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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 115 | April 19, 2009|


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Response to our universities

I myself don't agree with all the points of the article entitled 'Our Universities' by Sheikh Md. Shafayet Jamil.

He has talked about 'research'the prime objective of university education. I completely agree with this point. Actually, it is all about 'research' that can differentiate university education from primary level education. As a nation, we are missing it that leads us to borrow ready-made ideas from other developed countries, which are not our own. He has also pointed out his fingers towards university teachers who are thought to lead the nation forward through their 'research'. But, in reality, university teachers carry on research to serve their own purposes.

The writer has demanded university's responsibility to unearth the hidden brilliance of a student. I strongly oppose this concept. University can play a minor role here. The most prestigious university and the high profile academician of the world can't make a student skilled, well-educated overnight until and unless inquisitiveness works within that particular student.

He has accused that private universities only offer market oriented disciplines and there are scarcity of research materials, full-time teaching staffs, lab facilities and permanent campus. He doesn't seem to know how much money government is spending for the betterment of public universities. In every fiscal year, a huge sum of money is being allocated for the development of education sector. On the other hand, private universities are run by contributions from the students. It is not an easy job to run an organization like a private university.

Lack of research and lab facilities in private universities is not right from the truest sense of the term. I won't demand that all private universities are having facilities properly. But, it is true that some private universities are providing better research and lab facilities than a few public ones.

Private universities have no shortage of permanent teaching staffs. Students complete their education within usual duration. Private universities are holding more classes, class-tests, assignments unlike public ones. If it had been true, private universities would not have functioned so smoothly where students don't find a single day session jam.

Private universities might have faults, but there are more positive characteristics than the negative ones that shouldn't be denied in any case.

Abu Tayub Mohammed Farhad
Premier University, Chittagong

I agree with the writer that most of our universities cannot provide sufficient research materials. Even in student life our universities do not have sufficient access to reach necessary books. Many of our reputed teachers' books are published abroad that are available in foreign university libraries but we, the direct students need to buy those books online. These necessary books are supposed to be collected by the university authority. After completing graduation if a student wants to go for research work he or she needs to learn it through his/her work, which hinders smooth progress. Universities should include a particular course on real life research works that would include practical works along with theoretical knowledge. Only the top departments of reputed public universities have their own research centers. Most of the private universities are far behind in this course. We need a higher number of universities to offer higher education for the mass population but they should maintain a minimum standard that must be set by the government. Hence, in this context I disagree with the writer.

Rabeya Rowshin
Dept. of Economics, DU

IN this fast competitive world we are greatly in need of quality graduates who can lead this country towards development. Job market is not an easy thing to deal with these days. The moment one gets into professional world he/she must be ready to take challenges and to prove their quality.

These days, in job market branding is a big issue. At times job providers do select their employees based on this. Which university are you from? This question is asked everywhere; the question is why?

Brands do ensure a minimum quality of education along with proper exposure. In undergrad level I think the education should include basic studies on different sectors and specialized knowledge on major of study. Here, one student should get proper idea on the major. In most of the subjects in undergrad level research is hardly needed but practical field work should be a must. Here a university should ensure quality graduates who are graduating on time and joining their field of work with the knowledge of what to do and when to do. University plays an important role to that. I have been a student of BRAC university and I have observed some positive practices that is done in some of the leading private universities including BRACU, NSU, IUB, AIUB and EWU. The practice is to encourage their students in co-curricular activities that help them to grow self-confidence and develop professional attitude. I hardly see this practice in most of the public universities.

Research work is not only limited to public universities anymore. If anyone conducts a proper research, he will easily know different private universities are now publishing a number of research papers as well.

How many people have heard about student politics in private universities? Is it the fault of public university students as they do not have to pay tuitions since the government pays for it? Or is it a fault of some other group who do pay a large amount of money for their education?

Campus is a blessing to the public universities for sure. Many of the private universities cannot ensure that facility but many of the universities do have proper lab facilities and time to time field visits. For example, students of BRAC university do have many field trips round the year. If I talk about lab facility, NSU has one of the most resourceful architectural model making workshops in the country. Even if we talk about library facilities, BRAC University and University of Asia Pacific have resourceful collection dedicated for students of architecture and any architecture students from different universities can go and use them.

Tanzia Islam
Dept. of Architecture, BRAC University

THE idea that the word university invokes in my mind is a place where minds are cultivated with universal ideas. From this corner of thoughts university becomes the most productive institution of a country, producing a group of graduates who are equipped with the best learning to partake in the strenuous struggle of life. Every activity of a university, from academic to others, is supposed to center round its main goal.

But this is an age of 'practicality'; things 'ideal' are 'too ideal' these days. The notion of university is also changed to suit the need of time. Today university has become a place to provide degrees to students so that they can run after lucrative jobs. Either we are overburdened with nasty politics or we are in a rat race to complete graduation in the least possible time, no matter whether the skills are developed or not. Since degree is the thing that matters most, an engineer never minds calling himself a 'graduate' without having any practical knowledge of machineries. Most of our universities cannot provide necessary lab facilities to students. In many cases, things remain too theoretical to the students. An obscurity in necessary knowledge results in bad performance in the industry.

Research is something Greek or Latin in most universities. Our participation in world's research arena in not even worth mentioning in most disciplines. It doesn't require you to be a rocket scientist to see that students are not interested in fundamental science anymore. Why is this happening? Today's society teaches its members to run after money and going for Physics doesn't serve that purpose. When curious minds evaporate, the nation has lost all hopes.

Most of the graduates from pure and applied science and engineering do not prefer to be here. If the universities offered ample opportunities for research work many of them would have changed their decisions. Scientific research is something very crucial for a developing country like ours. Think about China, technological advancement has made them giants in the world economy. Even our neighboring country India is developing very fast. India's IT sector is something that anyone can be envious of.

So I also believe that we have to upgrade our existing universities to meet world standards. The dream of a rising nation will never be implemented if we fail to create worthy generation to lead it.

Moinul Hossain Rahat
Dept of EEE, BUET.

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