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This chapter addresses Bangladeshi female students’ experiences of higher education in the United Kingdom through the race/gender trajectory. Research shows that although…
This chapter addresses Bangladeshi female students’ experiences of higher education in the United Kingdom through the race/gender trajectory. Research shows that although minority ethnic women invest heavily in education, they go on to face obstacles in the labour market. However, there is a strong desire to study which is evident in the increasing numbers of Bangladeshi women applying to university since 1994. The chapter draws on empirical research with women who have claimed a kind of ‘agentic autonomy’ to pursue education in the face of structural inequalities.
The chapter is based on research conducted with a sample of Bangladeshi women studying at or recently graduated from university. Qualitative research was carried out in the form of semi-structured interviews with 13 participants.
The study finds that Bangladeshi women are undeterred by structural inequalities in higher education and employment. Although they expect to face some difficulty finding suitable employment, they are optimistic about the future. They represent a group of women who have been able to achieve their objectives to study at degree level and show aspirations towards achieving similar objectives after graduation.
Bangladeshi women show agency and agentic behaviour to negotiate access to higher education institutions. This will, in the future have a knock-on effect in employment.