Overview of Guidelines of Higher Education Curriculum
Professor Dr.-Ing. Saifullah Khandker
Technical University of Berlin, Germany
Throughout the World, universities change the society and remain the center of change and development for a nation. The role of higher education is to prepare competent, knowledgeable and far-sighted people for assuming various higher responsibilities. The growing importance of knowledge in the modern world can hardly be overemphasized, especially in the era of globalization and in a global environment which is fiercely competitive.
In order to contribute to the nation every Higher Educational Institutions including Public and Private Universities must be competitive. Each University will be recognized for its flexible approaches to learning and teaching which will create an attractive, stimulating and modern environment in which students can learn in different ways and in different places to achieve their desired results. To achieve the vision of the University learning experience as providing â€œEducation that Worksâ€, University curriculum should be modern, time-bound, need-based and international standard. The university authority has to monitor properly to add new and innovative courses and ideas in the learning process so that the students can face the challenges of 21st century.
In the face of a changed scenario of Higher Education in Bangladesh, quality improvement in the higher education has to be the main focus. Top priority should be given by the government and the private sector for the development of science and technology based education. There is a need to introduce quality control mechanism both in Public and Private Universities. The state has to form some sort of â€œaccreditation councilâ€, enhanced support for research and development of strategies for retaining and developing quality teaching staff. Universities those satisfy certain critical minimum requirements of inputs, processes and outputs will be given accreditation. The Higher Education Authority & Board of Accreditation can hopes that these guidelines are a useful tool for teachers and that the teachers can also help to prepare the students best for the demands of the labour market.
I am sure, the Higher Education Authorities including University Grants Commission (UGC) and Board of Accreditation knows the University Organization Structures. On the other hand authorities of both the Public and Private Universities are well accustomed with their own institutional organization Structures and their function mechanisms. Let us identify the weak point and start there to rectify. One of main field is Guidelines for Curriculum for Higher Education.
Bangladesh Needs Guidelines for the development of Curriculum:
Particularly, higher education has enormous potential to promote prosperity for Bangladesh. Unfortunately in Bangladesh Universities are very weak and even Academic Senate, Curricula Committee, Faculty Deans and departmental Heads do not change anything. This is now universally recognized for Bangladesh that there is no alternative to education for development of human resources in Bangladesh. There is need to introduce proper policy in order to minimize the problems that are prevailing in the Higher Education System.
I personally think that this is the prime time to setup and upgrade a Standard and control the quality mechanism of Higher Education System in Bangladesh. For that the Higher Education Authorities including UGC and Board of Accreditation must prepare Basic Framework and Guidelines for Curriculum of Courses of Studies in the context of 21st century.
Generally the Guidelines are addressed to all academics involved in the design and quality assurance of study programmes and should cover the following aspects: Need for a programme, degree profile, degree programme, structure and mobility, learning, teaching and assessment methods, admission, Bachelor/Master thesis and degree, management, resources and quality assurance. These guidelines serve as a checklist for the development of study programmes (Bachelor and Master Courses) covering the most recent developments in educational standards and help to implement the methods. They also help to evaluate a degree programme and pave the way to accreditation. The Higher Education Authority & Board of Accreditation can hope that these guidelines are a useful tool for teachers and that the teachers can also help to prepare the students best for the demands of the labour market.
Above mentioned decisive factorâ€™s shows there is a need to develop a Basic â€œGuidelinesâ€ for Curriculum of Courses of Studies as the basis for renewal of Coursework Programs in order to achieve a distinctive vision of students learning in Higher Education of Bangladesh. In my view the renewal of Higher Education Curriculum can be postulated under the consideration of the following core points.
Core Curriculum Areas of Basic Framework or Guidelines:
The vision of students learning and student-centred learning can be based on a set of Core Curriculum Areas and these are:
1. Career Oriented learning
The education contents must be updated regularly - according to the research state of the field as well as the professional requirement profile-. Besides, in lectures as well as in research project the relations should also be worked out to relevant other disciplines to make clear exemplarily several perceptions on a problem as well as the necessarily interdisciplinary solution attempts. This will improve studentsâ€™ career skills and employment prospects.
