Studying abroad is still a million-dollar dream in Bangladesh. So many talented young people who completed their O level and A level exam want to study abroad. They have all the qualifications, but very often, they cannot access it owing to various reasons ranging from scarcity of funds to other amenities necessary to pursue a higher degree in a foreign land.
Almost 70,000-90,000 students from Bangladesh travel overseas for higher studies every year, according to UNESCO. The original number of students who want to study abroad is much higher. But, different factors knock the wind out of their sails.
First and foremost, pursuing a degree abroad is a very expensive affair. Not everyone has the ability to spend millions to seek higher education abroad. If you cannot manage funds, then you might have to spend more than 50 lakhs in total for pursuing a higher degree from a foreign university, which is a pipedream for most of the students. Moreover, you have to spend a lot of money to bear the living cost as well. Such expenditure often forces many talented students to shelve the plan of studying abroad.
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Second, even the students who make it to the foreign universities face many impediments as many students find it difficult to cope with changed curriculum and study process when they immediately roll into the first semester of a foreign university. It results in sudden disappointment and cultural shock to some extent. Cultural shock may turn out to be very dangerous for some students as they find it difficult to embrace cultural assimilation.
Third, the language barrier is a major concern for someone seeking higher studies in a foreign country as the students may often find themselves in awkward situations due to their local accent. Moreover, it takes quite a considerable amount of time to cope with the surroundings and its people.
Against such a backdrop, many Bangladeshi students hope for an opportunity to pursue higher degrees (from foreign universities) right from their own country. Therefore, providing the students with the opportunity of earning a degree from a foreign university right from the comfort of their homes and having the vibe of studying abroad can be a commendable step towards ensuring quality higher education.
Of late, Monash College has partnered with Universal College Bangladesh (UCB) to give local students a phenomenal opportunity to pursue education from Monash University, one of the world’s top 100 universities. This could be a game-changer for Bangladeshi students as UCB students will be rolled into Monash University Australia upon graduating with the right marks, where they can complete the rest of their education. Thus, Bangladeshi students can embark on a journey towards a degree at Monash University right here at UCB in Bangladesh.
If the courses are being conducted by highly-trained faculty members by adhering to the educational standards, then this could open up new windows for higher education and inspire healthy competition as well. Education is a right, and everyone should be able to access it. In this age of globalization, millions of students belonging to middle-class backgrounds and the lowest rungs of the social ladder deserve the chance to pursue higher education from foreign universities.
Amid Hossain Chowdhury is Head of Marketing, Universal College Bangladesh