Roundtable Discussion on ‘The Role of Quality Higher Education in Achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG # 4) in Bangladesh’

IMG_0451_press release(1)

On October 25, 2018, the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of North South University organized a roundtable discussion on the “Role of Quality Higher Education in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG # 4) in Bangladesh”. LEAD, a leading organization in sustainability analysis and leadership training was the strategic partner of this roundtable discussion. The major objective of this roundtable was to create substantial awareness on the role and the impact of quality higher education in achieving SDG # 4 in Bangladesh, and analyze the best practices, current initiatives and future challenges in achieving this goal.

The Chairman of the Bangladesh Accreditation Council (BAC), Prof. Dr. Mesbah Uddin Ahmed was present as the Chief Guest while Prof. Dr. Yousuf Ali Mollah, Member, University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh and Prof. Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Adhikary, Head, Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) of UGC were present as the Guest of Honor and the Special Guest respectively. The program was chaired by the honorable Vice Chancellor of North South University Prof. Atiqul Islam. Among others, Prof. Dr. Yusuf M Islam, Vice Chancellor of Daffodil International University, Prof. Dr. Abdur Rab, Vice Chancellor of International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology and Prof. Dr. Chowdhury Mofizur Rahman, Vice Chancellor of United International University were also present and participated in the discussion session. The Roundtable was well participated by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Treasurer, Registrar, Deans, Department Chairs and Directors of various centers of NSU, IQAC Directors of several public and private universities of the country, and representatives from LEAD, British Council, and Pearson (UK).

In the first session, Dr. Sanjoy K. Adhikary talked about the positive changes IQACs brought in the higher education sector of Bangladesh in recent times. He underlined the importance of developing benchmarks for ensuring quality in

the higher education sector. Dr. Yusuf Ali Mollah emphasized on instilling humane qualities in our students so that they can become ethical and responsible citizens of the country. Dr. Mesbah Uddin Ahmed discussed the codes of practice for program accreditation and reiterated the importance of program accreditation in the global context. Prof. Atiqul Islam explained the SDG 4 objectives and highlighted the importance of achieving these objectives. The first session ended with valuable discussion by the Vice-Chancellors.

In the second session, Dr. Nazmun Nahar, Director-IQAC of NSU initiated an open discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities of IQACs. The IQAC directors shared their experiences and brought up some important issues including lack of resources, lack of expertise in outcome based teaching methodology, and poor student-teacher ratio.

In the third session, President of LEAD Mr. Ashfaq Zaman, CPA presented a keynote paper on the global best practices and industry/academia gap analysis. Towards the end of the session, there was an open moderation session focusing on relevant SDG issues related to quality education and the role of quality higher education in Bangladesh.

The roundtable session ended putting a positive impact on the participants who actively participated with a view towards attaining SDG 4 through mutual cooperation to make Bangladesh a developed country. The outputs, recommendations, viewpoints and recommendations of the event will be put in a working paper and journal that will be promoted at local ministries and global platforms such as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Global Compact.