A Research on Performance Analysis of Student Counseling Agencies in Bangladesh

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A Research on Performance Analysis of Student Counseling Agencies in Bangladesh

Submitted this report as Internship Report under MBA Program

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A Research on Performance Analysis of Student Counseling Agencies in Bangladesh

  1. 1. A Research onPerformance Analysis ofStudent Counseling Agencies in Bangladesh Submitted To : Mr. Shahin Ahmed Choudhury Lecturer Department of Marketing Faculty of Business Studies University of Dhaka Submitted By : Md. Rezwan Ullah Khan Sec: B, Roll: 019 (BBA), 070 (MBA) 1
  2. 2. th MBA 10 Batch Department of MarketingFaculty of Business Studies University of Dhaka 2
  3. 3. Letter of TransmittalMr. Shahin Ahmed ChoudhuryDepartment of MarketingFaculty of Business StudiesUniversity of DhakaSubject: Submission of Internship Report.Dear Sir,I’m very pleased to submit my Intern Report on the topic “Performance Analysis of StudentCounseling Agencies in Bangladesh”. The report is focused on how the students get the help fromthe student counselors about their decision of studying abroad. While preparing this report, I tried mybest to follow the instructions you gave.It was a great pleasure for me to work with this report under your supervision. I respectfullyacknowledge your guidance and help. For your kind consideration, I would like to mention that heremight be some errors and mistakes due to limitations of my knowledge. I expect that you will forgiveme for those unintentional errors and mistakes.If you have any questions regarding the report, I would be highly glad to respond to your questions.I would like to request you to accept this paper for evaluation.Sincerely,____________________________(Md. Rezwan Ullah Khan)Sec: B, Roll: 019 (BBA), 070 (MBA) thMBA 10 BatchDepartment of Marketing 3
  4. 4. Faculty of Business StudiesUniversity of Dhaka 4
  5. 5. Acknowledgement Thanks to the almighty for giving me the knowledge and strength to perform this project. At a time, I was doubtful about my ability. At last, I could finish it. I would like to thank my Course Instructor, Lecturer of Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka, Mr. Shahin Ahmed Choudhury. The theoretical knowledge I gathered from him will always be helpful in my later life. Md. Rezwan Ullah Khan th MBA 10 Batch Department of Marketing Faculty of Business Studies University of Dhaka 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. Table of ContentExecutive summary page.5Section: 1Introduction page.7Pattern of student migration page.8Rationale page.9Section: 2Discussion & AnalysisFinding information on Foreign Study page.12Scenario of UK going students (fact sheet) page.15Evaluation of student migration process page.16UK student visa turn elusive page.17The most common malpractices page.19Section: 3Conclusion & RecommendationConclusion page.23Recommendation page.24Theoretical implications page.25Section: 4AppendixList of some student counselors in Bangladesh page.27Section: 5Proposal page.31Section: 6Questionnaire page.34 7
  8. 8. Executive Summary This study has dealt with a variety of issues surrounding student migration from Bangladesh to the UK, regarding both the nature of this migration and the current system for managing it. It explored some of the motivations for Bangladeshis to study in the UK. These included enhanced job prospects in Bangladesh, access to the international job market, higher social status in Bangladesh, historical ties with the UK, the existence of a large Bangladeshi Diaspora community, English language and images of the West and global culture gained through modern media. This highlights the importance both of country context and of changes at a global level for understanding international student migration. This study has also drawn on statistical data to analyze the current patterns and trends in student migration from Bangladesh to the UK. Statistics reveal that the most popular destinations for Bangladeshi students are, in descending order, the US, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Japan and Malaysia. For many Bangladeshis, overseas study counseling agencies provide the major source of information on UK study, which is due partly to their extensive advertising in a range of locations. The perception that agencies offer a ‘fast-track’ route through the system and will help overcome formal obstacles also explains their popularity. While acknowledging the potentially useful role that genuine agencies can play in facilitating student migration from Bangladesh to the UK, this study highlighted the need for greater regulation of such agencies in Bangladesh. Finally, this study has discussed the use of student migration as a route to irregular labor migration to the UK. While no exact figures are available, research suggests that a high number of applicants for UK study are intending to work on arrival and that many of those entering the UK as students are doing so. Bogus UK colleges and the agencies representing them in Bangladesh were found to play a crucial role in 8
  9. 9. facilitating those who intend to work, as well as misleading manygenuine students. 9
  10. 10. Section: 1Introduction 10
  11. 11. IntroductionThere has been unprecedented demand for higher education because "global wealth is concentrated less andless in factories and the land, and more and more in knowledge and skills" (Power 2000). Universities in mostdeveloped economies have responded to these challenges through expansion of knowledge delivery optionsand through appealing to different sets of potential students. The global dimension of higher educationmakes universities part of the world market with a new system of relationship (Marginson 2000).Migration, both within and beyond borders, has become an increasingly prominent theme in domestic andinternational debates, and is the topic of the 2009 Human Development Report (HDR09). Student migration isan increasingly important phenomenon in Bangladesh and the UK ranks among the most popular and highlyregarded study destinations. However, as elsewhere, this migration has received scant attention from thegovernment, academics or researchers. This study tries to look in detail at the process of applying for study inthe UK and the role of various student counselors involved. It then seeks to evaluate this process and the roleof the different actors involved, identifying what major problems exist. In particular, it aims to draw attention tothe experiences of Bangladeshi students in applying for UK study. 11
