The Nalanda University site
Patna, Aug. 22: Nalanda University would ask international students seeking admission to adhere to international criteria such as taking standardised tests like its US or UK counterparts.
The university would start taking admission to two schools — historical studies and ecology and environmental studies — from July or August next year. Twenty students each would be admitted to the two graduate courses.
Students from abroad would have to submit their GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System), along with a number of other stuff, as part of their application.
“As Nalanda University is an international university, international students seeking admission will have to submit scores of standardised tests like the GRE,” said vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal.
The GRE is a standardised test conducted by Educational Testing Service, New Jersey. Students can take both the general GRE and the subject GRE. The general exam tests the verbal (language) and quantitative (math) skills of students, along with their acumen in analytical writing. The subject test evaluates the knowledge of a student in a particular discipline.
According to the GRE website, it can be taken at 700 centres in 160 countries. Almost all universities in UK and US ask international students to submit their GRE scores. While in most countries it is a computerised test, one can also take the paper-based test at places.
For Nalanda University, students would have to take the subject GRE.
Those international students who are not native speakers of English would have to also take the TOEFL or the IELTS, which test the ability of the student to speak, write and comprehend English.
No other Indian university requires admission seekers to take standardised tests. Only Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, accepts Graduate Management Admission Test scores from applicants.
The tests have been criticised for their high fees. For the GRE general test one has to pay $185 (nearly Rs 12,000).
Asked why the Nalanda University had included it in its admission criteria, Sabharwal said almost all international universities expect students to take these.
The standardised tests are not the only criteria for admission. Anjana Sharma, dean, academic planning, Nalanda University, said: “Besides the scores of the test, the applicants would also be evaluated on their marks in undergraduate courses and ranking of universities where they have studied previously.”
All universities are ranked according to infrastructure, strength of teachers and students’ performance by agencies. London School of Economics, too, takes into consideration the rank of the alma mater of the applicants.
Sharma said: “Besides marks, applicants would also be judged on (academic) papers they have presented as undergraduate students.”
They would also have to submit a statement of purpose — a four- to five-page essay on why they wish to join the university and displaying their knowledge in their subject. Then, they would be called for an interview.
At the end of their two-year masters course, students would have to submit a theses in their fourth semester on the work they have done.