Foreign Students at BRAC University
Khairul Hasan Munna
Once upon a time, many foreign students used to come in Bangladesh to pursue higher education preferring congenial academic atmosphere here. Public universities especially Dhaka University, BUET and Dhaka Medical College were the main educational institutions where they used to get admitted. With the paddle of time, foreign students are hardly found in the government universities as a hostile and chaotic atmosphere always prevails in the university campus due to political conflicts and unrest. Now, they have chosen private universities as well as institutions for pursuing higher education and conducting research.
The James P Grant School of Public Health (popularly known as BRAC School of Public Health or BSPH) of BRAC University is one of those institutions where many foreign students as well as professionals take admission for higher education. The BSPH was established three years ago. The flagship programme of the School is the Master of Public Health (MPH) course that its been offering since February 2005. With this batch of 26 students, three batches of 77 students have received their MPH degrees. They came from 14 different countries representing the continents of Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Almost half of them have medical degrees and half are women thus ensuring great diversity.
The School is unique in many different ways. The Bulletin of the World Health Organization has featured the School as one of the six schools in the world promoting and practicing innovative higher public health education. The School has earned a name for its emphasis on community-based experiential learning. The access that the School has to BRAC and ICDDR,B and their facilities make it an unique experience, which is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Its formal links with several of the top schools of Public Health in Europe and America has increased our credibility to a great extent. The link it is creating with several Southern institutes will truly make it an example in South-North and South-South collaboration.
Nine Students from seven countries of Asia and Africa are participating in the MPH programme in the current session. A brief introduction of all international students is given bellow-
Faridoon Joyenda, a medical doctor, has come from Afghanistan. He completed his degree from Kabul Medical University in 1996. He worked as “National Program Officer” in Human Resource Developments at Aga Khan Health Service, Afghanistan.
Sabera Turkmani has also come from Afghanistan. She has completed her Bechelor's Degree in Midwifery from Mashad Medical University, Iran in 2002. She worked as “Midwifery Trainer” in International Medical Corps.
Sumangala Chaudhury, a medical doctor, has come from India. She completed her degree from Calcutta National Medical College, University of Calcutta, India in 1994.She also completed her Masters Programme in Healthcare Administration from Administrative Staff College of India, Hinduja Institute of Healthcare Management, India, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, USA, in Hyderabad, India in 2001. She worked as “Surveillance Medical Officer” in World Health Organization- National Polio Surveillance Project India.
Thomas Knue Nagbe has come from Liberia. He has completed his B.Sc in Zoology from University of Liberia in 2008. He worked as acting EPI Director, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.
Aung Zaw Moe, a medical Doctor, has come from Myanmar. He completed his degree from University of Medicine, Magway, Myanmar in 2006. He also completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work from University of Yangon, Myanmar in 2009. He worked as “Team Leader” in Myanmar Business Coalition on AIDS
Min Raj Gyawali has come from Nepal. Gyawali has completed his Master's degree in Sociology from Tribhuvan University, Tri-Chandra Campus, Kathmandu in 2003. He worked as “Acting Project Manager” in CARE International in Nepal
Farrukh Raza has come from Pakistan. He is a Graduate in Medical Subjects from University of Sindh in 1991. He worked as Supervised the clinical trial on Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) entitled “Surfactant trial to RDS newborn in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), AKUH” conducted in NICU, AKUH.
Khurram Khan Sial has come from Pakistan. He has completed his M.Sc in Cultutal Anthropology from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad in 2007. He worked as “Researcher and Team Leader” in Sahil NGO on the project National Study on the Violence at Karachi.
Patience Bulage has come from Uganda. He has completed her Bachelor degree in Development Studies from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda in 2005. She worked as “District Coordinator” in Uganda Youth Forum.
Sometimes, foreign student groups, researchers and professionals come here and conduct joint research and training programmes with BSPH.