  12. 12. Pattern of Student Migration from BangladeshThis section describes the current patterns and trends regarding student migration from Bangladesh to theUK. The figure below shows the most common destinations for Bangladeshi students from 1999 to 2004.(Figure available at - http://stats.uis.unesco.org/Tableviewer/tableView.aspx?Reportld=84 )According to these statistics, the most popular study destinations for Bangladeshis in 2003/4 appear to be, indescending order, the US, Australia, Cyprus, UK, Japan and Malaysia (although the position of the US andAustralia must be estimated from previous years). These figures point to a general rise in the number ofBangladeshi students going abroad to study, both to the UK and to other destinations. In the case of the UK,the number of Bangladeshi students almost doubled in this period, rising from 634 to 1,300. The numbergoing to the US, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Japan and Malaysia and Germany also rose.Two other destinations of growing importance for Bangladeshi students are Canada and Malaysia.Unfortunately, while the latest figures for Canada are not available in this dataset, other research suggestedthis is a growing market for Bangladeshi students. The number of Bangladeshi students going to Malaysia hasclimbed from 174 to 743 between 1998 and 2003. Many overseas education agencies in Bangladesh are alsomarketing Malaysia as a study destination for Bangladeshis. 12
  13. 13. RationaleRoughly 2 million students per year study outside of their home countries and Asian students make up a largeproportion of these, especially in Australia, the UK and the US (World Migration Report, 2005). Despite arapid growth in student mobility and its clear importance, international student migration remains a vastlyunder-researched phenomenon. Student migration has huge potential benefits for both sending and receivingcountries, as well as for individual students themselves. The benefits of student migration for the receivingcountry have long been recognized, both in terms of ‘brain gain’ and foreign income gained from overseasstudents, which the British Council estimates will be 13 billion GBP per year by 2020 (British Council Report,2004).In addition, there has been increasing recognition that student migration can bring substantial benefits for thesending as well as the receiving country. This highlights the importance for Bangladesh of managing itsstudent migration as effectively as possible. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to understand thenature of student migration in specific contexts and to evaluate the current system through which it takesplace. The student counselors play a very significant role in this situation. They are the one responsible for thepromotion of foreign education and also help guide the students to choose the right path.The number of student counselors in Bangladesh is not specifically identified, but there is a list of some of thestudent counselors provided at the end of this report.Figure- Growth in number of international students in UK 13
  14. 14. (source: “Mobility Matters: Forty Years of International Student, Forty Years of UKCISA”, by Dr. Mary Stiasny, Institution of Education,2008) 14
  15. 15. There are certain things that a student needs to be confirmed about the institution before going abroad. Somestudents don’t even bother about the quality of the institution. They just want to go abroad. They take thisstudent migration as a process of labor migration. These fraud practices are later described in this study.But students who are genuine and focused on their study, they tend to be more cautious about the institutionthey are interested to study in. they try to talk with the agents of that institution and also try to contact withinstitution itself trough e-mails and letters.Motivations for Bangladeshis to study in foreign countries included the followings- • Enhanced job prospects in Bangladesh • Access to the international job market • Higher social status in Bangladesh • The existence of a large Bangladeshi Diasporas community • English language and images of the West • Global culture gained through modern media(source: Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK, Penelope Anthias)Options that students tend to think about before selecting an institution for studying- • Classroom and Technology Facilities • Library • Student Services • Capabilities • Teaching • Learning • Student orientation(source: Published in the website of Free Library, titled as “International student satisfaction: role of resources and capabilities”) 15
  16. 16. Section: 2Discussion & Analysis 16
  17. 17. Finding Information on Foreign StudyAs discussed previously that student migration from Bangladesh is mostly to the UK, that’s why this study triesto elaborate on the basis of UK admission procedure. Information on both study options and the applicationprocess is available at no cost from various sources. Accessing this information is the first important step thatBangladeshi students must take towards applying for UK study, therefore forms a crucial part of the studentmigration process.British CouncilThe British Council is the UKs leading international organization for educational and cultural relations.Whether someone wants to study in Britain, take a recognized UK exam, wants to find out about the latestideas from the UK, or discover what British Council are doing in Bangladesh; they are always there to help.They have three centers in Bangladesh. They offer a wide range of courses, host different UK recognizedexaminations or certificate exams and also counsel students willing to go abroad (especially UK) for study.They have a dedicated department with dedicated personnel who deals with several questions regardingstudying abroad every day.They have a dedicated service for students called the Professional Advisory Student Service (PASS) whichdeals with student queries. Every year British Council arranges education fair in local hotel to take thestudents one step closer to the foreign education system and allow them to speak with the foreign educationpromoters. Like every year, British Council arranged an Education Fair in Sheraton Hotel, where 39 Britisheducation institutes participated to meet with the local students and offer their services to them personally.(source: www.britishcouncil.org)Other Sources of InformationInformation about individual colleges or universities can be obtained from college and university websites.Almost all universities now have an online prospectus. This normally includes detailed information on allaspects of study, for example, courses offered, entrance requirements, teaching methods, assessmentcriteria, application procedures, funding options, accommodation, student support services, the StudentsUnion and student life. Additional information can be obtained by contacting admissions offices or specificdepartments. There are some agents who works for these universities and colleges to locally promote theiroffers and encourage students to go abroad. Description of some of these agents are given below-MACESMaces offer extensive advice and support to students considering studying abroad for a higher degree. Theirspecific services include: 1. In-depth counseling to help students to select the right course at the most suitable institution with up-to-date information on course, institution, fees and facilities using their own database and well 17
