Publish: 17 Sep 2023, 03:49 pm
Canadian University of Bangladesh (CUB) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. HM Jahirul Haque spoke about various issues of higher education in the country, especially the quality of education in private universities and how to work for its development with Zafar Khan, Joint News Editor of Shampratik Deshkal.
Please tell us the story from the beginning of the university...
We all know that North American standard education system is more advanced in education in the world. We wanted to see how practical education could be spread among the students in the country according to the North America. In that light, Chairman Dr. Nafiz Sarafat thought whether a university can be established in the country according to the outlines of Canadian or North American standards! And the journey of Canadian University of Bangladesh started from his thoughts. Our main goal is to make the talented students of this country modern through practical education. The journey of the university started with an exceptionally different philosophy and thought from the current universities. Basically, how to introduce a world-class education system in this country was also the main driving force behind the establishment of this university. And this is how the journey begins. If you look at our overall infrastructure, although not completely, but we have designed our campus as a world-class campus should be. However, we kept a life-oriented education program with an improved environment, so that our students do not have to sit idle for a single day after getting their certificate.
Since you are following the North American standard, are you giving preference to those who have passed from foreign universities in the recruitment of teachers, or you are also giving opportunities to those who have degrees from public and private universities of the country?
There is a policy by UGC, according to which we recruit teachers. Besides, we have a standard----- we have no one below CGPA 3.5. We give priority to talented people, not local or foreign. But I have seen that those coming from BUET, CUET are doing very well as teachers in our engineering department. And students who have passed in English or other subjects from Dhaka University (DU) and other public universities are doing well as teachers here.
Currently, how many faculties or departments are there in the university? Can you tell about the specialty of the institution?
We currently have three faculties- 1. School of Business, 2. School of Science and Engineering and 3. School of Liberal Arts and Social Science. Under the School of Business there are BBA, MBA and EMBA program. On the other hand, the School of Science and Engineering has Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Shipping and Maritime Engineering (SMS). And the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences has faculties of English, Law and Media Communication and Journalism.
What are the benefit for students? Please tell us about the tuition fee structure…
Classrooms, auditoriums, lab facilities, we will shift to permanent campus very soon, research labs and various other facilities are available. However, Chairman Nafiz Sarafat established this university with full subsidy with the aim of expanding education. Initially there was a system of 100% tuition fee waiver. In some cases, there was a rule of admission with a discount of up to 80 percent. At present 40 percent tuition fee waiver for all is provided for all sectors to maintain a standard physical infrastructure and increase in expenditure levels. But apart from this merit based scholarships are given to those who get GPA-5 in SSC and HSC and cash scholarship to those who are doing well every semester. And there are special concessions for freedom fighter quota and meritorious students from remote areas. We also provide financial assistance to students facing obstacles to continuing their education.
Why are we lagging behind in higher education research?
There is still a lack of proper research in public universities. Improvement of the quality of research by increasing surveillance is needed in this regard. Many research papers from private universities are being published in Scopus index journals. Hundreds of journals from many universities including ULAB, Daffodil, BRAC, North-South, and East West are being published by international journal publishing houses. The Canadian university was ranked 50th in the 2022 WURI ranking. Our Maritime Science Department received this unique recognition for creative research. It can be said that along with public universities, private universities have also progressed a lot in the field of research. It can no longer be said that we are lagging behind.
What initiatives has CUB taken in the field of research?
Currently, I have started a research institute called the Center for Research and Development. The activities of which are going to start this year. Under this journal, work on projects is starting. In the meantime, our MoU has been signed with North South University. The main goal of this institution will be to research the blue economy in particular. There is still not enough research in this sector. Besides, under social science, we are going to start research on poverty alleviation, improvement of GDP, how to move forward by utilizing the resources of the country, and improvement of the quality of human character, civic sense, philosophy, and how an ideal person should be. The chairman has also arranged the fund. We have to work in the public and private sectors guided by these three charms integrity, transparency, and generosity. Only then it will be easier to achieve the development goals we are trying to reach.
What are the future plans?
Work continues to open more life-oriented departments in the future. However, we are not in favor of opening departments in a haphazard manner. We are working simultaneously to bring success in both quality and expansion. Therefore, if we want to establish the highest advanced education system, we are working on future plans with the aim of not only expanding but also ensuring that the quality is not damaged in any way. There are plans to open Masters in Shipping Science and Civil Engineering Departments in the future. Meanwhile, the construction of the permanent campus is underway to start operations there within five years. But there is no substitute for internationalization to raise the quality of education. Keeping that in mind, we are also working to determine an index of quality in line with the world education system. In this regard, we have also planned to work jointly with the universities of India, USA, and Canada.
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