Representing Bangladeshi students at Western Sydney University

They make up just one per cent of international students in Australia, but students from Bangladesh have established a strong presence at Western Sydney University.

Three years ago the Bangladeshi Society of Western Sydney University (BSWSU) was established by just five students.

“At that time there weren’t many Bengalis in the uni – nor was there a platform for us or international students to connect,” said Faiyaaz Ul Haque, one of the founders of the club.

The club aims to improve the social and cultural experiences of its members. They regularly celebrate some Bengali cultural events like Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year), Eid celebrations, Iftar party and some cultural nights. The WSU group also organises cultural events together with Bangladeshi students from other Sydney universities.

The club also welcomes freshers and recently came out to the university’s newest campus – in the centre of Sydney – to meet newly enrolled students.

There are approximately 6000 students from Bangladesh studying in, most of them in NSW and Victoria. The number is growing but it’s still a tiny group compared to the numbers of students from China, India and Nepal – the largest three sources of international students in Australia.

Nearly 2000 of those Bangladeshi students are undertaking Masters’ degrees, with a slightly smaller number enrolled in Bachelors’ degrees, and about a thousand students are doing a doctoral degree.

Among undergraduates, some 1800 Bangladeshi students are enrolled in the subjects of course management and commerce and more than 1,000 are in Information technology. A further 900 students are enrolled in engineering and related technologies.

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