  18. 18. resourced reference libraries. Students with limited access to MACES offices can avail counseling services on the Web. They advise on entry criteria and the application process and also provide ongoing support throughout the duration of the application. 2. Student visa advice to help students secure their visa. As a member of BASAS ( Bangladesh Approved Student Agents Scheme) MACES has received extensive training from the British High Commission, Dhaka. 3. Pre-departure briefing to help students prepare for going overseas to study. In addition to seminars MACES provide students with a wealth of information to help them prepare for a smooth transition. 4. Networking opportunities to enable students to establish contact with alumni, existing students as well as other new entrants. (source: www.maccesbd.com)Falcon Education and Consultancy Services BangladeshFalcon provides counseling to students from all over the world, especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh andOman. It has so far placed more than 5000 students in various universities of high repute in UK. A team offully trained professionals and friendly staff, at all the FECS offices, promptly responds to students query andprovides any information regarding study opportunities abroad. They offer services regarding the following- • Choice of several prestigious UK universities • Free career counseling • Free swift admission services • Fast track visa processing • Pre-departure orientation • Post arrival guidance • Student accommodation • Student job desk • Discounted travel to UK • Corporate services • Institutional link/collaboration • Distance learning education and customized research • Short coursesOverseas Ambition SolutionsOverseas Ambition Solutions is one of the leading and most reliable education consultancy & Immigrationadvisory firms in Bangladesh (according to them) with a glaring record of last several years in the field ofsuccessful overseas enrolment. It is a one-stop solution center for foreign admissions and accurate Visaprocurement process for those ambitious pupils who wants to go study abroad. 18
  19. 19. Overseas Ambition Solutions (OAS) provides the following services to the students: • Give all required advice on foreign education. • Guide students to choose the right courses and institutions which match their aims and career plans. • Confirm quick admissions in students desired foreign institutions. • Assist students throughout the visa application process. • Make an individual assessment of every student. • Provide counseling for updated visa and immigration rules of the concerned countries. • Assist students effectively for accommodation and air-ticket. • Help students out with opening bank files at home for fast and easy transfer of required money while they study abroad. • Assist students for study loans. • Organize seminars and spot admissions with delegates from foreign institutions. • Provide free training on IELTS test for potential candidates. • Run appeal process for refusal cases by the most skilled and experienced solicitors.BIECA (Bangladesh International Education Consultants’ Association)BIECA is non-profit association of private & professional education consultants in Bangladesh. Conceived in2006, established in 2008 and fully active since 2009 with the support of Australian High Commission, AusTrade, AEI, British Council, SRIEF (Sub-Continent Regional International Education Forum), ICEF andnumerous public and private education providers across the globe.It’s important to mention that BIECA is a transformation of previous association body that started back in2005.The mission of BIECA (source: www.bieca.org) • To provide service to fellow Bangladeshi students and make study abroad process organized and efficient • To uphold the reputation of members • To ensure maximum benefits to members • To prevent and detect operational errors or issues for perfection • To offer fellowships and scholarships to Bangladeshi students • To maintain proper communication among relevant bodies 19
  20. 20. The Scenario of UK Going Students (Fact Sheet)Table: Student Visa Applications and Issues 2001-05 %age diff in %difference Total Student %age total in student Student Student application applications student applications applications issues refusals received received issues year on year year on year 2001 27824 - 2482 - 1311 1171 52.8% 2002 23810 -14.4% 3900 57.1% 2176 2080 21.1% 2003 37512 57.5% 5104 30.9% 2374 2617 47.6% 2004 44594 18.9% 6702 31.3% 1926 3663 34.5% 2005 37932 -14.9% 6944 3.6% 2857 4766 37.5%Source: “student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK” by Penelope Anthias; Page-14, Table-1The table above shows the total number of visa applications received, the number of applications for studentvisa and the number of student visas issued by the British High Commission in the last 5 years. As thesefigures reveal, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of student visa applications. In fact,applications have almost tripled during this period, rising from 2482 in 2001 to 6944 in 2005. While thenumber of applicants has risen every year, by far the sharpest increase was from 2001 to 2002, whenapplications rose by a staggering 57.1 percent. For the following two years, applicant numbers rose by around30 percent, although the figure remained fairly stable from 2004 to 2005, rising by only 3.6 percent.Some statistics of student migration to foreign countries at a glance-Recruitment of International Postgraduates (1988-1997)Country 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997UK 25000 26600 29100 30900 32400 36100 69844 82424 77729 81015USA 122800 125100 132000 141300 152100 152500 149800 148200 146700 n/aAustrali 4937 6215 6860 7965 9123 10201 11711 13489 14145 16858aCanada 11900 13625 14859 15299 15800 15609 15411 n/a n/a n/a(Sources: UK: HESA, DfEE; USA: US Council of Graduate Schools / Open Doors; Australia: DETYA; Canada: The Canadian Bureau forInternational Education.)International postgraduates from the top 40 non-EU overseas countries, 1994-97Country 1994 1995 1996 1997US 3281 3750 3796 3844Japan 1711 2131 2195 2485China 2072 2298 2235 2272India 1276 1561 1714 2137Pakistan 1040 1164 1157 1217 20
