Most of the people of our society have a dream to study in a university. A few of them get the chance. There are two types of universities in our country: public universities and private universities. However, how many of us know the inherent meaning of a university? There are about one hundred public and private universities in Bangladesh. How many of those are really playing the role of a university? I am afraid that most people do not think even regarding these issues. Okay, let me ask you few questions: What is the purpose of a true university? How will you judge the performance of a university?
I know in answer to the first question you may differ with each other. Some of you may think that the goal of a university is to develop human resources for the growing need of the economy of a country while others may focus on different issues e.g. to help in career building of the young stars etc.
To get the answer of the second question people may differ more, I guess. In answer to this question some may point out that the quality of a university depends on the quality of its faculty members. Some other may think that students’ quality is the determinant factor to judge the quality of a university. Yet, there may be another group who may focus on the issue that a good university must have a large good campus with state-of-the-art facilities. Moreover, there may be some other corner of the society that may think that the level of a university depends on the response of the job market. Apparently, all of you are correct. Good faculties, good students, good campuses and good placements- these are treated as the four basic variables to judge the quality of a university.
However, I do differ with you all. I want to raise some questions. What is the use of all these variables unless they produce new spheres of knowledge? Do the universities utilize their ‘good’ faculties, ‘talented’ students, and ‘fabulous’ campuses? Do the teachers devote themselves in knowledge creation or they are happy with their ‘foreign degrees’? Do they love to guide their students to create new horizon of knowledge or advise them only to build up their ‘safe’ career? Do the ‘quality’ faculties themselves love to quest for excellence in respective fields of research or engage themselves in money making processes? Considering all these issues we can conclude that having ‘quality’ faculties-students-campuses will not ensure the quality of a university. The bottom line is their contribution to the academic arena as well as to the society.
It’s also mentionable that students’ role is not less important at all. What is the role of the students in the learning process? Do they have the courage to challenge the knowledge-base of their faculties? Do they love to raise critical questions in the classroom or enjoy ‘useless’ clashes with the teachers? Do they dare to dream of innovating ideas or just have the daydream to be a ‘sincere executive’? Students should behave responsibly with no exceptions.
We must not forget that university is neither a school nor a college. It is not a coaching center or a training institute. University does not refer to professors with foreign degrees or lecturers having foreign publications. It neither means the ‘obedient’ students without thirst of knowledge nor stands for a good campus or well performed extra-curricular activities. Furthermore, university is not the Dane of SELFISH career-lovers. Last but not the least university is not the hatchery of future ‘money-making-machines’.
My dream university is such an educational institution where people will go with full devotion to LEARN the unknowns; where people will dedicate themselves to NOURISH new spheres of knowledge for the welfare of the entire society; where the teachers and students will create continuous waves of new ideas and share together without any self-interest; where people will have an open mind to embrace all ODD innovations. In my opinion, a true university must act as the Light House for the society to show the path for the future generations.
How long will we need to wait to have such a university in our beloved Bangladesh!
May 5, 2013 at 11:26am