The United States is an attractive destination for students because of its high quality universities -- students from around the world compete every year to get a chance to study there.
With its emphasis on critical thinking, research, and multi-disciplinary education, a foreign education can help students realise their highest potential, expand their horizons, and teach them to think in innovative ways.
Currently, more than 7,000 Bangladeshis are studying in the US, up 10% from the previous year. But it would be premature to celebrate this increase until we know how many outbound students actually come back to Bangladesh.
When the brightest and most talented students leave and do not return, it constitutes a huge loss for the nation -- otherwise known as “brain drain.” But it does not have to be that way.
The Chinese government, for example, encourages students to study in the US; a majority of these students return because of rewarding career prospects at home, and thus contribute immensely to China’s progress.
Bangladesh is in a very critical stage of its development right now and we need our best and brightest to lead the way more than ever.
But it is not enough to say that; our government must ensure that these students are given the opportunity and the scope to put their valuable ideas and faculties to use. In other words, give them an incentive to come back.
Unfortunately, we are giving them more and more reason not to.
With the disappearance of an NSU teacher a week ago -- and numerous other instances in the recent past of our intellectually driven, critical-thinking citizens of our nation, who are often hounded, harassed, and even outright murdered -- our government is failing our best and brightest, and thus driving them away.