  21. 21. Sri Lanka 384 419 361 357Bangladesh 370 384 358 340(Source: Calculated from HESA statistics.) 21
  22. 22. Evaluation of the Student Migration ProcessThe following section will try to evaluate the whole immigration process and the role of different actors like thestudent counselors within it. The student counselors help the students to easily pass through this process ofmigration by guiding them.Access to InformationAccessing information on UK study constitutes the first crucial stage in the application process. a range ofinformation sources are freely available to Bangladeshis wanting to study in the UK. Particularly helpful in thisregard are the British Council’s services and the websites of individual colleges and universities. Thosestudents who don’t know how to get the information from the institution’s website, student counselors helpthem find it.One study regarding the student migration from Bangladesh to UK by Penelope Anthias examined to whatextent Bangladeshis are able to access and understands this information. This was examined throughindividual discussions and workshop, in which returned and prospective students were asked about wherethey obtained information on UK study, how easy this had been, what problems they had had and how theythought information could be made more accessible. These discussions revealed that the ability ofBangladeshis to access information on UK study varies a great deal. Some students interviewed had littletrouble accessing the necessary information independently, through university or college websites andprospectuses, from the British Council and from other sources listed above. This was particularly the case forhigh achieving students and those at postgraduate level.Meeting Financial RequirementsIn terms of the obstacles faced by Bangladeshi students applying for overseas study, the major difficulty formany is in meeting the financial requirements for obtaining a student visa. Students are required to prove theirability to pay for their studies and support themselves by providing documents. Students admitted to the UKmust be able to support themselves for the duration of their studies and it is this which dictates financialrequirements. The difficulty that Bangladeshis face in meeting these requirements is a reflection of theinequality between the two countries and these requirements cannot simply be relaxed because they aredifficult to meet.Student counselor like the British Council helps student to deal with this problem also. As in today’s time, UKeducation requires a bank account in the name of the interested student with the required amount of moneydeposited; British Council (BC) guides the student about these processes. BC only takes the student’sapplication form to the chancellor for acceptance, who satisfies their criteria of filling up all the informationproperly and doing all others parts accordingly. BC has its dedicated staffs and department to guide the 22
  23. 23. students to go to UK for study purpose. The department of BC is named as Education UK Desk. Thisdepartment is open for all students 6 days a week. 23
  24. 24. UK Student Visa Turn ElusiveBritish High Commission in Dhaka refused student visas as unscrupulous agents processed visa applicationsof students possessing fake certificates. The figures of the UK High Commission in Dhaka in 2005 showedthere were 6,944 student visa applications of which only 2,857 applications were granted. Although thenumber of UK student visa applications nearly tripled in the last five years (2000-2005), the success rate ofapplications declined from 52 percent to 37.5 percent. This huge refusal rate was mainly due to thesubmission of forged documents by the visa applicants, their unreliable funding sources and bank documents.Moreover, the embassies thought most of them had intention of not coming back after finishing study. Thesefigures were disclosed at a dialogue on "Migration to the UK from Bangladesh: Opportunities and Constraints"at the British Council auditorium on May 4, 2006. (source: The Daily Star, Vol-5, Num-688, published on- Sunday, May-7,2006, by- Faizul Khan Tanim)The visa problem also got fierce in the last year (2009) which is still ongoing. The problem occurred due to thegreat depression in the economy worldwide; UK stopped its student inflow for some time. Some elusive visaapplications by the students are also the reasons for stopping the inflow, which is same as the incident of theyear 2006.Deceptive and Fraudulent PracticesUnscrupulous Counseling Agencies and Bogus UK CollegesStudents may go to agencies hoping that they will overcome legal obstacles by engaging in fraudulentpractices on their behalf. However, there is also the perception, even for those who can meet requirements,that going to an agency provides the quickest route or best chance of getting through the system. This can beunderstood partly in the context of other official processes in Bangladesh, where people have little faith thatfollowing formal procedures will result in equal treatment or success, and seeking help from a personalcontact or paying an intermediary is often the only way to succeed. This partly explains why, as one agencyowner described, students tend to look for a ‘quick fix’ solution or ‘short circuit method’, rather than goingthrough the proper process.Agencies often fuel this perception by making claims such as ‘We can make your path to university morestraightforward and quicker than the conventional process’. One agent at the UK Education Fair wasobserved informing students that the visa application process was extremely complicated and the British HighCommission’s policy constantly changing, therefore they stood little chance of compiling a successfulapplication without this agents help. In some cases, going to an agent does indeed speed up the process.Given that many students require some help in applying for UK study and do not have access to othersources of information, private counseling agencies can potentially play a useful and important role in 24
