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Dhaka Tribune

‘We want to see ULAB as top regional university in 20 years’

In a conversation with Ghulam Sumdany Don, Vice-President of the Board of Trustees at ULAB Kazi Anis Ahmed said he wishes to see Bangladeshi universities gain global recognition  

Update : 30 Jul 2020, 10:42 PM

Ghulam Sumdany Don belong to the first graduate batch from University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), who in a tete-a-tete with his mentor Kazi Anis Ahmed, vice-president of the Board of Trustees at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), spoke to him about how Bangladesh’s first liberal arts university came about. 

During the “Live from Living Room” on Thursday night, the publisher of Dhaka Tribune, Kazi Anis Ahmed said: “What I see for ULAB in the next 20 years is -- it becoming one of the recognized esteemed universities in the region. I do not think we should only be looking to be the best in the country.”

Actually, no university can be dubbed as No 1 individually. For instance, universities like Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford—they are all No 1 universities, said Kazi Anis Ahmed. 

“I hope Bangladesh will have 10-14 public and private universities of that standard, especially having international credibility and regional reputation,” Kazi Anis stated.

He firmly believes that in the next 20 years, certainly in 30 years, the higher education of Bangladesh will reach that position. “When the country’s tertiary level education will reach such a position, ULAB will surely be at its top,” he added. 

Recalling that the idea of establishing ULAB came from his father, who wanted to explore his dreams through it, Kazi Anis said: “He (the father) wanted to do something which will be like giving back to the society.”

“As he shared the plan with us, we opted to give back to the country through education,”he added.

In the early 2000, a maximum of 20 private universities were already established with some of them still to start operations. Of those, only IUB (Independent University, Bangladesh) was running the liberal arts curriculum, said Kazi Anis.

“However, using our own experience (of studying in liberal arts), we thought of applying the concept of liberal arts in Bangladesh – which could be a unique and worthy contribution to our higher education,” he added.

The effects of the pandemic

About the pandemic, Kazi Anis: “We lost some near and dear ones to Covid-19, which is the hardest part. Some of them were also important for the nation.”

“The coronavirus crisis has affected normal life as well as the economy, However, some sectors have boomed. Internet-based business, especially the essential services have grown well,” he added.

Referring to his diversified family business, Kazi Anis said: “We have reaped benefit from the diversified business. Some of our sectors are bearing the brunt of the pandemic, but at the same time, some other sectors are doing pretty well.”

Being an author, the pandemic turned out to be quite helpful for him as it allowed him to stay mostly indoors, giving him the opportunity to read books. 

“As an introvert, I am the happiest one when I am with my books. Since I like writing, it requires me to be alone. In a sense, that proved helpful for my personal productivity (write-ups).” 

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