Raising the level of higher education

With the news that the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 – which included 1,799 universities in 104 countries and territories – placed Dhaka University and NorthSouth University between 601 and 800 among all educational institutions worldwide, we must ask: When will the education institutes become Our higher standard to be of a globally recognized standard?

While many may dismiss the classification as arbitrary, there is no doubt that when it comes to Bangladeshi universities and education in general in the country, we have stagnated.

Nowhere is this more evident than the abnormally high unemployment rate that persists in the country for graduates, telling us that our higher education is failing our students to prepare them for the job market.

Furthermore, our lack of prioritization of research coupled with outdated curricula that does not fit a twenty-first century country looking to make its mark as a globally recognized economy remains one of the most holding us back.

Make no mistake about it: We risk further stagnation if we cannot address these issues as soon as possible. It starts at the top, and while the authorities have recently talked about the need to improve our rankings, it is time to back their words with action.

Although the amount allocated to the education sector in the national budget increased this year by nearly Rs 10,000 crore from the previous fiscal year, our spending on education as a percentage of our GDP remains woefully low, indicating a significant lack of prioritization of what can to happen. To be, for a developing country like Bangladesh, its most important sector.

Going forward, if we really want to raise not only our higher institutions but the quality of education in Bangladesh in general, there must be a concerted and focused effort by all. Failure to do so would not only be embarrassing, but it would also hold us back from becoming the advanced economy we wish we could be.

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