2. High Technical and Social Competence
It is aimed in the technical area mainly on the mediation by methodical and conceptual abilities. Successful work can be done by Dividing work-loads, cooperation and competition certain occupational world puts beside technical abilities in growing measure social competence like communication and team ability, critical thinking, motivation and responsibility readiness, leadership qualities among other things ahead. The faculties must promote the acquisition of this competence by the offer of suitable lecture forms (based on the division of work-load of the projects, practice projects, independent work in small groups, presentations, seminars etc.).
3. Pathways into Research
Providing research-coupled concept pathways and experience for undergraduates;
4. To properly study-able
The possibility for the independent creation of his/her study profile must be given in very high extent to the students. Adequate options must be granted in the specialist one as well as in the beyond specializations part. Besides, is to be made sure that the study profiles put together in each case are measured concerning the contents sensibly and qualitatively. For example, the introduction of modularization of courses and assessments on the basis of achievement points know as credit points contribute to the improvement of the study-ability.
5. Modularization of modern Teaching and Learning forms
Together with all belonging lectures should be summarized subsequent to contents, qualification aim and study phase into a module. Modules must be formed in such a way that they can be examined as a rule by an examiner. They should not be divided into many small pieces extensively, but also not to summaries of competence sighting. Modules becomes as a rule study-accompanying examined. This will reduce the examination jam etc. Besides, the Modularization of courses of studies and Credit System should open from any Bangladeshi university to abroad.
6. Widening the Learning Opportunities
Increasing flexibility, choice, acceleration and intersectoral opportunities in Higher Education programs;
7. Learning for a Changing World
Integration of an entrepreneurship and innovation emphasis together with an awareness of social difference and cultural diversity into studentsâ€™ learning opportunities;
8. Internationality in the Curriculum Framework
Three aims should be reached by stronger inclusion of international elements in the study.
a. student should be able to change easier to foreign universities and graduates should receive a better access to the international job market
b. The students will be accustomed during his/her study stronger to internationally stamped perceptions.
c. Special attention should be given to the consultation and care of foreign students.
9. Quality assurance and high-class improvement
The quality assurance of the courses of studies should hold the professional start chances of the graduates on a continuing basis at high level and contribute to the high-class improvement of the study offer.
Suitable means to the quality assurance and high-class improvement are regular internal and external evaluations. These should expel the strengths of a course of studies and document the good achievements, as well as indicate the weak spots, so that suitable measures can be initiated to the removal. The inclusion of Alumni in the assessment is desirable.
For a developing country like Bangladesh, there is a need to create a breakthrough for enhancing higher education development. It will be harmful for the nation if the Authority handle to conduct higher education programs as a business as usual. The new standard in Higher Education, particularly in the field of life-long learning, open learning, quality maintaining, accountability and equity requires a quite new direction. The impact of globalization causes a shift of the role of higher education institutions from traditional learning institutions to knowledge creators, a change from random planning to strategic planning, and a movement from comparative approach to competitive approach.
Institutional curriculum renewal through â€œCurriculum Frameworkâ€ is cross-disciplinary in nature, focused on a Model for Professional Learning which emphasizes real world learning experiences within a supportive environment, integrated with skills development in order to prepare graduates to make the transition to professional practice.
The â€œCurriculum Frameworkâ€ will present an opportunity to adopt innovative educational approaches across the Higher Education in Bangladesh capitalizing on our industry connections and research activities. The â€œCurriculum Frameworkâ€ approaches will be marketed as a key feature of the unique experience and be designed to be adaptable for use in international contexts.
The â€œCurriculum Frameworkâ€ guided courses of studies will ensure the University students of Bangladesh to receive a distinctive learning experience leading to enhanced opportunities. Furthermore, the Curriculum Framework will promote the University as an educational environment which is distinguished from those of competitor universities. This vision will be achieved by adding value to students' learning, to their employment prospects on graduation, and to their options for the future. Besides, the Modularization of courses of studies and Credit System should open from any Bangladeshi university to abroad.