Tahmina Shafique The Complete Portfolio

3Dec/040

QUALIFICATIONS @ UK FAIR 2004-International qualifications delivered locally

Sajeed Ahmed, 18, completed his A’ Levels in May 2004. He had always dreamt of going to the UK to pursue his higher studies. However, he had no idea about the expenses that he would have to bear. His father is a bank officer with limited income and cannot afford to pay for a foreign qualification.

There are hundreds of students in Bangladesh like Sajeed. They all have their dreams shattered when they realise the costs of studying in foreign universities. It was with a broken heart and very little hope that Sajeed entered the Qualifications @ UK Fair 2004, assuming that it was one of the many education fairs frequently held throughout the city. He could not have been more mistaken.

It was for students like Sajeed that the Qualifications @ UK fair was organised last year.

The response was tremendous, with approximately 20,000 visitors. Because of this, the British Council decided to organise the fair once every year.

The objective of the fair is simple — to bring together the education providers from both countries and make the students aware of the international qualifications that they can achieve without having to abroad.

This year, three UK examination boards/institutions, including Edexcel International, University of Wolverhampton and Nottingham Trent University, and 19 local institutions are taking part in the two-day-long fair.

ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon, the state minister for education officially opened the fair to the visitors.

In his speech, prior to the opening of the fair, the minister stated that UK-based qualifications are the best in the world and he thanked the institutions from both countries for providing Bangladeshi students the opportunity of achieving international qualifications from this country.

Dr June Rollinson, director of the British Council, Bangladesh and Anwar Choudhury, the British high commissioner to Bangladesh, were also present as special guests.

From the very beginning, visitors poured into the fair, which introduced different qualifications, like LLB, NCC, CIMA, CIM, ACCA, BBA, MBA, BTEC, and other diplomas.

The institutions are offering distant learning progammes to the students that have the same syllabus and certificates as the main universities in UK. A representative from a local institution informed that the students are given two options. They can either finish their courses in this country and receive the certificates or they can transfer the credits they earn to foreign universities and study abroad.

All the examinations are conducted by the British Council.

“I have heard the names of most of these institutions before, but had no idea that they provide UK-based qualifications,” said Arif Alam, a student who has just completed his BBA from a local private university. “This is exactly what I was looking for. I have already talked to several institutions and will surely join one of them.”

There was a huge number of visitors on the first day and the organisers are estimating approximately 30,000 visitors in total. The fair will also be held in two other major cities of the country — Chittagong (December 6, 7) and Sylhet (December 9).

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