Higher Education Challenges for Rural Students in Urban Universities

A Qualitative Exploratory Study


  • Sharjeel Ahmed Department of Education, Iqra University, Karachi
  • Ayesha Iqbal Department of Education, Iqra University, Karachi
  • Bushra Urooj Department of Education, Iqra University, Karachi
  • Muhammad Faisal Department of Education, Iqra University - Karachi




Rural Students’ Perspectives, Rural Students’ Problems, Higher Education Challenges


Rural students are like a marginalized sector of the mainstream classrooms of urban universities. They have their own voices, issues and concerns. The present qualitative exploratory study was conducted to identify the challenges faced by rural students seeking higher education at urban universities in Pakistan. 10 male students and 5 female students who belonged to different rural areas of Pakistan and were studying at an M.Phil./MS level at a private sector urban university in Karachi participated in the study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews using open-ended questions. Interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted to find out the patterns across the data set. As a result, six themes emerged: “social adjustment challenges”, “travelling and accommodation issues”, “problem of time management”, “English language and ICT challenges”, “lack of cooperation from the faculty and administration”, and “rural students require special support”. Results indicated that rural students face a range of problems when they are enrolled at urban universities for higher education. Recommendations were made for the administration of urban universities and also for the prospect rural students at urban universities. A comparative study can be conducted in future in terms of different experiences of the rural students studying at different urban universities across Pakistan.


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How to Cite

Ahmed, S., Iqbal, A., Urooj, B., & Faisal, M. (2021). Higher Education Challenges for Rural Students in Urban Universities: A Qualitative Exploratory Study. Karachi University Business Research Journal, 2(2), 73–83. https://doi.org/10.46568/kubrj.v2i2.50