teachers in the use of English as a medium of instruction.
She said most of the foreign students in the country were taking up bachelor of arts and medical courses, including dentistry.
Thelma Guiritan, BI student desk chief, said that for the last three years, South Korean nationals remained the largest foreign group taking up college in the country, with 3,309 in 2012 and 2,655 in 2013.
Most of these foreign students are studying in Metro Manila schools—Centro Escolar University, Adventist University of the Philippines, University of the East, Far Eastern University, Manila Central University, University of Santo Tomas, Jose Rizal University and De La Salle University.
Schools with a significant number of foreign students enrolled in the Visayan and Mindanao regions include Southwestern University, University of Visayas and Davao Medical Foundation.
The BI said the number of alien students is expected to increase this year as 5,719 visas have so far been issued to aliens.
But even as the bureau welcomes the spike in the number of foreign students applying for visas, Tan said it has tightened the screening of student visa and special study permit (SSP) applications to avoid the entry of foreigners who extend their stay using fake student visas.
Foreigners who want to study in the Philippines must secure student visas to enable them to stay in the country and take up a course higher than high school.
Foreigners aged 18 years and above who arrived as tourists and are intending to study in the Philippines must apply for conversion of status and secure the appropriate student visa from the bureau.
On the other hand, the BI said those who are below 18 who will study in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels or those about to take up special courses of less than a year must secure an SSP from the bureau.
Only schools accredited by the BI, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Federation of Accrediting Agencies are authorized to accept foreign students, the BI added.
Number of foreign students up 14% to 47,000–BI
BI notes an increase of foreign students in PH
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