Karl Baldacchino

Bangladeshi interest for on-campus Bachelor’s on the rise


Over the past three years, Bangladesh has witnessed a significant increase in the interest of its students pursuing Bachelor’s programs abroad. This interest has risen from a 3.2% global share in 2021 to 7.0% by November 2023.

Figure 1: Year-over-year growth in relative Bangladeshi interest for on-campus Bachelor’s (2021-2023)

As a result, this surge positions Bangladesh as a potential source market, surpassing India, which has experienced a decline in relative student interest during the same period.

Figure 2: Trend in relative student interest amongst the top-5 origin countries for on-campus Bachelor’s (2021-2023)

Notably, Italy, the US, Canada, and the UK are among the top destinations benefiting from this increased interest among Bangladeshi students. Over the past year, Italy and the UK have seen notable growth in Bangladeshi interest, along with Finnish and Polish institutions.

Figure 3: Year-over-year growth for top-10 study destinations according to Bangladeshi interest for on-campus Bachelor’s (last 12 months vs. preceding 12 months)

Several factors contribute to this growth. Data from UNESCO reveals a threefold increase in Bangladeshi students pursuing higher education abroad, reaching 49,151 students in 2020 across 58 countries over 15 years. For instance, popular destinations for Bangladeshi students include the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and various European countries, with the UAE and Malaysia also gaining favour for their affordability. This trend is fuelled by challenges in local education quality, political instability, and limited job opportunities in Bangladesh.

Additionally, well-off families, predominantly from the middle and upper-middle classes, choose to send their children abroad. English-trained students often opt for Bachelor’s programs, while Bengali-trained students tend to favour Master’s programs.

When examining discipline areas of interest, Bangladeshi students show a strong preference for Bachelor’s programs in Computer Science, Business, Engineering, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences, with Computer Science being the top choice.

Figure 4: Trend in Bangladeshi interest for discipline areas offered as on-campus Bachelor’s (2021-2023)

Institutions worldwide are well-positioned to expand their programme offerings to target the Bangladeshi market. The relative student interest divided by the relative supply (i.e. market opportunity) of programmes indicates promising opportunities in this market, especially for Computer Science, Business, and Engineering programmes.

Curious to Learn More? Explore Our Analytics Tools for Enhanced Student Recruitment Strategies and Market Diversification.


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