You have been VC for how many years now. What can you tell us about your experience about the University?
Ans: I have served as a Pro Vice Chancellor at Eastern University for about five years and have been serving as the Vice Chancellor for about three years.For the last thirteen years right from its inauguration with the policy to grow steadily ensuring quality education in 2003, Eastern University has grown solidly in terms of students, graduates, faculty members, and staff by about three times. The university started its journey with a mission of providing quality education at a reasonable cost. This university has, so far, been successful and satisfied with its academic standard and is in continuous touch with the global standard of quality higher education. We have already held four Convocations for over 6000 graduates graduated from EU, and next Convocation will be held soon. Besides, report on feedback from taken from time to time indicates that students are quite satisfied with academic standard, performance of the faculties, teachers’ support and overall peaceful environment of the university. Again, teachers of this university are strongly motivated and committed to provide quality education, assisting students in grooming up as professional, and introducing and guiding them to pursue quality education, and most importantly provide sufficient care to the students with professionalism and sincerity. The Board of Trustees of Eastern University is a united body and provides all necessary support to the administration. Our university has earned a good image in the Ministry of Education, University Grant Commission and in the academic arena both at home and abroad.
Vice Chancellor, what do you consider to be the main challenges facing your university?
Ans: The main challenge of the university, at present, is to move to the Permanent Campus at Ashulia. The construction of our permanent campus is going on in full swing. We hope to start shifting from the present campus from the beginning of next year. Besides, getting Senior Faculty is a big challenge as they are insufficient in number available for recruitment in our country.
What is your experience with the teachers and students here?
Ans: From the beginning, Eastern University has emphasized on recruiting highly qualified faculty members. Eastern University hires top-of-the class, talented graduates of highly reputed universities from home and abroad as junior faculty, experienced teachers and researchers as senior faculty and well known academics as part time faculty. In addition, the University appoints accomplished professionals and practitioners as adjunct faculty and invites university teachers from abroad as Visiting Faculty. The faculty members are chosen on the basis of their scholarly achievement, good communication skill, knack for research and commitment in teaching. The Faculty Development Program of the University trains junior faculty in pedagogy, research methods and in specific disciplines they teach. All the teachers of this university feel that this university is a good place to work and contribute. The relationship between teachers and students are friendly and cooperative. Besides, EU has 18 clubs for extra-curricular activities through which students get immense opportunities to bloom their latent talents like leadership, team-work, and enhance their knowledge and experience about our culture, tradition and history.
Can you tell us the reforms introduced after you assumed the post of VC?
Ans: After being appointed as the Vice Chancellor at Eastern University, my first priority was to promote quality education to the students and, at the same time, ensure their proper personal development by giving them sufficient opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities so that their latent talents such as leadership, team-work, discipline, etc strive along with their academic excellence. I prepared a Strategic Plan for the university which, when implemented, will help the university to be one of the top five universities in Bangladesh.
The Career Services and International Office (CSIO) at Eastern University (EU) offer resources and programs which not only focus on one time Internship/job links but also drive a student to a well structured career management system. CSIO guide students through their career path; they address students immediate needs, draw the timeline to focus on their goal, help them to design the career strategies, establish the bridge among students, alumni, potential employers.
CSIO also works for organizing Internship for our graduates and building academic collaboration with esteemed foreign universities so that our students can pursue higher education abroad. We have established 18 clubs at EU which organize conferences, seminars, workshop and symposium where students can come in close contact with the prominent personalities of the world and can get to know about their life. We have already signed MOU’s with more than 12 esteemed universities of Asia, North America and Europe for academic collaboration.
It is the era of globalization, your university planning to any collaboration with the foreign universities?
Ans: Yes, EU has both academic and administrative collaborations with 16 esteemed foreign universities of Asia, North America, Australasia and Europe on exchange of group of students for credit transfer, short study and cultural exchange, faculty exchange, research collaboration, and on participation in cultural events, debate competition, sports tournament, etc. Every year several EU students visit those universities to pursue higher education in undergraduate and graduate programs, and to attend different events. Several groups of students of EU have already visited Thailand, India, China and Vietnam, USA for short study and for participating in cultural, debate and sports events. Besides, singing MOU with two universities of China and Thailand is in process.
What initiatives your university has taken to ensure the employment of its graduates?
