In this Inbound Insight series article, we examine the rising number of Bangladeshi students choosing to study abroad and explore the priorities of this student cohort when searching for student accommodation based on data gathered through the Global Student Living Index.

Outbound destinations

UNESCO figures show that in 2021, 52,799 Bangladeshi students were studying abroad. The United Kingdom was the most popular destination, with 12,649 (23.95%) Bangladeshi students, followed by the United States with 8,524 students (16.14%), and Australia, which hosted 5,975 Bangladeshi students (11.31%).  

More recent data from each destination country shows that the number of outbound students from Bangladesh has grown significantly since 2021. For example, 2022/23 United States Open Doors data shows that 13,563 Bangladeshi students studied in the United States, making Bangladesh the United States’ thirteenth-largest source market. In January 2024, there were 9,683 Bangladeshi students studying in Australia, a 74% increase from January 2023.

What’s contributing to this growth?

Bangladesh is the world’s eighth-most populous country, with a population of 171.1 million. Almost half of its population is under the age of 24. Bangladesh’s population is projected to grow to 192 million by 2050.

While the number of Bangladeshis who progress to tertiary education is increasing, there are concerns about the quality of higher education in Bangladesh. In particular, there is concern that home-grown degrees do not equip graduates with industry-relevant skills. Rising graduate unemployment rates mean that post-graduate employment options in countries such as the UK and Australia are also likely to make studying abroad an increasingly attractive option for young Bangladeshis.

Bangladesh also has a rapidly expanding middle class and has had average annual GDP growth of 6.5% over the past decade. A lower population growth rate than India and Pakistan means that Bangladesh’s per capita income is growing faster than these larger countries.

The World Bank notes that while Bangladesh’s “real GDP growth is expected to slow in FY24 as ongoing import suppression measures disrupt economic activity. Growth is expected to re-accelerate over the medium term, as inflationary pressure eases, external conditions improve, and reform implementation gains momentum.” The World Bank also reports that Bangladesh is “on track to graduate from the UN’s Least Developed Countries list in 2026”.

Analysis undertaken by Oxford Economics for the British Council describes Bangladesh, along with Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines as a ‘rising star’ in terms of its potential as an outbound market due to its favourable macro environments and low/moderate risk profile.

Search priorities

Global Student Living Index data shows that students from Bangladesh have similar priorities to other students. However, travel time/proximity to their place of study matters more to students from Bangladesh than international students in general (79% vs. 77%), as does technology/high speed wifi (57% vs 54%) and transport links (55% vs 47%). Bangladeshi students also place much higher emphasis on the staff/management team (46% vs 42%) than other international students and the care and support available (38% vs 33%).  The ability to choose or select their own room is also more important to Bangladeshi students (29%) than it is for other international students (25%).

Room type and rent

Students from Bangladesh are more likely to be living in university halls (31% vs 15%) than other international students and less likely to be in private halls (68% vs 83%). Bangladeshi students are also more likely to be living in a private bedroom than international students in general (72% vs 59%), but more likely than the broader international cohort to have a shared bathroom (25% vs 12%).

Search resources

When it comes to resources used in the accommodation search, students from Bangladesh are significantly more likely than the broader international cohort to use university websites (87% vs 58%) and general web information (44% vs 40%). However, Bangladeshi students are just as likely as other international students (12%) to engage the services of an educational consultant or agent in their accommodation search.


Bangladeshi students are most likely to have booked with the university housing or accommodation office (62%) or with their private hall provider (14%). While Bangladeshi students are equally as likely as other international students to use an educational consultant or agent in their accommodation search, when it comes to actually making their accommodation booking, they are much less likely to have booked via a consultant or agent than international students in general (4% vs 12%).