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Students’ dreams of studying abroad fade

Published : 11 Sep 2020 10:20 PM | Updated : 12 Sep 2020 03:56 PM

Dreams of students aspiring to study abroad have been fading since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many students have received admission confirmation letters for academic courses, but are struggling to get visa confirmation as the respective country visa offices are lingering to provide it on time, and border connectivity is closed.

Flights have also been suspended for the global pandemic which has left their future in a void.

Talking to Bangladesh Post, Eshan Rehan, a student who had received his admission letter from Canada’s Dalhousie University said, “I was about to start my masters class from this September, but the pandemic has battered my dreams. I’ve deferred this online semester as I wanted to study following arriving there.”

Another aspiring international student, Kazi Al Mehedi also expressed frustration over mentioning how his higher study has been affected by the Corona pandemic.

“I got admission with a scholarship at the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston. I have to be there in class before January 2021, although my visa is still awaiting approval at the embassy. I’m passing the most uncertain period of my life” he added.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Flow of Tertiary Level Education report, every year more than 50,000 teachers and students from Bangladesh go abroad for higher education.

Most of these students prefer universities in Europe, America, Australia, Canada, Sweden and Germany. Apart from this, many students from Bangladesh also go to Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Singapore and neighboring India. But at present no new visas are being approved for any of these destinations due to the corona situation. 

International student’s consultancy service provider Prominent Consultant’s Chief Executive, Syed Yousuf Ali told Bangladesh Post, “Overall international admission has been affected by the pandemic as most of the countries such as Australia, Canada have barred entering their borders to contain the spread of the virus. Only the UK has resumed border operation”

But many students prefer online for Canada, Australia as they are assured that it would not have an impact on their future study work permit. In the meantime enrollment higher studies estimated a 50% slash due to the pandemic, he added.

The students submitted an application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday to take steps to resolve the visa issue. Failure to attend physically soon will result in various academic difficulties for the selected students.

In this regard, Muhammad Farooq Khan, chairman of the standing committee on Foreign Affairs, told Bangladesh Post, “This is not just for students, there were many who came to the country from abroad, but there is a crisis over their return. Many are running out of time on their green cards, work permits, visas.”

“We have discussed these in the parliamentary committee. The committee has been informed that we are holding discussions with the ambassadors of different countries posted in Bangladesh. Bangladesh's ambassadors to different countries have also been asked to hold talks with the governments of those countries,” he added.