Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan: Opportunities for Recruitment in South Asia

In have responded to declining international student enrollments on college campuses in the United States, higher education institutions are recognizing the need to identify brand-new recruitment possibilities. Four countries in South Asia–Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan–are worth a closer ogle. All four have transmitted growing number of international students to the U.S. since 2015/16, bucking broader tends( meet Figure 1)

Moreover, all four have large and growing youth populations and burgeoning economies, which bodes well in terms of the countries promises as pipes for international students over the long term. Such articles looks at the opportunities offered by these four surfacing sells, and offers advice and revelations from international enrollment conduct professionals.

Figure 1


In 2018 the ICEF Monitor observed, invoking data from the Institute of International Education( IIE) 2017 Open Doorway report, that Nepal is a guiding beginning of South Asian students in the U.S ., second only to India. The number of recruited Nepalese students on U.S. campuses rose from 9,662 in 2015/16 to 11,607 in 2016/17 — an increase of 20 percent[ 1 ] in just one year.

Nepal’s raise as a sending country

In general, germinating number of Nepalese students are leading abroad: 44,255 prosecuted their college education outside of Nepal last year, according to the most recent data forecasts from UNESCO Institute for Statistics( UIS ). Thirty-three percent was just going to Australia; other exceed destination countries included India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Finland. About 18 percent of outbound Nepalese students went to the U.S.

This growth trend has been upward for the past five years old, since 2012 when 29,460 Nepalese students left their home country to pursue their education. The figure has gone up nearly every year–increasing by roughly 15,000 students in 2017, as estimated by UIS.

Driving this demand for higher education are the usual believes: an expanding economy( the Asian Development Bank projects that Nepal’s gross domestic product( GDP) will increase by 4.9 percentage in 2018 and 5.5 percent in 2019 ), a massive youth person, and an inadequate higher education system. As indicated in the April 2018 issue of the present working paper, “The country’s population is becoming more affluent and is growing–the government expects the population to increase from 29 million to 33. 6 million by 2031.“

Nepalese newspapers including the Kathmandu Post–along with some research findings–suggest that a domestic are failing to hold higher education to employment upshots may also be at dally. “ … many of our students procure measures not knowing what the hell is do after graduation, ” the Post noted in a 2017 mind fragment that explores the trend of Nepalese students departing abroad and the need to bring them back.

Recruitment scenery in individual regions

Alternative recruitment strategies are key to recruitment success in Nepal. As Nepal recoups from a recent earthquake, the country remains difficult to get about, access to electricity and ocean continues to be a challenge, and infrastructure can best be described as underdeveloped. Because of difficulties traveling, particularly to remote localities, Linden Educational Work Managing Director JoBeth Brudner recommends developing a robust social media strategy to reach them. She also admonishes administering recruitment undertakings from a centralized place, such as Kathmandu.

Dane Rowley, lead of international admittance at California Lutheran University, understands an immense benefit for recruiters in establishing partnerships on the sand with organizations like EducationUSAand the United States Educational Foundation in Nepal. These partnerships can provide an effective behavior to develop a recruitment portfolio and install the institution’s name locally, he says.

Brudner notes that courses in discipline, engineering, engineering, and mathematics( STEM) are “true winners” with Nepalese outbound students( meet Figure 2 ). However, she also mentioned the rise in notoriety of courses in renewable energy resources, which students seem to be more drew attention to since the quake. She added that tourism and pas are other in-demand routes since Nepal is a popular tourist destination.

Figure 2

Source: IIE Open Doors, 2017

Finally, since outbound student mobility vogues are expected to continue( picture Figure 1 ), the affect of awards on enrollment quantities cannot be overemphasized. Linden Executive Director John Williamson notes that institutions that maintain this in mind while proposing their recruitment jaunts will have a substantial advantage.


IIE’s 2017 Open Doorway report recorded that 7,143 international students came to the U.S. from Bangladesh in the 2016/17 academic year, an increase of 9.7 percent in enrollment lists over the previous year.

According to UISestimates, 60,390 Bangladeshi students traveled abroad for their tertiary education in 2017. More than half — 34,000 — was just going to Malaysia; other top destinations that received at least 1,000 Bangladeshi students were Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany, and India.

Last year’s calculated crowds mainly continue the five-year vogue of greater Bangladeshi outbound mobility: 49,940 students moved abroad to study in 2012, and each year outbound crowds rose except in cases of last year, increasing the percentage of Bangladeshi students abroad by 21 percent.

In line with these discovers, the British Council identified Bangladesh among the fastest growing tertiary enrollment educational system, projecting 700 thousand tertiary enrollments from the nation by 2020.

