The government has finalized a draft proposing the establishment of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Maritime University, which will be tabled at the upcoming session of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) beginning on Sunday, the education minister Nurul Islam Nahid told BSS.
"We have made the primary preparations to launch the maiden university this year... We are hopeful that the bill will be placed in the coming JS session," Nahid said in an exclusive interview.
The maritime university, to be set up at Anwara in the port city of Chittagong, is aimed at creating skilled manpower in the maritime sector.
Nahid said related academies would be affiliated with the university, which will provide certificates to students of those academies.
"We want the university to not only work on shipbuilding and ship maintenance, but also create skilled manpower suitable for the growing industry, along with conducting multi-disciplinary marine research," he said.
He said work of the education ministry is on the rise, as the country has now as many as 100 public and private universities. "We want to entrust the universities with responsibilities so that they can carry out tasks on their own."
The government will recruit people with expertise in this field, and that expertise may come from any relevant sector, such as the navy or other organisations.
Welcoming the government's decision, Dr M Rafiqul Islam, the head of the department of naval architecture and marine engineering of BUET, said maritime university should be the highest centre of excellence of the maritime sector.
Dr Islam expressed the hope that the university would be a specialized one, and said it should have qualified people with the highest degree in the field of maritime education.
Tariqul Islam, a maritime industry expert, said: "It is desirable to have a full-fledged public maritime university, staffed by the highly qualified academicians who have research and teaching experience, for the greater interest of the potential maritime sector. This is the internationally accepted practice followed worldwide. As we aim to excel in the maritime industry… we must ensure this qualification requirement… from the very start of the university."
He said: "This university, through producing skilled graduates and post graduates, would project a positive Bangladesh to the maritime world."
"Hence, such an endeavor by present government is highly appreciated. We should by all means try to set up the university at an international standard in true sense, and not a college or an institute in disguise," said Tariqul Islam, also a naval architect.