Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Section

বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Taking our higher education higher

Discussing a roadmap to fully realize the potential of the Bangladesh’s youth through research and education

Update : 27 Sep 2023, 10:16 AM

In the Global Knowledge Index 2020, Bangladesh ranked 112th out of 138 countries, highlighting the country's weak performance in terms of knowledge infrastructure. Even though Bangladesh’s education sector has improved since independence in 1971, that improvement has not outpaced other countries. This slow, incremental improvement has left us behind in the competitive arena of the global knowledge landscape. 

Many issues dot our failures. However, the government’s lack of prioritization in academic excellence, research, and scientific enquiry have resulted in a further stalling of progress.

Even in the Western world, the US has slipped to number nine in terms of research and patents, while China has slowly reached the top spot. Bangladesh can learn plenty from these statistics, but are we thinking with the right, earnest mindset? Perhaps, but our very own statistics narrate a different story.

We have all heard the hoopla that no Bangladeshi university can rank in the world's top 1000 list. With such a large population, educational budget, and relatively stable economic conditions -- as per the information from the government -- why are we lagging? 

Research, infrastructure, and funding

With no research investment or serious effort in improving the quality of education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary level, Bangladesh has little chance in securing a globally recognized, top tier university. 

The government can take strategic measures to enable global research and scholarship funding in the corridors of university education in Bangladesh. A special roadmap of “magnet” programs that usher top students from primary and secondary levels over to the university level can be hugely beneficial. 

Additionally, the government has to attract global personnel and get them to join specific and targeted universities with a strong emphasis on scientific research.

Technology could allow us to leapfrog over the ranks through any disruptive innovation that can set the above agenda in motion. 

Global corporations must be invited at no tax or significantly less tax to develop their technology products in the labs or innovation hubs of these universities. A thoughtful synergy is needed to facilitate this potential, otherwise every year we shall continue seeing similarly bleak headlines. 

The will of the government and students

The intentions of the government play a vital role in taking our higher education forward. The hotbed of education and the necessary infrastructure of public universities (where most of the potential lies) are embroiled in petty politics.

The private universities can take charge in this matter by sacrificing short term profit and building for the future. They also have an instrumental role to play. 

It is a downright failure of successive governments in not creating the fertile grounds for such intellectual minds -- which has brought down the true potential of Bangladesh. 

The administrative system of the country is equally to be blamed, and while volumes can be spoken on this matter, let us reserve it for another time.

It is not as though Bangladesh has a dearth of intellectual or innovative minds. But these innovative thinkers have either been in a long hiatus or we are simply running empty on the managerial or organizational depths to roll these ideas into motion.

There are invisible knots that need to be straightened. The young citizens of Bangladesh have latent, undeveloped prospects, but have no means whatsoever to pursue them. Many students migrate overseas in order to grow their aspirations as their dreams are punctured on the daily in their home country.

Political measures

The political forces of the nation have to unite on important policy matters pertaining to the welfare of the country. With more that 170 million mouths to feed, the choice should clearly be to compete globally for resources, technology, and relevant matters. 

This competition has to be won from a technical and academic angle, but the policy makers in parliament must take on the onus of responsibility to steer the nation to be competitive through mutually collaborative measures. 

All parties should raise their voice for increased budgets and finances in the education sector to kick start the initiative of putting at least one university in the list of the top 1000. 

The government must work shoulder-to-shoulder with the private sector to build such a scenario for a prosperous Bangladesh -- with rational policy prescriptions and an honest, solutions-driven mindset.

In the Global Knowledge Index 2020, Bangladesh ranked 112th out of 138 countries, highlighting the country's weak performance in terms of knowledge infrastructure. Even though Bangladesh’s education sector has improved since independence in 1971, that improvement has not outpaced other countries. This slow, incremental improvement has left us behind in the competitive arena of the global knowledge landscape. 

Many issues dot our failures. However, the government’s lack of prioritization in academic excellence, research, and scientific enquiry have resulted in a further stalling of progress.

Even in the Western world, the US has slipped to number nine in terms of research and patents, while China has slowly reached the top spot. Bangladesh can learn plenty from these statistics, but are we thinking with the right, earnest mindset? Perhaps, but our very own statistics narrate a different story.

We have all heard the hoopla that no Bangladeshi university can rank in the world's top 1000 list. With such a large population, educational budget, and relatively stable economic conditions -- as per the information from the government -- why are we lagging? 

Research, infrastructure, and funding

With no research investment or serious effort in improving the quality of education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary level, Bangladesh has little chance in securing a globally recognized, top tier university. 

The government can take strategic measures to enable global research and scholarship funding in the corridors of university education in Bangladesh. A special roadmap of “magnet” programs that usher top students from primary and secondary levels over to the university level can be hugely beneficial. 

Additionally, the government has to attract global personnel and get them to join specific and targeted universities with a strong emphasis on scientific research.

Technology could allow us to leapfrog over the ranks through any disruptive innovation that can set the above agenda in motion. 

Global corporations must be invited at no tax or significantly less tax to develop their technology products in the labs or innovation hubs of these universities. A thoughtful synergy is needed to facilitate this potential, otherwise every year we shall continue seeing similarly bleak headlines. 

The will of the government and students

The intentions of the government play a vital role in taking our higher education forward. The hotbed of education and the necessary infrastructure of public universities (where most of the potential lies) are embroiled in petty politics.

The private universities can take charge in this matter by sacrificing short term profit and building for the future. They also have an instrumental role to play. 

It is a downright failure of successive governments in not creating the fertile grounds for such intellectual minds -- which has brought down the true potential of Bangladesh. 

The administrative system of the country is equally to be blamed, and while volumes can be spoken on this matter, let us reserve it for another time.

It is not as though Bangladesh has a dearth of intellectual or innovative minds. But these innovative thinkers have either been in a long hiatus or we are simply running empty on the managerial or organizational depths to roll these ideas into motion.

There are invisible knots that need to be straightened. The young citizens of Bangladesh have latent, undeveloped prospects, but have no means whatsoever to pursue them. Many students migrate overseas in order to grow their aspirations as their dreams are punctured on the daily in their home country.

Political measures

The political forces of the nation have to unite on important policy matters pertaining to the welfare of the country. With more that 170 million mouths to feed, the choice should clearly be to compete globally for resources, technology, and relevant matters. 

This competition has to be won from a technical and academic angle, but the policy makers in parliament must take on the onus of responsibility to steer the nation to be competitive through mutually collaborative measures. 

All parties should raise their voice for increased budgets and finances in the education sector to kick start the initiative of putting at least one university in the list of the top 1000. 

The government must work shoulder-to-shoulder with the private sector to build such a scenario for a prosperous Bangladesh -- with rational policy prescriptions and an honest, solutions-driven mindset.

 

Ziaur Rahman is a freelance contributor.

Top Brokers

About

Popular Links

x