Bangladesh: Middle class growth helping to drive demand for study abroad

01 March, 2017


Shafiqul Islam Jibon: The number of Bangladeshi students enrolled abroad has increased by about a third over the last two years. This growth is being driven by Bangladesh’s large college-aged population, limited domestic capacity at home, and by a burgeoning middle class. While it still lags behind other more advanced economies in the region, the country’s middle class is growing quickly and the number of middle class consumers in Bangladesh is projected to triple in the coming decade as per a report published by ICEF Monitor on February 27th, 2017.

The report says; South Asia – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – is home to about 25% of the world’s population. Perhaps somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbours, Bangladesh nevertheless has a population of around 160 million all by itself, almost half of which (48%) is under the age of 24.

With that burgeoning college-aged population, it is no surprise that tertiary enrolment in the country has also been booming. More than three million Bangladeshis are now enrolled in higher education, and the country’s University Grants Commission projects that that total will climb to 4.6 million by 2026. Even so, tertiary participation rates have lagged behind regional leaders, such as India and China, and the domestic system has struggled to keep pace with demand, in terms of the number of available spaces, the quality of education, and employment outcomes for graduates.

As we noted in an earlier report, private providers have come to play an increasingly important role in expanding domestic access to higher education. New legislation, first brought forward in May 2014, has also opened the door to foreign universities setting up joint ventures in Bangladesh with local partners. Nearly three years on, however, there has been little progress in this respect and recent reports indicate that Bangladesh’s Education Ministry has moved to block University Grant Commission-backed branch campus applications from British and Australian universities.

“Private university owners have routinely opposed government moves to allow foreign universities to open branches in Bangladesh, and have been influential,” reports University World News. “Sources suggested lobbying by these groups may have been behind the refusal by the ministry to grant approval to foreign branch campuses.”

A big bump in outbound

As domestic capacity continues to lag behind demand, growing numbers of Bangladeshi students are pursuing post-secondary education abroad. The latest data from UNESCO indicates that nearly 31,000 Bangladeshis were enrolled abroad in 2015, a 33% increase over the two years from 2013.

The leading destination, Malaysia, received about 20% of those students in 2015, with other major receiving countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, and Germany rounding out the top five destinations for Bangladeshi students.

A surging middle class

A recent report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) describes Bangladesh as “the surging consumer market nobody saw coming.” On the strength of steady economic growth, stable inflation, low public debt levels, and growing remittance inflows, the population of “middle and affluent consumers” (or MACs) has grown to about 12 million people, or about 7% of the population.

This is still small compared to more advanced economies in the region, such as Vietnam (21% MACs) or Indonesia (38%). But, as the following chart reflects, that middle class base is growing quickly in Bangladesh, at around 10% or 11% per year, and at a pace that outstrips many other Asian markets. “If Bangladesh can maintain this pace, its MAC population will grow by 65% over the next five years,” says BCG. “By 2025, it is expected to nearly triple, to about 34 million.

The other notable characteristic of Bangladesh’s middle class is just how concentrated it is geographically. While this will change over the next decade, as reflected in the illustrations below, Bangladeshi MACs are heavily concentrated in two urban areas today.

“Currently, around 80% of Bangladesh’s MAC population is concentrated in two cities: Dhaka and the eastern port city of Chittagong,” adds BCG. “We see the dispersion of wealth unfolding in two waves. In the first wave, most of the MAC population growth will occur in Dhaka and Chittagong and will begin to take off in smaller cities in the eastern half of Bangladesh.”

The BCG report concludes that, “Very few global companies saw this market coming, so market leadership is very much up for grabs.” It cautions that the market is very value-conscious and that any marketing effort should stress both quality and value-for-money, or ROI. It notes as well that mobile technologies are being widely and rapidly adopted by Bangladeshi consumers and that digital marketing programmes must be well-optimised for mobile.

News source:

Participation at U.S. Certified Education Trade Mission in Kolkata

06 December, 2016



Caption: After the dinner party with Mr Craig L. Hall, the U.S. Consul General and others at his residence this evening in Kolkata. Mr Craig hosted the party as concluding session of the U.S. Certified Education Trade Mission in India. I was only invited guest from Bangladesh with the representation for the Global Study Consultancy. — at U.S. Consulate General Kolkata.

Shafiqul Islam Jibon : For the Global Study Consultancy, I took part in an event of the U.S. Certified Education Trade Mission on November 18th, 2016 at the Park Hotel in Kolkata, India.

Only Global Study Consultancy was invited from Bangladesh by the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata.


It was also exciting for myself to be introduced as ''HERO and LEADER in the educational counseling service in Bangladesh'' from Mr Jonathan T Ward, Principal Commercial Officer of the U.S. Consulate General.


Caption: Mr Jonathan T. Ward, Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S Consultate General in Kolkata and Me — at The Park Hotel, Park Street.

'During my search, I found Shafiqul for the Global Study Consultancy in Bangladesh, as hero and leader in education counseling service for international students'' Mr Jonathan said during introducing me with some potential university officials from the United States. Thanks Jonathan for his remarkable complements with kind words. His remarks will encourage me to work more!

During the session, I met several officials and admission staff from some of the reputed universities of the United States and we talked about collaborations to recruit their students from Global Study Consultancy


Caption: Ms Sudha Mary Toppo, Country Manager at DeVry University of the U.S and Me — at The Park Hotel, Park Street.


Caption: Dr Marie Martin at the Fox Valley Technical College in the U.S and Me — at The Park Hotel, Park Street.


Caption: Mr Steven Richman, Dean of International Recruitment Office of Admission at the HOFSTRA University and Me — at The Park Hotel, Park Street.

