Why study in Europe?
There are a great many opportunities for Khoja young people to study at European universities, should they choose not to pursue Higher Education in their home country. Europe has emerged as one of the most favoured destinations for international students, and young people from the Khoja community are encouraged to study there. Education is crucial for creating the next generation of Khoja leaders and entrepreneurs.
In Germany there are no tuition fees for foreign or local students at public universities. Many European countries offer free degrees to European Union citizens, which will be highly beneficial to Khoja students from within the EU. Living costs are lower in countries such as Denmark, Germany and Norway than in the UK and the USA. Germany is one of the cheapest places to survive as a student, and has more universities ranked in the world’s top 500 universities than the UK
The competitive edge that the English language used to give to universities in the UK, USA and Australia is also now under threat. Countries across Europe now have universities offering a wide range of courses in English. Students can study medicine in Plovdiv or psychology in Groningen, for example, on courses conducted in the English language.
Swedish Higher Education
Sweden is an excellent place to undertake Higher Education. What’s more, it is a great place for Khoja students, thanks to two thriving Jamaats in the country. Founded in 1978, the Marsta Jamaat was one of the first Khoja Shia Jamaats in Europe. Sweden offers roughly 40 bachelor’s programmes in the English language, across a range of subject areas such as IT, business and engineering. For those seeking to study past an undergraduate level, there are also over 70 master’s programmes in English, with subjects such as fine arts, health and medicine.
Sweden offers free undergraduate education to its citizens. According to EU regulations, this is also extended to other citizens from the EU and EEA. This means that young people from the Khoja community with EU citizenship will able to study in Sweden with no tuition fees. There are also a number of scholarships available, which would help with fees for non-EU students.
Swedish universities are excellent – they are home to world-class education and research in a great number of subjects, such as biotechnology, international relations and engineering. The Swedish Higher Education system is ranked Number 2 in the world by Universitas 21, the leading global network of research universities.
Studying in Germany
Germany is a great option for study abroad for Khoja students. It is home to some of the best universities in the world. Anyone – whether they are from Germany, from Europe, or from elsewhere – can study in Germany without tuition fees. This applies to almost all programmes at public universities. There are almost 300 public universities, and more than 1,000 courses in total. Although there are still tuition fees at private universities, these are often more modest than their UK or US counterparts. There are also a substantial number of both bachelor’s and master’s level courses available which are taught in English. These are found at both the public and private universities.
There are also many scholarships available for foreign students, which can be based on criteria such as country of origin. These may be useful for Khoja students looking to study at private universities, for example, or to help with living costs. That said, student living costs in Germany are some of the lowest in Europe. Germany is a great place for Khoja students who may wish to study abroad.
Students in Holland can receive a world-class education, with some institutions rating highly. The University of Maastricht, for example, was ranked at number six in the 2015 TES survey of the top 100 universities established in the last 50 years. Tuition fees start at €1,984 (£1,465) per year.
Educating future leaders
Members of the Khoja community should seriously consider seeking to undertake Higher Education, according to World Federation education specialist Mahmood Dhala. There is a correlation between educational qualification and earnings. Furthermore, education sets up young people to be more successful in whatever career they choose to undertake. Education is vital in ensuring that the next generation of Khoja Shia Ithnasheri Muslims are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the changing world, and in doing so are able to support the future of the community.
Educational opportunities in Europe are crucial for helping create the new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs in the Khoja community.