Ans: Eastern University emphasizes experiential learning and therefore encourages students to do internship, industry attachment or Under-study/probationer and the Career Service and International Office (CSIO) of the University arranges these for the students. Through extensive counseling, the Office guides students that addresses students’ immediate career needs, draws the timeline to focus on their goal, helps them to design the career strategies, establishes the bridge among students, alumni, potential employers/ universities for jobs and higher education. It provides entry level career guidelines and aggressively facilitates their employment. There are hardly any unemployed EU graduates. Module 1 of its Career Success Program (CSP) is a short course designed to provide individuals with valuable tips on career awareness, self -assessment, career decision making skills, CV writing, interview facing, office manners and etiquettes etc. The Office offers Module 2 of the CSP for the graduates and alumni for professional development skills and career advancement strategies that will last all throughout their life.
University has academic collaboration with over 20 renowned universities and institutions in USA, UK, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, China, Malaysia and Thailand for credit transfer of students with financial support, student exchange, faculty exchange, research collaboration and assistance in setting up new programs. The CSIO provides information and counseling for students who are interested in pursuing higher studies in these or other universities abroad, facilitate their placement in the universities, monitor their progress and problems and help them with suggestions. The Office organizes study tour of the EU and foreign students and facilitates visit of the EU and foreign officials and recruitment of visiting faculty.
The interest of the students towards the traditional subjects is lacking, especially courses like History, Sociology, etc … Your views?
From the beginning Eastern University emphasizes on developing students’ social and ethical knowledge by offering a wide range of traditional courses. We have a separate department named GED Cell that offers, organizes and coordinates general education courses in the area of language, arts, humanities, science and social science aiming at educating the soul rather than teaching skills to do a particular set of tasks. At present GED Cell offers 20 courses including Bangladesh Studies, Introduction to Bangla Literature, Eastern Culture & Heritage, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Anthropology, Values and Ethics, Introduction to Sociology, etc. These courses are being taught to students of diverse disciplines in the same classroom, fostering sharing and exchange of ideas among students across the campus. Students are now expected to take courses in other buildings of the campus than their ”own” and get to know and mix with students of the “other” subjects, get exposed to unfamiliar concepts, ideas and beliefs, breaking down barriers and invisible walls they were previously confined within. General Education (GED) Cell, thus, opens up vistas and broadens horizons of creativity and learning by offering courses across the campus to students of all disciplines and nurtures a campus-wide culture. Students of Eastern University, therefore, get better opportunity than many other universities in the areas of creative thinking, written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, technological literacy, knowledge of moral and ethical standards, teamwork, an inquiring mind and a vast storage of information.
Please explain the vision of your university and future plans of the university.
Ans: The vision of Eastern University is to be a globally recognized university in its chosen fields of higher education and research in terms of quality. The mission of the University is to equip the students with knowledge and skills essential for leadership in private and public sector in the increasingly competitive and globalized environment. Its goal is to be one of the top five private universities by 2020.
Eastern University is widely known for its quality education, superior faculty composition, excellent academic environment, sincere care for students, extensive co and extra- curricular activities, successful internship and job placement, modern digital library, good governance and administration and convenient location of the campus.
How your university plans to contribute to the society and nation in future?
Ans: Eastern University prepares its students as knowledgeable, skilled, socially responsible and ethically oriented so that they can perform their duties and responsibilities well and at the same time serve the society. The students are carefully selected for admission on the basis of their excellent academic record, high aptitude and strong motivation to learn. They are transformed into knowledgeable, skilled and globally oriented human resources by the caring and committed faculty members of the University. They are groomed to be leaders, value-driven and socially responsive citizens through a variety of co-curricular and extra- curricular programs.
EU offers a wide range of scholarships and tuition fee waiver for the students of Undergraduate and Graduate programs based on academic performance and financial condition. EU also offers special waiver for female students promoting higher education for women and thus, promote higher education to build up an educated and skilled nation.
EU also organizes various multi-dimensional cultural events and extra-curricular activities which strengthen students’ leadership, teamwork, knowledge of moral and ethical standards, social knowledge, etc and bring them out of being boxed in a particular setting hinged to a limited set of beliefs and practices with little or no exposure to the larger world. These qualities are greatly necessary for the proper growth individual as well as the society as a whole.