  25. 25. facilitating student migration to the UK. Most UK colleges and universities depend on agencies to recruitoverseas students and a great many Bangladeshi students that come to the UK have received informationfrom or applied through an agency.However, many of the problems with the current student migration process in Bangladesh relate to the role ofthese counseling agencies. There is currently no framework for regulating them and although some aregenuine, this study found that deceptive and fraudulent practices are widespread, which are outlined below.Even the British High Commission is worried about the number of fraud agencies and colleges in the UK.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------The information below on the malpractices of agencies was gathered by Penelope Anthias in one of herstudies [Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK] from a range of sources: discussions with studentswho had experience dealing with agencies, interviews with current or past agency workers or owners,discussions with ECOs at the British High Commission, articles in British and Bangladeshi newspapers andvisits to a number of agencies in the Gulshan and Banani areas of Dhaka with a Bangladeshi posing as aprospective student. I. Charging FeesPrivate counseling agencies are funded directly by the UK colleges and universities they represent, andreceive a commission for every student that takes up a place. According to their agreement with universities,they are not supposed to charge students any fee for their services, as was verified by discussions withuniversity representatives. However, this study found that in the vast majority of cases, agents do charge fees.Agency fees were found to vary depending on both the agency and the student’s perceived ability to pay. Forexample, two students interviewed had paid respectively 50,000 and 70,000 taka to the same agency for thesame service. In most cases, money would be required at various stages of the application process. Initialadvice and information sheets from different institutions would be given at no cost, although in a few cases aminimal registration fee was charged. II. Conning Students Out of MoneyThe study discovered that, in some cases, students who have paid large sums of money to agencies receiveno further information and are effectively being conned by supposed counseling agencies. One agency ownerdescribed the process as follows: the agency takes Taka 10-20,000 in agency fees, then one or two monthslater, produces a false offer letter and asks for tuition fees of Taka 5,000-10,000, a proportion of which theywould keep and a proportion of which would go to a UK college. [Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK, PenelopeAnthias] III. Fraudulent PracticesThis study found that there is a high incidence of fraudulence at various stages of the process of applying forstudy in the UK. It should be emphasized that this does not necessarily involve overseas study counseling 25
  26. 26. agencies; in some cases, applicants may provide inaccurate information or obtain forged documentation bytheir own devices. 26
  27. 27. The following list is not exhaustive but covers what appear to be the most commonmalpractices-Firstly, many applications for student visas are submitted with forged bank statements. It has already beennoted that meeting financial requirements constitutes the major obstacle to most Bangladeshi applicants.Because of the obvious potential for forgeries, the amount of money in the account must also be verified bythe bank manager, which is done via a phone call from an ECO in the British High Commission. As a wayaround this, a common practice of many agencies is to bribe a Bank Manager to answer the phone and verifythe false information provided by forged bank statements. [Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK, PenelopeAnthias]According to the British High Commission, students sometimes provide false information about theirrelationship with the person sponsoring them [Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK, Penelope Anthias]. Althoughthere is no formal requirement that applicants must be sponsored by a relative, it is well-known that the BritishHigh Commission looks more favorably upon applicants sponsored by a close relative, who is deemed a morecredible and reliable source of funding. In other cases, a phone call to the sponsor revealed either ignoranceof the applicant’s course of study or college fees, or the sponsor has never heard of the applicant. In the lattercase, applicants may be using the name of a wealthy person as their sponsor without their consent.In addition to financial documents, other forged documents that may be supplied by agencies include offerletters, degree certificates or grade transcripts, English Language certificates and letters stating receipt oftuition fees. An ECO even reported that one particularly ingenious student had forged a student visa refusalletter, sent it to a college and received a refund of tuition fees, then proceeded to travel to the UK on a studentvisa. [Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK, Penelope Anthias] IV. Misleading Genuine Students about Quality of InstitutionsThis study found that, in many cases, information that agencies give regarding the nature and quality ofeducational establishments and courses offered is extremely misleading. Clearly, because agencies receive acommission from universities and colleges, one would not expect them to offer objective advice on studyoptions. For example, they will only promote the universities or colleges they represent, sometimes favoringthose institutions who pay the highest commission.For genuine students, arriving at such a college disappoints their expectations of UK education and creates adilemma about what to do next. Those who wish to remain in the UK are unable to complain to anyone thatthey are not attending a proper college as they may risk deportation. While some do return to Bangladesh andothers may succeed in changing college, it seems likely that some who find themselves in this situation havingpaid considerable money to get there may decide to remain in the UK and work. 27