Bangladesh’s expansion as a sending country

Like Nepal, Bangladesh fights with some key challenges: Poverty is still a important issues, and efforts to reduce it have braked in recent years; agriculture employs practically half of all Bangladeshis; and the alumnus of low-quality domestic institutions face challenges experiencing gainful employment.

However, as a recruitment busines, Bangladesh has several advantages: It has a large youth person and a rapidly growing economy, particularly in Dhaka and Chittagong. It is the eighth most populous[ 2 ] country in countries around the world; more than 19 percent of its 160 million people are between the ages of 15 and 24. These points alone show a strong possibilities for Bangladesh to become a potent source of international students over the long run.

Bangladesh also has a rapidly developing middle class, but lack of capabilities in the higher education system means that there are not enough benches to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population. This tension likewise offsets Bangladesh a country ripe for increased outbound mobility and recruitment.

Recruitment scenery in individual regions

Brudner, managing board of Linden Educational Assistance, advises that recruiters maintain a “rotating presence” and call Bangladesh often. Williamson indicates, “nothing assistants more than enabled to accompanying different contexts of the country to the student and their families.”


According to UIS data, the U.S. is second to Australia as research studies destination for Sri Lankan students. Of the 18,520 reckoned Sri Lankan students that led abroad for training courses last year, 33 percent went to Australia and 15 percentage, to the U.S. IIE reported that the number of Sri Lankan students to the U.S. proliferated 5.9 percent in the 2016/17 school year over the previous year.

Other top destinations for Sri Lankan students include the UK, Malaysia, and India. UIS data too testify compatible though comparatively incremental rise over season: 16,314 Sri Lankan students sought higher education abroad in 2012; in 2017, an estimated 18,521 did–an increase of 14 percent.

Sri Lanka’s growing as a sending country

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Sri Lanka has a significant diaspora tradition, with large numbers of Sri Lankans living and directing abroad either as skilled or inexperienced professionals, mainly in Canada, France, India, and Australia, as well as throughout the Middle East. As one 2014 Australian government report[ observed ], in Sri Lanka “a strong regional culture of movement has developed whereby migration- especially international migration- is entwined with succes; migration is seen as a regular lane to improve one’s financial situation or a means to navigate a crisis.”

Many Sri Lankan youth reportedly view movement or international schooling as an opportunity to enhance their employment prospects, and Sri Lanka’s tertiary-level student person is quite portable- in part because higher education in Sri Lanka has insufficient capacity to address student demand, especially at the undergraduate height. Harmonizing to a 2013 University World News report, Sri Lanka’s 15 position universities acknowledge “only 23,000 students … annually, out of the 220,000 who are participating colleges and universities entry( -ALevel) investigate every year.” That same year, some 12,000 Sri Lankan students apparently attempted university education abroad.

The limited capacity of Sri Lankan HEIs is driving students to seek higher education abroad. The growing youth population has ceased to set added capacity pressure on the country’s existing HEIs; as a result, the government has been encouraging students to study abroad.

While it is undeniable that the enticement of attending a world-renowned U.S. HEI is one of the primary pulls for Sri Lankan students, the huge Sri Lankan presence in the U.S. and enhanced employment prospects are other illustrious pull factors.

One of the major challenge to recruitment in Sri Lanka is the country’s low-grade spending on education as a percentage of GDP( picture Figure 3 ), currently exclusively USD $3,842, putting a U.S. education out of reach for the vast majority of Sri Lankans. With a GDP growth rate projected to reach 5.2 percent by 2020, nonetheless, the number of Sri Lankans willing to pursue a U.S. degree is unlikely to grow.

Figure 3

Recruitment terrain in individual regions

California Lutheran University’s Rowley notes that prospects are strong for society colleges and conservatories that offer scholarships to international students.

The “best channel to break into the[ Sri Lankan] busines will be to seek out opportunities to build institutional agreements for a movement example, ” he said. In light-headed of these suggestions, it’s good report that the two countries has been forming financial strides and picturing marked signs of political stability. With China holding its existencein Sri Lanka’s local business economy, the two countries will likely gain traction with international recruiters, Rowley said.

Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka, but the city of Kandy is a rapidly evolving fiscal centre. Initiatives led by Strategic Cities Development Programme are designed to establish Kandy a modern, sustainable municipality. Brudner was proposed that recruiters leverage the city’s up-to-date infrastructure by “planning artistic activities” there during tours, to demonstrate students how getting to know them and their own countries is a priority.

