Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, November 18, 2018 04:29:07 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Population growth and higher education in Bangladesh

photo by

By
25th-Mar-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Dr. P R Datta and Mark T. Jones :
For anyone interested in Bangladesh and its future success, an important starting point has to be the current and projected population figures.  Even if there is a margin of error of ten per cent either way these figures should still cause pause for thought.
Source: www.populationpyramid.net
Whilst there are signs that by the middle of the century the rate of growth will slow a little, it is clear that population pressures are going to have serious ramifications for a variety of sectors. One sector it is certain to impact on is that of education, more especially higher education. It is evident that if Bangladesh is to maintain and hopefully enhance its economic position it will need to have many more undergraduate and postgraduate places. By the middle of the century it is reasonable to suggest that the country might well need between eighty and hundred additional higher education institutions, including universities. Ensuring that Bangladesh has the wherewithal to build, equip and staff high calibre institutions will demand foresight planning on a grand scale, something which to date has been conspicuous by its absence. If anything, development has been decidedly piecemeal in nature and largely haphazard. The central government has largely left matters to the private sector, something which many consider to be a high-risk strategy. Such is the crucial nature of the higher education sector to the national economy that it is vital that things are not left to chance. It is imperative that things are put in place so that the country can prepare and build up the talent base that will be essential if research excellence is to be a part of the national story.
The population figures underscore the challenge, it will be considerable. Ministries will be required to think and act in a co-ordinated manner, something that may at times feel alien. That said, the alternative is far worse, failure to adapt and plan now will almost certainly result in Bangladesh falling behind its regional and international competitors. One of the key signs of under investment and planning will be an increase in the brain drain of the brightest and the best, the very people a country should aspire to keep and cherish, will go elsewhere. A direct result of such a haemorrhaging of talent will be that Bangladesh will become far less attractive to foreign investors, and as a direct consequence the levels of Foreign Direct Investment will stagnate and decline. Any dip in FDI is bad news for jobs, and the prospect of employment for the many thousands leaving school and higher education institutions every year. All countries need to work at job creation, and encouraging inward investment is an important part of the equation.
So, what is to be done? Clearly those in positions of responsibility need to take a long hard look at the projected population figures, they cannot claim that they have not been made aware. It is essential that Bangladesh examine and where possible emulate best practise from elsewhere. One of the most important areas for consideration are in respect of the establishment of a Bangladesh Higher Education Research Council. This could have several functions including, firstly the overseeing of the allocation and monitoring of research grants, secondly it would be charged with the responsibility of making sure that all accredited higher education institutions had a research output, thirdly it would require all licenced institutions to demonstrate a commitment to raising academic standards, fourthly it would monitor and encourage Bangladeshi academics to publish their research in internationally accredited academic journals. These four key priorities would help nurture and consolidate a research culture, one that is aspirational in nature and is outward looking, thus better able to be benchmarked against international competitors. Furthermore, there would need to be an increase in the number of specialist institutions, with those who excel in research fields being entitled to bid for additional funding based on merit. Overtime there would be scope for a premier league of specialist research universities, this would be akin to the UK's Russell Group (http:/russellgroup.ac.uk/). Bangladesh also should consider having regional cluster partnerships, these could involve both public and private institutions forging meaningful partnerships and collaborations. In addition, all staff at high education institutions would be required to demonstrate continuous professional development, with academic staff having to show a willingness to engage in research and where possible write and submit academic papers for publication.
It is inevitable that there will be resistance in some quarters. Standards will only improve if complacency and indifference are challenged. There needs to be far greater transparency and accountability. To date too few institutions in Bangladesh have sought feedback from stakeholders, and as a direct consequence 'a like it lump it mentality' prevails. Some of the older academic institutions have lost their desire to be leading global players, and instead prefer to sit back and live off old reputations. Such attitudes have no place in a forward looking and dynamic Bangladesh. Some once leading lights will need to be pensioned off, and fresh faces and new thinking brought in. It will be a challenge, but then again, the alternative is far worse. If Bangladesh fails to plan ahead over the next few years, it will face a bleak future, one with rising youth unemployment, and all the social problems that go with a generation who feel dispossessed.
There are nascent signs of a growing awareness that things need to change. Now is as good a time as any to start putting things in place. Each higher education institution will become an important knowledge hub, one that cherishes research and forges meaningful relationships with local businesses and employers. Internationally there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that such links stimulate further research, with all the economic spinoffs that can result. Higher education excellence needs to become a way of life. Yes, additional resources will be required, and it is thus essential that all politicians regardless of their party loyalties appreciate the urgency and importance of this additional support. Hearts and minds need to be won over. The seeds of future success need to be planted now.
Training, coupled with improved national literacy and numeracy will be vital if progress is to be made. Bangladesh can easily set itself the task of emulating the likes of the Higher Education Academy (www.heacademy.ac.uk) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (www.hefce.ac.uk). Let the projected population figures provide the impetus. Whether we like it or not, change is coming. Now is the time for the higher education sector to make ready. Both the public and private sector have a role play. Government, mindful of its duty to serve all citizens, must show appropriate leadership, and budget accordingly, so that plans can be realised, ones that will yield research success and future employment. A targeted and systematic expansion of the higher education sector cannot happen over-night. It requires method, mechanisms, skilled manpower, and above all else vision.  Bangladesh relishes a challenge; may it rise to this one. Onwards, and upwards.
(Dr. P R Datta FCIM, FCMI is Executive Chair, Academy of Business & Retail Management, UK, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Business and Retail Management Research- A SCOPUS Indexed and SCIMAGO Ranked Journal. Mark T. Jones BA (Hons), FABRM is Consultant Futurist, Editor-in-Chief - International Journal of Higher Education Management)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Football »