  28. 28. V. Student Migration as a Route to Labor MigrationIn addition to those who genuinely want to study in the UK, student migration in Bangladesh is also used as aroute to getting to the UK in order to work. From discussions arranged by Penelope Anthias (in her StudentMigration from Bangladesh to the UK) with those involved in the student migration process, it appears that alarge number of Bangladeshis attempting to migrate as students to the UK may be intending to work onarrival. A number of agencies, the British Council and London Metropolitan’s counseling service all reportedthis and said that their first task when meeting a prospective student is to assess whether or not they aregenuine.VI. Fraud CollegesIt is not possible to assume that colleges are not genuine because they have low entrance requirements orcharge low tuition fees, and the British High Commission cannot reject applications on mere suspicion.Investigation of such colleges in the UK is required to ascertain which are running proper classes of anacceptable standard. However, there are indications that some of these colleges may not be genuine. Forexample, websites often offer unconvincing and incomplete information, and entrance requirements seemunrealistic for the courses offered. When examining student visa applications, it was noted that severalapplicants had obtained an offer letter from the college even though they did not have an adequate level ofEnglish.Aside from those who receive offers from cheap low grade colleges, it is also common practice for students totake up a place at a reputable institution, then to drop out and change to a low grade or bogus college onarrival. In some cases, this may be because an application to a public university stands a higher chance ofsuccess for obtaining a student visa; in other cases, the decision to drop out may be made later.In addition to facilitating the entrance of non-genuine students, there is evidence that bogus UK college alsoplay a role in facilitating overstay, either by putting students in contact with agents that help secure visaextensions or by enrolling students who have completed their studies at another institution. In 2004, aninvestigation was conducted by a journalist of The Guardian newspaper into the possibility of enrolling atLondon colleges for the purpose of obtaining a visa extension without attending regular classes. Shediscovered that one college would enroll her on an MA in Business Administration for 700GBP and she wouldonly have to attend two classes a week, while another recommended a computing course which would onlyrequire her to sign in once a month (The Guardian). One person interviewed in this study had also managedto remain in the UK by this means; on completion of his MA, he had enrolled on another MA at a boguscollege in London. [Student Migration from Bangladesh to the UK, Penelope Anthias]As this illustrates, the problem of student visa abuse is not specific to Bangladeshi students but a product ofthe UK’s growing and unregulated market in overseas education. As described in another recent article in TheGuardian, ‘The business of bringing students and educators together has spawned hoards of agents acrossthe globe of varying degrees of competence, to recruit overseas students to UK universities and colleges. It 28
  29. 29. has also simulated a massive British education bazaar where offerings range from the glittering qualificationsof elite universities to classes in small backstreet offices (The Guardian, ‘Systematic Abuse’ September 2005).According to the same article, out of 1,200 colleges inspected in 2005, 300 were found to be unfit to takeforeign students, while the Home Office estimated 5,000 a year were abusing the student visa system.In summary, it seems that the process of student migration from Bangladesh to the UK is not being governedor regulated effectively at either end, but is dominated by bogus colleges in the UK and unscrupulous agentsin Bangladesh representing them, who profit from misleading genuine students and assisting prospectivelabor migrants to enter the UK on student visas. 29
  30. 30. Section: 3Conclusion & recommendation 30
  31. 31. ConclusionThis study has dealt with a variety of issues surrounding student migration from Bangladesh to the UK,regarding both the nature of this migration and the current system for managing it.Firstly, it explored some of the motivations for Bangladeshis to study in the UK. These included enhanced jobprospects in Bangladesh, access to the international job market, higher social status in Bangladesh, historicalties with the UK, the existence of a large Bangladeshi Diaspora community, English language and images ofthe West and global culture gained through modern media. This highlights the importance both of countrycontext and of changes at a global level for understanding international student migration.Secondly, this study has drawn on statistical data to analyze the current patterns and trends in studentmigration from Bangladesh to the UK. Statistics reveal that the most popular destinations for Bangladeshistudents are, in descending order, the US, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Japan and Malaysia.Regarding the UK, a dramatic increase in student visa applications was noted over the last 5 years,particularly steep in the last year, accompanied by a falling success rate of applications. In terms of subjectsstudied, statistics revealed the popularity of business-related subjects and a clear bias towards scientific andtechnical subjects as opposed to arts and social sciences. A sample of recent student visa applications alsopointed to a clear gender imbalance; less that 5 percent of applicants were female.Having provided some useful background information, this study set out to describe and evaluate the currentsystem for managing student migration from Bangladesh to the UK. The process of applying for study in theUK was described as consisting of three main stages: accessing information, applying for study and applyingfor a student visa. This study described these stages in detail and explored what problems exist at eachstage.The first major problem identified concerns access to information on studying in the UK. This study found thatalthough a range of information sources are freely available to Bangladeshis; in many cases prospectivestudents are unable to access this information independently. This can be because they lack the necessaryEnglish language or research skills or because they are unaware of or lack access to existing informationsources. However, ability to access information was found to vary a great deal and social class was identifiedas a crucial factor in this.For many Bangladeshis, overseas study counseling agencies provide the major source of information on UKstudy, which is due partly to their extensive advertising in a range of locations. The perception that agenciesoffer a ‘fast-track’ route through the system and will help overcome formal obstacles also explains theirpopularity. While acknowledging the potentially useful role that genuine agencies can play in facilitating 31
