Monday 22nd Jul 2024
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Ibrahim Naseem

MP Naseem Advocates for Student Visas to Boost Educational Tourism in Maldives

Thulusdhoo MP Ibrahim Naseem has urged the government to facilitate student visas for colleges in the Maldives, aiming to elevate the nation's education system and attract international students. Naseem's comments came during a parliamentary debate on the amendment to the Maldives Higher Education and Training Act, introduced by Maafannu South MP Abdulla Rifaw in today's session.
MP Naseem emphasized the need for the Maldivian education sector to advance to a higher level, advocating for a system that permits foreign students to study in the country. "Once this arrangement is made, educational tourism should commence here," he stated, highlighting the potential economic benefits.
He pointed out that many colleges have been requesting student visas but have been denied due to outdated regulations. Naseem revealed that discussions are currently underway with higher education authorities to amend the rules and enable colleges to obtain student visas within the next two to three months.
Naseem stressed the importance of diversifying the country's tourism industry, which has traditionally relied on beach tourism. “It signifies the progress of a country to develop educational tourism, medical tourism, and all other types of tourism,” Naseem added. “We cannot sustain ourselves by relying solely on tourism.”
The push for educational tourism aligns with the Maldives' broader strategy to diversify its economy and create new revenue streams. By attracting international students, the country hopes to boost its educational institutions and generate additional funding for domestic roles and services.
This initiative follows global trends where countries leverage their educational systems to attract international students, thereby fostering cultural exchange and economic growth. If implemented, the student visa policy could significantly enhance the Maldives' appeal as a destination for higher education, complementing its renowned status as a premier tourist hotspot.