Above of these, I also met and discussed about the collaborations with Mr J. Daniel Garcia from the ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, Professor A S Kolaskar from the NEOTIA UNIVERSITY, Dr Pawan K. Kahol from the Pittsburg State University, Professor Radhey S. Sharma from the West Virginia University, Ms Megan Begert from the BINGHAMTON University among others.

Study at SEGi: Global Study Consultancy

06 December, 2016


Two senior officials from the SEGi University & Colleges, one of the largest and reputed private universities in Malaysia met on December 3rd, 2016 in Dhaka. A meet and greet session took place at the Platinum Grand Hotel in Banani this morning about the university's admission and visa process from Bangladesh.
Ms Natasyia Lim and Ms Sarah Lim, for SEGi and me for Global Study Consultancy took part in the session. Thanks to the SEGi management to establish a long term collaboration with Global Study Consultancy to enroll their students from Bangladesh.

Global Study Consultancy: Journey to Your Success

06 December, 2016


Global Study Consultancy has made another history to be selected as the best educational consulting firm at a conference ''Journey to Your Success'' organized by the 'enroute Management Consulting' (enc). The event took place at the Spectra Convention Center in Gulshan, Dhaka, from 9am to 4pm on December 5th, 2016.

More than 500 mid career professionals, students and parents has jointed the conference. I have conducted two sessions there on Global Study Consultancy, it's activity, how this organization can contribute our society with the best foreign admission and immigration service to students. Thanks 'emc' management for the beautiful crest and showing great honor to Global Study Consultancy.

Study in Slovenia with Global Study Consultancy

19 September, 2016


Shafiqul Islam Jibon : Slovenia is located in the heart of Europe, more or less in geometrical center, between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The country is also member of SCHENGEN zone.

With beautiful seaside cities, there are beautiful mountains and green hills with amazing views; some are full of vineyards. Part of Slovenia are plains left from the so called "Panonia sea" and few amazing caves in south-west region that offer unique underground experience.

You can see all of Slovenia, within 2-3 hour drive from the capital Ljubljana. You can go skiing on the mountains in the winter, swimming in the sea in the summer, hiking all over beautiful hills and mountains from spring till autumn.

The majority of Slovenians are fluent in at least one foreign language, usually English or German but additionally also Italian or Hungarian, depends on the region. All lectures for foreign students are conducted in English and professors are mostly really fluent in English so there shouldn't be any problems with communication. Also, people are very open and kind and will help you if they can.

Student meals are subsidized by the government, which really lowers costs of living. In Maribor, in particular, you get the option to live in students dormitories where monthly rent is from 80-150 EUR with all costs covered Students in Slovenia get a lot of discounts for their activities. Sports are really popular and you can get really cheap sport courses, cheap visits to fitness, volleyball, football or other activities
In Maribor for example, everything is in walking distance or you just get cheap bikes on flea market! Transportation in Slovenia is quite cheap. In capital Ljubljana, there is really well organised public transport by city buses. The monthly fee for students is less than 20€, and there is also a bike rental service included in that price.

Night life during the year is great, with lots of student's parties organised every week, almost every day. During summer, there are also many festivals all over Slovenia that offer different cultural and social opportunities, with a lot of great music for all tastes and activities for everyone.

Slovenian girls are really fond of foreign guys… just speaking other languages or being from other country gets you bonus points! Girls get similar treatment, but it's mostly guys that benefit from that.

Getting in love of Slovenia? Come to us to start your procedures! Global Study Consultancy would take care everything for your best admission and visa to Slovenia. To know more about us, please visit: !!

New Zealand Needs Migrant Workers, Prime Minister Says: Global Study Consultancy

07 September, 2016


Shafiqul Islam Jibon : New Zealand needs migrant workers to make up for locals who are lazy or on drugs, prime minister says. As per a UK Telegraph news by Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney, New Zealand must rely on foreign workers because too many locals are on drugs or “won't turn up for work”, its prime minister has said.

Defending the nation’s record migrant intake, John Key said New Zealand needed to import workers - even for low-skilled jobs - because not all locals were suitable or were prepared to move to less desirable areas.
He said the government had been looking to reducing its importation of workers from Pacific island nations to pick fruit but farmers did not want to rely on the locally unemployed population.
“Go and ask the employers, and they will say some of these people won't pass a drug test, some of these people won't turn up for work, some of these people will claim they have health issues later on,” he told Radio New Zealand.
“So it's not to say there aren't great people who transition … to work, they do, but it's equally true that they're also living in the wrong place, or they just can't muster what is required to actually work."
Government figures showed a record 69,000 people moved to the nation of 4.7 million people last year – and 200,000 people received temporary work visas - prompting calls from the opposition to limit migration to protect local workers.
Richard Wagstaff, a union leader, said Mr Key’s attack on local unemployed people was a “political stunt”.
"Demonising New Zealand workers and not giving them a shot at these jobs and creating reasonable jobs is the wrong way to go," he said.

However, Leon Stallard, a fruit farmer in Hawke’s Bay on the North Island, said he supported Mr Key’s comments.

"I would say everything that John Key said, yes, is true,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“I mean, labour is one of the most stressful parts of this business other than the weather… If I need 30 people, I get 40 people, locals, because on average I only get 30 every day . They just don't turn up - they couldn't get a ride, I don't know… I mean, you just can't depend on it. "

In February, a small-town medical practice in New Zealand made headlines after it offered a £190,000 annual salary for a junior doctor to join but admitted that it had no applicants in two years.

The practice said doctors in the big cities were not willing to move to Tokoroa, a town on the North Island with a population of 13,600. Following the international attention, the practice received interest from around the world but has reportedly yet to fill the position.

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