  32. 32. student migration from Bangladesh to the UK, this study highlighted the need for greater regulation of suchagencies in Bangladesh.Finally, this study has discussed the use of student migration as a route to irregular labor migration to the UK.While no exact figures are available, research suggests that a high number of applicants for UK study areintending to work on arrival and that many of those entering the UK as students are doing so. Bogus UKcolleges and the agencies representing them in Bangladesh were found to play a crucial role in facilitatingthose who intend to work, as well as misleading many genuine students.RecommendationsHaving identified some of the major problems and their implications, the following section puts forward anumber of policy recommendations for both Bangladesh and the UK, which can help to improve the processfor managing student migration. • The education counselors’ services should be more widely promoted in order to compete with the extensive advertising by other fraud agencies. In particular, staff of colleges, schools and universities should be provided with more information on studying in the foreign countries and encouraged to promote the BC’s (British Council) PASS (Professional Advisory Service for Students) service. An extra effort should be made to target areas outside Dhaka. • The High Commission’s website of respective countries should be made clearer and more user- friendly for prospective applicants. When introducing the new self-assessment system, the website should provide information on how to meet particular requirements and provide links to other useful resources. • A joint taskforce could be established between the student counselors, the High Commission and the Ministry of Education, in order to work towards establishing an accreditation system for agencies. • The license fee regulations for overseas counseling agencies could be reviewed in order to increase their accountability and the Government of Bangladesh could monitor practices more closely. • Information on formal processes of student migration to foreign countries could be given through newspaper advertisements, public service announcements and television spots. • The Bangladesh Ministry of Education website could contain some basic information on overseas study and have links to useful resources for students interested in studying in foreign countries. 32
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. Theoretical Implications of ResearchThe findings of this research have a number of theoretical implications for our understanding of internationalstudent migration more generally. As noted in the introduction, student migration tends to treated as arelatively homogenous category of highly-skilled migration, which can either have the impact of ‘brain drain’ or‘brain circulation’. In other words, it is assumed that student migrants are from educated backgrounds and willlater take up skilled jobs in their countries of origin or abroad.Another finding of this study was the importance of social class regarding access to student migration, both interms of educational background, ability to access information and capacity to meet financial costs. Thesignificance of social class is reinforced by the important role that social networks play at various stages of themigration process. 34
  35. 35. Section: 4Appendix 35
  36. 36. There are some specialized agencies in Bangladesh who arrange admission of Bangladeshi students invarious educational institutes of the world. The list consist of some of them are enclosed with this reportbelow- Contact Info. Dealing Country ADMISSIONABROAD.COMABC House(7th Floor) 8,kemal Attartuk Avenue,Banani,Dhaka-1213 Tel88028814565,9893959 Fax:88029885651 E-mail:bangladesh@admissionabroad.com AMERICAN UNIVERSITY (BANGLADESH STUDY CENTER) USA House 67/A, Road 8/A Dhanmondi, Dhaka Phone: +88-02-8112832 AUSTRALIAN CENTER FOR EDUCATION AUSTRALIA IDP Education Australia, Bangladesh CWN (A) 12 Kemal Ataturk Avenue Gukshan 2, Dhaka 1212 Tele: +88-02-606224/606829/9883545/8821067 Fax: 88-02-8823343 E-mail: idpbd@treximpcom Web: www.idpbd.com, www.idp.com& B S B NETWORK City heart (13th Floor) Suit No 6, 67, Naya Paltan, Dhaka 1000 Tele: +88-02-9353494/ 9340536/9349471 B S B GLOBAL NETWORK CANADA, USA, GREECE, Plot 22 (3rd Floor) UK, IRELAND, NZ Gulshan Circle 2, Dhaka AUSTRALIA Tele: +88-02-8818816, 8816394, 9890523, 8819715, 9895772 Mobile:019322407, 0171179202 Fax: +88-02-8811514, 9895772 E-mail: sworld@bdonline.com Web: www.bsbbd.com Ctg. Address: th 69, Agrabad, Fl. 6 Bank Asia Building Chittagong Tele: +88-031-391516 36
  37. 37. Mobile: 018-282346-7, 0171-830099Bridge OneConcept Tower68-69, Green Road(3rd Floor)Office:301,302,Dhaka Mob:0173-016368BROADWAY EDUCATION CONSULTANTHouse #70 Block#E, Road 17Banani, Dhaka 1213 SYDNEYTele: +88-02-8825567 fax:8826894E-mail: bweducon@citech-bd.netCISCOSezan Point:(West side of Overbridge),(5th Floor)2, Indira Rd. Framgate, Dhaka 1205Tele: +88-02-8152257/9144976/9173800/8121781 LONDONMobile: 018171534/018826516E-mail: ciscoint_bd2000@yahoo.comWeb: www.ciscoint.comCREATIVE IMMIGRATION & BUSINESS CONSULTANTS LTD.Kader Arcade33 Mirpur RoadDhanmondi, Dhaka 1205 NEW ZEALANDTele: +88-02-8619350/8610392/8615794/9664961/9664965Mobile: 0171617015Fax: E-mail: cibcl@creative-bd.comWeb: www.creative-bd.comEDUCATION CONSULTING GROUP (ECG)Dhaka Office:51, Motijheel (2nd floor)Suit 10, Dhaka 1217Tele: +88-02-9559243 GREECESylhet Office:Tele: +88-0821-715386Tele: 018-806550/0171-787822/019650097/0172-115454FALCON EDUCATION & CONSULTANCY SERVICESRd. 27, Block J, Banani DhakaTele: +88-02-8820495Mobile: 0171-837456 UKE-mail: cascl@citech-bd.comBranch office:CENTER FOR ADVANCE STUICES & COUNSELING LIMITED 37
  38. 38. H #16(1st floor), R#27,B-J Banani,Dhaka-1213Tele:9873245/8820495/9890916Fax:880(+2)8813926E-mail:cascl@citech-bd.com, fahim@cascl-higherstudy.comFOREIGN EDUCATION SERVICE BANGLADESH (FEA)216, North ShahjanpurAmtala (1st Floor)Tele: +88-02-9350632 UKMobile: 0171833772/011805936Fax: 88-02-9348174E-mail: fes@aitlbd.netIBM EDUCATION SERVICE1/B, D I T Avenue (4th fl.)Motijheel C/A, Dhaka 1000Tele: +88-02-9568490Mobile: 0171-350742Chittagong Office:28,Boshor Market, ChockbazerUnder Agrani Bank, ChittagongTele:80-31-654578Mob:019-850352 IRELAND, SPAIN, UK,Sylhet office: Century Shopping Center(2nd Floor) FRANCE, BELGIUM,Sunamgong Road, Amborkhana,Sylhet SWITZERLAND, AUSTRALIA,Tele:880-0821-711103 NZAustralia Office:5/183 King Street MoscatNsw 2020, Sydney,AustraliaTele:(00)61-2-96696627/(00)61-2-95931108/(00)61-0422162418E-mail:monimokta@hotmail.comUK Office:399/A,High StreetKikrkealdy, File, Ky1 2SG,Scotland,UKTele:(00)44 0159 592900Mob:(00)44 07940374467MAK & ASSOCIATESDream House, Mirpur-6-KhaB-RoadPlot # 34,(at Mirpur -10 Golchakar)Mirpur, Dhaka 1216 CANADATele: +88-02-8011976, 9005088Fax: +88-02-8017503E-mail: orient@bol-online.comPERDANA STUDENTS SUCCESS OVERSEAS 38
  39. 39. Plot CWS (B), 14,Corner of Rd. 24 & 33, Gulshan, Dhaka 1212Tele: +88-02-9888088/8815556/9882598E-mail: admissions@perdanacollege.comSAS; Study Abroad ServicesSuite # 6/3 Eastern PlazaSonargaon Road,Hatirpool Dhaka-1205E-mail:sasbd@lastsave.com,shafiq@sasbd.net,admin@sasbd.netWeb:www.sasbd.netUCASDarus Salam Arched (7th Floor)14, Purana Paltan Dhaka-1000 UKTele: +88-02-9570234Mobile 018-106593. 39