As seasoned recruitment experts begin to plan their foray into Sri Lanka, it is important to record the growing appeal of courses in more creative domains such as digital communications, digital market, and TV and cinema, as well as the tremendous potential in realms like healthcare management and hospital administration, Rowley suggests.


Pakistan’s “promising growth” sees it a country to watch for recruitment, according to Megan Mankerian-Stem, superintendent of international enrollment at Creighton University. Her analysi repetition that of the British Council, which has identified Pakistan as one of the fastest growing outbound student populations.

The percentage of students going to the U.S. from Pakistan increased 14. 2 percent for the 2016/17 school year. The most recent data from UIS graded the U.S. as the third most popular destination for Pakistani students, receiving 10 percentage of the 51,894 students who vanished abroad. Exclusively Australia and the UK educate more students from Pakistan. Other top destination countries include Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Canada, each of which instructed at least 2,000 Pakistani students.

The quality of the higher education system is one rationale behind this outflow. For instance, as the Diplomat Magazine was reported in 2016, “Over the last decade, the committee has been a tremendous rise in the number of private educational institutions in Pakistan. However, the quality of education that these institutions offer has slipped greatly. A months before, the Higher Education Commission( HEC ), Pakistan’s education regulatory torso, shut down dozens of PhD programs in a number of universities in different regions of the country. Apparently, the universities failed to meet the minimum quality criteria required of higher education institutions.”

Moreover, major projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor( CPEC ), “a[ USD] $62 billion connectivity job[ that will ], ” according to the U.S.-based Wilson Center, “stretch from the countries of the western Chinese city of Kashgar to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar” have created demand for, in the words of Zamir Awan, a prof and swap professional at Pakistan’s National University of Discipline and Technology, a “well-educated, well-trained workforce” that Pakistani universities are currently ill-equipped to supply.

Pakistan’s increment as a sending country

Lack of capacity in the higher education sector represents a significant challenge for the country’s 18- to 22 -year-old population, which is projected to increase by 900,000 in the course of the coming 10 times. Mankerian-Stem, who toured the two countries this past February as part of an EducationUSA tour , noted that rising prosperity in Pakistan, will diminish as a barrier for some households. Nonetheless, grants will continue to remain crucial for the successful recruitment of Pakistani students, she accentuated , observing the twofold benefit to the institution and the student in terms of enrollment numbers and financial assistance, respectively.

Families who cost a U.S. position see it as a guarantee and strive to support their students’ efforts to attain one, Mankerian-Stem said. Harmonizing to UIS data approximates, the outbound growing trend is evident: 39,314 Pakistani students left their home in 2012; in 2017, an estimated 51,894 disappeared abroad to pursue their education, a 32 percent increase.

While the current political environment has uttered it challenging to draft students from Pakistan, the inbound multitudes to the U.S. offer some backing. Students and their own families are still eager to learn about the possibility of the U.S ., and efforts cleared now will go a long way in the future. Mankerian-Stem explained that branding is critical now, and that it is important to demonstrate how welcoming and safe U.S. HEIs are.

Recruitment countryside in the region

With competition to recruit getting tougher each year, travel to international ends ought to be maintained to reach strong recruitment counts, ” said Mankerian-Stem. She was speedy to add that as recruiters prepare to visit in country, they should be ready to serve as goodwill diplomats of their institutions and think of inventive ways to marketplace themselves. She advised that families in Pakistan seem especially interested in the ability to double major in the U.S.

Director of International Recruitment at Southern New Hampshire University Jenna Sices “absolutely recommends” Pakistan to fellow recruiters; she also advised that merit-based awards are of particular interest to Pakistani students.

Like Mankerian-Stem, Sices visited the two countries in February as the members of the EducationUSA tour. She exhorted recruiters to focus on the STEM fields but also to draft for developing items of interest like constitution, psychology, sociology, and political science; and to target the cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad.

Finally, regarding the future of recruitment in Pakistan, Mankerian-Stem stated, “Students are ravenous for information on U.S. HEIs.”


Despite declining international enrollment in U.S. colleges, a reputable U.S. severity is still a gather for students around the world; however, practices must continue to seek out new territories. Generating pipelines within South Asia now will give institutions an advantage over their competitors.

“As recruiters turn to business with a rising middle class, ” Rowley said, “it is immensely vital to keep the perspective clear.” Institutions should focus is not merely on filling seats, but including information on creating a diverse class of students through partnerships with a exhaustive recruitment process that declares students who are an good is suitable for the school.

[ 1 ] Source: IIE Open Doors Report, 2017

[ 2 ] http :// 2018/03/ factors-driving-growth-bangladeshi-outbound /~ ATAGEND

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