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After completing a student’s respective O and Alevels or SSC and HSC, the biggest turbulent of indecision is caused as they step closer to adulthood and make the most vital decision of their lives. Often it’s upon them to choose which Universities they prefer, other times; their fate and goal are set by their parents. It’s all about emotion, wants and prosperity. The best decisions in their lives become a milestone at a later stage however, the reciprocal could demolish their purpose of life and push them another step closer to nihilism.

At present there are about 80 Universities in Bangladesh out of which 54 are private universities. All these offer mainly 5 kinds of higher education – General Education, Science, Technology and Engineering, Medical Education, Agriculture Education, Arts and others. Private Universities were introduced to meet the growing demands of higher education in the country in the 1990s, as public universities couldn’t withhold such uproar. Such initiative also helped in reduction of the financial burden on the government and also offered a better combination and student-faculty ratio compared to those of public thus, improving methods of maintaining attendance, counseling, participation and evaluation.

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If a student with top-notch potential and drive chooses to leave their respective country for a brighter future, what potential weighs do they determine? In Bangladesh, “going abroad” itself is paraphrased in the minds of many as – success, higher income and greater dignity. But this myth is often broken like shreds of glass when one learns that the individual is moving abroad for a job opportunity as a manual labor. The stereotypical mindset of the citizens only encircle to moving abroad but does not erupt questions such as “why” or “is it the best alternative”. Similarly, educational institutions in other countries may stand proud at the top tier but some are also entitled below average as no significant connection lies with abroad and best educational systems.

When the looming question or suggestions of studying abroad vanish into thin air, it’s usually due to having no prior plan of such change, finances or family ties. However, then rises a further prominent perplexity as to choosing if one should stay back in their city of origin or move to some other city for better opportunities. For some; opportunities and success may lie within the greeneries of Sylhet, for another the standards may be to study in a University in the coastal regions in Bangladesh like Chittagong, whereas for the rest, the upbeat and busy lives and educational system of Dhaka may be tempting. At this stage of life, while some make their decisions based solely upon themselves and their appraisals, others do so based on family members or in contradiction, are enticed by the lost taste of freedom that they could achieve if they temporarily move to another city.

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Dhaka– the city that never sleeps and notably the best option for students who aren’t attempting to step out of the comforts of their country. However, why is it the best option to be enrolled in any private university in Dhaka? Is it the alluring lifestyle, quality of education or general enthusiasm? Dhaka has proven itself to bear some of the paramount universities within the country. The private universities specialize in not only enrolling students who are worthy but also in hiring faculties with a diverse background. It is hence, obvious that the highest populated universities are as of yet, in Dhaka. Dhaka has progressed in the educational sector through implementation and introduction of multi-tech, modern teaching techniques, diversity in class programs and by promoting a unified culture and dedication amongst the teachers and students.

Private universities in Chittagong are not far behind in this wheel of competition to attract the best minds and to snatch the highest rank and possess market leadership. Gradually, but most definitely this spectrum of advancement has clutched on to the universities of Chittagong, with not only withholding diversity in classrooms and other educational aspects but they have also submerged themselves into the benefits of collaboration and affiliation with other universities situated abroad. This in return doesn’t only remark a change for the social and economic impact reviewed by those living abroad, but also dips into the notion of fame, word of mouth and goodwill for the universities and Bangladesh, overall.

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Multiple reports have shown that in the past and also for future planning, students choose universities situated in Dhaka or Chittagong and remarkably some of them being of the female orientation which is a massive positivity shoved towards the image of security, livelihood and educational advancement of the country. According to Education Commissions in Bangladesh, unlocking potential at all levels of society creates a pool of highly trained educated individuals who contribute to the national development. It is comprehensible that most students are prone towards their options in Dhaka given that it consists of 54 universities all of which have their respective campuses situated within the city. Chittagong, on the other hand are lacking behind in such numbers with a total of 6 private universities all of which are mainly within the city, however some are addressed in urban regions.

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The rivalry between universities in Dhaka and Chittagong becomes quite vague as the common ground judges that all the universities maintain or are adapting in every session methods to maintain and serve top quality in teaching and education, transparency in grading system, formation of accreditation council all the while practicing proper ethics, norms, highly equipped classrooms, promoting educational trips and tours, evolving the qualifications of the faculty members and so much more. Is it just the barriers we put up, keeping us away from such service while having the comforts of living in our own land? Adulthood starts when a student is enrolled in a university and in order to approach all the challenges life throws at them, their top priority should be to select the best alternative. The question is, are we still too delusional about living and studying abroad that the educational facilities and development are seized away from us with every student deciding to settle abroad?

Ebana Haque

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I wonder where else can someone find peace if not within the vulnerabilities of reading. However, in all honesty I like people who don’t read like I like my tea. I don't like tea.

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