  40. 40. Section: 5Proposal 40
  41. 41. Performance Analysis of Student Counseling Agencies in BangladeshStatement of the problemGoing abroad for study purpose is a very common phenomenon in this age. Students from all aroundthe world gather in one country or campus to study what they think is best for them. But before goingthere, they need to undergo some procedures to make them compatible for that country. And herecomes the job of a student counselor who can help groom the students according to the proceduresof the country they are interested to go. They guide them through all the processes and help themovercome all possible problems in their path. But are the students happy with these counselors’performance? How are they actually doing in their job? This report will try to analyze the presentscenario of these counselors who work for Bangladeshi students going abroad.Aims and objectivesTo find out the actual performance of student counselors in Bangladesh and are the students happywith their performances is the main objective of this study.Broad research questionThe basic idea of this study is to portray the working procedures of the student counselors inBangladesh. This may include these parts also- how they’re doing they are doing their jobs, how theyare guiding the students, what are the processes before going abroad, how they are collaborating withthe foreign institutions. This study will also cover the situation from the students’ point of view, theirperceptions, their motivations and their expectations from these counselors. The focus will be on theprospects and problems in this sector.Literatur e review 41
  42. 42. For this study, interview of some members from the student counseling agencies of Bangladesh willbe conducted to know their point of view. Some articles from the internet will also be reviewed inwriting of this report. The Annual Review, Forty Years of Student Counseling, Mobility Matters, AnnualReports of UK Council for International Student Affairs and The perception about higher education inBangladesh by Syed Manzoorul Islam will also be reviewed for this study. The staffs from the BritishCouncil Bangladesh will also be interviewed for this study. As this is an exploratory research, so nocertain conclusions will be here but a total scenario will be portrayed.Migration, both within and beyond borders, has become an increasingly prominent theme in domesticand international debates, and is the topic of the 2009 Human Development Report (HDR09). Studentmigration is an increasingly important phenomenon in Bangladesh and the UK ranks among the mostpopular and highly regarded study destinations. However, as elsewhere, this migration has receivedscant attention from the government, academics or researchers. This study will try to look in detail atthe process of applying for study in the UK and the role of various student counselors involved. It willthen seek to evaluate this process and the role of the different actors involved, identifying what majorproblems exist. In particular, it aims to draw attention to the experiences of Bangladeshi students inapplying for UK study.MethodologyTo understand how the student counselor works and how they guide the students, the informationneeded will be mainly secondary in nature. To conduct the study, it will be necessary to know whatpeople think about these counselors and what do they expect from them. The study is exploratory innature and the information needed is mainly secondary. But to know the perception of the studentsand also their satisfaction, a survey will be conducted on the counselor with an open endedquestionnaire to know what they have to say. The sampling distribution will be random in nature andquestions may be both disguised and undisguised.Research implicationThe implication of this research will be strictly academic for now but later on it can be used by theresearch firms to get the overall views of the immigrant students. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. Section: 6Questionnaire 44
  45. 45. Questions asked in the interviewTo the Student Counselor Q . 1 Wh a t se rvice s do yo u p ro vid e to t he st ud en t s in te re st ed in st ud yin g a b ro a d? Q . 2 Wh a t do stu de n t s exp e ct f ro m you ? Q . 3 Wh a t a re t he p ro ce sse s of st ud yin g ab roa d ? Q . 4 Wh a t is you r su cce ss rat e in t e rms o f se n d in g stu de n t s ab roa d ? Q . 5 Do st ud en t s h ave a ny co mp la in t s/ sug ge st ion s a bo ut t he se rvice you p ro vide ? Q . 6 Wh a t a re t he con se qu en ce s th at a stu de n t ne ed s t o fa ce be fo re mig ra t io n? 45
  46. 46. Section: 7References 46
  47. 47. Bibliography  Findlay, A., King, R, Stam, A, Ruiz-Gelices, E (2006) ‘Ever-reluctant Europeans: The Changing Geographies of UK Students Studying and Working Abroad’, European Urban and Regional Studies, 13(4): 291-318.  Hugo, G. (1996) ‘Brain Drain and Student Movements’, in Lloyd, P J and Williams, L S (eds), International Trade and Migration in the APEC Region, Oxford: OUP: 210-28.  2008, 40 Years of International Students, UKCISA Policies, UK Council for International Student Affairs  2008-2009, Annual Review, UK Council for International Student Affairs  H. Hackney and S. Nye, 1973, Evaluation of Student Counselors and Supervisors, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs th  2009, 30 March, Annual Report and Summarized Account, UKCISAWebsites  Information regarding British Council is available at the following link and further - nd http://www.britishcouncil.org/bangladesh-about-us.htm [accessed 2 March 2010] th  Information regarding Maces is available at - http://www.macesbd.com/ [accessed 6 March 2010] th  Information regarding BIECA is available at - http://www.bieca.org/about.php [accessed on 4 March 2010]  Information regarding UKCISA and its aims & activities are available at - th http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/about/index.php [accessed 8 March 2010] 47
  48. 48. Annex: 1Interviews  Ms Riaqah Walie Khan, Education Promotion and Marketing Manager, British Council  Mr. Rouham Manzoor, Director, MacesAnnex: 2Education Fair th th  UK Education Fair (organized by the British Council), Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, 4 & 5 March 2009 & the same date of 2010  Australian Education Exhibition (organized by IDP), Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, 25-26 February 2008 th th  Education Fair (organized by BSB Network), Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, 11 -14 March 2010 48

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