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Students continue to move out of Bengal for higher studies

Students continue to move out of Bengal for higher studies after class XII

August 17, 2021
Mita Mukherjee

Students from West Bengal are showing an increased interest in moving out to other states for pursuing undergraduate courses despite the pandemic.

A number of reputable schools in Kolkata said a good number of students move out to other states and even other countries after completing class XII every year and the decade long trend is on the rise this year.

Despite the risks involved in the pandemic situation, nearly 40% to 70% students who have cleared class XII CBSE and ISC exams from schools like The Heritage Academy, La Martiniere for Girls, La Martiniere for Boys, South Point High School, St. Xavier’s Collegiate School and St James’ have expressed strong interest in pursuing undergraduate course in institutes in other states.

Till a couple of years ago 35% to 65% students would want to shift to other states after class XII, sources in the schools said.

Krishna Damani, trustee of South Point High School, Kolkata said meritorious students with very high scores in class XII board exam started showing an inclination to shift to other states and even outside India a few years ago and the number is increasing.

“The admission process in the undergraduate programmes at various colleges is still on. So we are not in a position to calculate the exact number of students who have finally joined institutions in other states. But the figure is quite substantial,” Damani told EducationWorld.

Supriyo Dhar, secretary of the two La Martiniere Schools said the same trend was witnessed at their institutions.

“The trend is not new. This year too, a considerable number of students from our schools have joined the institutes in other states and in other countries,” Dhar told EducationWorld.

EducationWorld spoke to a number of students and parents who cited the reasons for not opting a college in Kolkata or Bengal. Lack of proper infrastructure and modern facilities on the campuses, lack of academic environment, frequent unrest on campus are some of them.

Sumit Agarwal a student from Heritage Academy who scored 97.8% in ISC has decided to shift to Mumbai where he will study B.Com at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS).

He said his ambition is to join the civil service and Mumbai is a better place to prepare for the civil service examination.

“In Kolkata there is hardly any facility where I can prepare for the civil service examination. Moreover, very few students from other states come to study in a Kolkata college. At the Mumbai institute I will be able to study in an environment where the crowd will be a mix of students from all over India,” said Sumit.

The mother of a girl who cleared the ISC with 96% marks from one of the top all-girls schools in south Kolkata said her daughter wants to study political science but she had strictly asked her daughter not to apply in any Kolkata college.

The mother said her family was going through financial problems because of the pandemic situation. She would have to spend a huge amount to send her daughter to a college in Delhi which will be very difficult for her family. But still she would want her daughter to study in a Delhi-based college.

“We have chosen Delhi because we don’t have the money to travel by plane. Delhi is well connected through trains and it will be cheaper for us if we want to visit my daughter in an emergency. A Delhi college is better than Presidency University or Jadavpur University where there is student unrest almost throughout the year,” the mother said, preferring anonymity.

Exceptionally bright students who had an ambition to study in a national or international institute always had the inclination to leave Bengal.

Later, as job opportunities started shrinking in Bengal due to lack of industries during the Left rule, students wanting to pursue engineering and medical courses began to move to other states with the hope to avail of better employment facilities after completing their graduation.

Gradually the new trend emerged when students would want to leave Bengal to study undergraduate programmes in conventional subjects like commerce, English, political science, history, sociology and psychology.

Also read: 

Indian degree vs foreign degree: Is studying overseas a right option?

About 91% students interested in continuing university education abroad: Survey

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