Neymar penalty punishes Uruguay in feisty friendly


Neymar kept his cool to score the controversial penalty that fired Brazil to a 1-0 win over Uruguay in a full-blooded friendly on Friday.Brazil captain Neymar was subjected to some ferocious fouls from Uruguay as the clash between the South American rivals boiled over at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.But the Paris ...

Cricket »

Shakib returns as BCB announces squad for 1st Test against WI


The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday announced the squad for the first Test of two-match series against the West Indies (WI) with ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan returned to the squad.Another big-name inclusion in the squad is Soumya Sarkar, whose last Test appearance came on the tour of South ...

Editorial »

Pro-people police is the demand of time


THE Police Investigation Bureau (PIB) has unveiled the mystery behind a spine-chilling crime where a middle-aged woman passenger was killed inside a running bus at Ashulia in the outskirts of Dhaka city. It took hardly seven days for them to crack the case. Police have already arrested the murderers along ...

International »

US opposes UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of Golan Heights


AFP, United Nations :For the first time, the United States voted Friday against an annual UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, dropping its practice of abstaining in the vote.The non-binding resolution was adopted in a General Assembly committee by a vote of 151 to 2, with the ...

International »

US-China discord dominates APEC summit in Papua New Guinea


Reuters, Port Moresby :The United States and China swapped barbs over trade, investment and regional security at an Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit on Saturday, as growing fault lines among members suggested little prospect of consensus at the weekend meeting.Speaking in the Papua New Guinean capital, U.S. Vice President ...

Entertainment »

Aupee Karim returning to big screen


Entertainment Desk :Actress Aupee Karim is returning to the big screen after 15 years , with a film titled "Debris of Desire."Aupee made her debut in cinema with Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's 'Bachelor,' for which the actor won the Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Actress in 2004. The film is ...

City »

BFUJ Secretary General Saban Mahmud receiving posthumous 'Ratnagarva Ma Gold Medal-2018' on behalf of his mother Momtaj Salam at a ceremony organised by Society for Enlightening Nation (SOFEN) in the auditorium of the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh in the city on Friday.


Editorial »

Only condemnation not enough, ensure safe return of Rohingyas to Myanmar


US Vice-President Mike Pence expressed the Trump administration's strongest condemnation about Myanmar's treatment towards Rohingya Muslims. He told Aung San Suu Kyi that "persecution" by Myanmar's military was "without excuse" in a meeting with her on November14. Mr Pence also pressed Suu Kyi to pardon two Reuters journalists who were ...

City »

Former Parliament Member of Moulvibazar-2 constituency MM Shaheen joined Juktofront by giving bouquets to Juktofront Chief Prof Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury at the party office in the city's Baridhara on Friday.


.

Football »

Croatia stun Spain as Jedvaj strikes twice to keep hopes alive


AFP, Zagreb :Spain passed up the chance to seal progress to the Nations League finals as they were beaten 3-2 by Croatia on Thursday, undone by a 93rd-minute winner from Tin Jedvaj.Jedvaj's late strike leaves Group 4 wide open ahead of its final fixture between England and Croatia on Sunday. ...

Entertainment »

Deepika-Ranveer wedding: First pics of the gorgeous couple spell magic


Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh got married at the picturesque locale of Lake Como in Italy. The much-in-love duo got married in a traditional Konkani wedding ceremony on November 14 and today solemnised their wedding as per Sindhi tradition. After managing to keep their wedding pictures well-guarded, the couple has ...

International »

May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis


Reuters, London : British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and mutiny in her party.More than two years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, it is still unclear how, ...

Editorial »

Mass awareness needed if NBR wants more people under tax net


THE countrywide 'Income Tax Fair -2018' has already drawn a huge crowd. The authorities hope more people would be brought under tax net this year too. Finance Minister AMA Muhith while inaugurating the fair said out of country's 16 crore population, the number of taxpayers is around one crore. There ...

International »

US could lose war against Russia or China, warns panel


AP, Washington :The United States military has "lost its edge" and could potentially lose a war against Russia or China, a report by a bipartisan panel established by Congress says.The report by the National Defense Strategy Commission on November 14 said U.S. military superiority has "eroded to a dangerous degree" ...

Football »

Switzerland`s Kevin Mbabu (left) is challenged by Qatar's Abdelkarim Hassan during an international friendly soccer match between Switzerland and Qatar at the Cornaredo stadium in Lugano, Switzerland on Wednesday.


.

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news