Over 8,800 Bangladeshi students studied in the US in the 2019/2020 academic year, causing Bangladesh to rank 17th, worldwide, in sending students to the United States (US) for higher education, reveals the 2020 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.
The information was revealed on Monday via a joint announcement from the US Department of State and US Department of Education initiative, US Embassy, Dhaka in celebration of International Education Week (IEW) that lasts from 16-20 November, 2020, read a press release.
This is a new all-time high for Bangladesh, reflecting a 7.1% increase over the 2019 report – when there were 8,249 students – and more than tripling since 2009.
Promoting educational exchanges between Bangladesh and the US is a strategic priority for US Embassy, Dhaka, it read.
Bangladesh had the highest percentage growth among the top 20 countries, and the highest increase in the South Asian region.
"Out of the 8,838 Bangladeshi students studying in the US in 2019/2020, 5,787 studied at the graduate level; a 9.6% increase over 2018/2019 academic year, moving Bangladesh from ninth to eighth place in the world for graduate students studying in the US," it read.
"More than 75% of Bangladeshi students currently on US campuses study in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] fields . Of them, over 41% study Engineering, over 19% Math or Computer Science, and over 15% Physical or Life Sciences," according to the statement.
Nearly seven percent study Business or Management and nearly six percent study Social Sciences.
Approximately 1,300 Bangladeshi students, 14% of all Bangladeshi students in the US, during the 2019/2020 academic year participated in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) – on-the-job training in their field of study – as part of their studies in the US, it added.
The US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the non-profit Institute of International Education (IIE) released the "2020 Open Doors® Report on International Educational Exchange" on Monday.
The report revealed that the US remained the top destination for international students.
"For the fifth consecutive year, the US hosted more than one million international students during the 2019/2020 academic year. Despite a slight decline (1.8%) in the number of international students in the US during the 2019/2020 academic year, this group still represents 5.5% of all students in US higher education," it read.
The US Embassy in Dhaka, through EducationUSA Bangladesh, is celebrating IEW by offering a number of virtual programmes for Bangladeshi students and scholars to join.
Over the next five days, its EdUSA advising centres in Bangladesh will host 10 webinars on various topics related to studying in the US.
The programmes will feature Bangladeshi students currently studying at universities including: Michigan State, Yale University, McNeese State University, and New York University.
It will also feature representatives from the institutions including US higher education institutions: Bentley University, California State University at San Bernardino, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida International University, and Hamilton College, among others.
For more information about upcoming programs, one can visit:https://www.facebook.com/EdUSABangladesh or write to EducationUSA-Bangla@state.gov.
EducationUSA is the official US government information source about studying in the US.
In Bangladesh, its mission is to facilitate free access to information about study opportunities in the States. Due to Covid-19, since early March 2020, EducationUSA's services have moved entirely online.
Open Doors is a comprehensive information resource on international students and scholars studying or teaching at higher education institutes in the US, and US students studying abroad for academic credit at their home colleges or universities.
Additional information about the Open Doors 2020 report will be posted at https://opendoorsdata.org/annual-release/. For more information on International Education Week one can visit https://iew.state.gov according to the statement.