The two-day Global Education Fair (GEF) organised in the Capital by Star News got a good start on the initial day despite soaring mercury level. The exhibitors, too, were satisfied with the overwhelming response and expect more on the second day.
The venue, Pragati Maidan, was one of the reasons why the fair got a good response. According to visitors, Pragati Maidan is connected to the metro, which makes conveyance easier. However, the exhibitors complained that since the entry is free, the crowd is a mix one and not from the higher academic strata. The organisers, however, denied this and said that out of the total footfall, a good amount would be from good academic backgrounds. Moreover, a paid entry may refrain many from visiting the stalls.
Over the years, the print publication houses have been into organising education fairs. But this is for the first time that a news channel has organised an education fair. The visitors, mostly out of school and into graduation, said that the institutions in the fair are comparatively better. Institutions like Academy of Animation and Gaming, International College of Financial Planning, Adam Smith College Scotland, International Institute of Fashion Design from Hauz Khas, Manav Rachna Education Institution, Indian Institute of Aircraft Engineering, BLB Institute of Financial Market, and Griffin Aviation Academy were some of the crowd-pullers.
“The reason why students are thronging at this stall is because the institution is run by the government of UK, the fees are highly subsidised, and more than 25,000 students are already part of the organisation,” said Ritu Narang, Country Consultant, Adam Smith College.
In addition to reliable institutions, the students looked for low study fees and loan facilities. “I am interested in a pilot training course, but the fees are more than 15 lakhs. I have to fetch a loan facility. I am interested to be a pilot because of the job profile and pay package. There is tremendous opportunity in this sector as airlines are expanding and there is a dearth of pilots. Indian pilots are considered among the best,” said Dheeraj Dhama, a student from Satyavati College.
Banks like the State Bank of India and Punjab Centurion Bank also made their presence felt. “Students of pilot training courses, those willing to study abroad are the one showing enthusiasm for the loan facility. Forty to 50 per cent of the visitors need loan upto Rs 4 lakhs, while around 7 per cent need loan upto Rs 15 lakhs. We pay a maximum loan amounting to Rs 20 lakhs,” said Sanjeev Kumar, Senior Marketing Executive, SBI.