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Sunday, May 22, 2016, Jaistha 8, 1423 BS, Shaban 14, 1437 Hijri

Northern University Bangladesh
A gateway to international standard higher education in Bangladesh
Mamunur Rashid & Onindo Ahsan
Published :Sunday, 22 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 84
The demand for higher education in Bangladesh has been increasing gradually in parallel with the rapid growth of population. For meeting the demand, a number of public and private universities have been established in different parts of the country over the years. At present there are 34 public and 83 private universities in Bangladesh. The first private university launched its step in 1992 under the Private University Act-1992. Subsequently, in the year 2002, Northern University, Bangladesh (NUB) was set up with the slogan 'Knowledge for Innovation and Change' including the latest courses in its academic disciplines with an intention to accomplish the global challenges considering the national and international issues.
Since the emergence of private universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC), the statutory body at the field of higher education in Bangladesh, has been regulating the private university education in order to keep the sector on the right track. Certainly, this sort of parental activity from the government plays a very vital role in flourishing efficient higher education in Bangladesh. However, many old private universities find it difficult to cope up with the stresses and on the other hand, a number of newly established private universities are moving forward with their academic excellences which cannot be perceived in all cases without paying a visit to them.
Programmes offered by NUB
Northern University Bangladesh (NUB) offers 17 programmes under 10 departments of 5 faculties. The university acts under a team work among the students, teachers and administrative stuff in order to maintain the international standard. NUB students take part in many co-curricular activities i.e. seminar, career counseling workshop, symposium, IT fair, study tour, Mathematics Olympiad, International Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition, software development competition, inter-university football and cricket tournaments in parallel with their curriculums.
In an interview, Professor Dr. Abu Yousuf Mohammad Abdullah, the chairman of NUB Trust, said, "I do believe that we will not be able to become a developed and self-sufficient nation without an educated and skilled manpower. We have been using our best endeavours to generate an intellectual and efficient manpower that will lead our country towards glory and prosperity despite of all sorts of shortcomings. In order to bring about a revolution in the higher education sector in Bangladesh, we have taken the challenge of creating a well-educated and trained manpower."
He further added, "We are spending about 60% of our total expenditures for supplying modern educational equipment while the public universities spend about 75% of their total expenses only on administrative activities. We have sufficient spacious and air-conditioned classrooms provided with the latest multimedia. Besides, we have got fast internet browsing labs, large online libraries and well-equipped modern laboratories for several departments. We have made research works compulsory for our teachers, and have been encouraging them in going abroad for attaining higher studies. In addition, since we have succeeded in having a number of scholarly teachers, the number of enrolled students has reached 22,000 (up to the Summer 2015 semester) within a few years."
He said, "Every semester we remit tuition fee for 10% poor and meritorious students instead of 5% students as the UGC has suggested. According to the last fiscal year's statement, we have spent about Tk 5,00,00,000 (Taka five crores only) for providing the deserving students with scholarships although we charge less tuition fee than many other private universities do. In fact, we have designed the tuition fee in such a way that the middle and lower middle class can easily afford it."
Teaching at NUB
It has become possible to attain the degree of success within four years due to the earnest endeavor of the managing authority, teachers and stuff of NUB. A number of meritorious teachers graduated from different famous universities like BUET, DU and renowned foreign universities have been appointed here. Moreover, many experienced professors, retired from these universities, have also been appointed as full-time teachers in different departments of NUB. There has been a very harmonious relationship between the students and teachers. A student can never think of adopting unfair means in the examinations as they are strictly prohibited from the very beginning of the university. In connection with this, a mother of a student named Sagar of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) said, 'I decided to enroll my son at NUB on the very day when I heard that the students of NUB were not allowed to adopt unfair means in examinations. At present my son is a student of 12thsemester and I am pleased at his exam results."
The libraries and computer labs of NUB are very rich. The libraries are equipped with an excellent collection of reference and text books, and there are sufficient computers provided with internet facilities at the computer labs. A student can use the libraries and computer labs even on holidays. At the present, the most important thing for a student is to be accomplished with a high level of competence in English. Accordingly, each student of every department of NUB is given special care so that s/he can achieve a good command in English.
The Department of Law is one of the best law departments among all the public and private universities. Statistics says that NUB has been securing at the top of the list in the Bar Council Vocational Examination for the last six years. The Moot Team of NUB has so far become champion (competing with all the private and public universities including the University of Dhaka) for three times in the 'International Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition'. Furthermore, every year a number of LLB graduate become Assistant Judges after passing the Bangladesh Judicial Service Examination.
At present, 313 full-time and adjunct faculties and 266 administrative staff are working here and they are always concerned with solving any kind of problems faced by the students. Northern University Bangladesh has purchased 24 bighas land property (5 bighas in Aminbazar and 19 bighas at Savar) for constructing its permanent campus.

Mamunur Rashid & Onindo Ahsan are with The Daily Observer

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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