The 2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings — which includes 1,799 universities in 104 countries and regions — places Dhaka University and North South University between 601 and 800 global educational institutions. To be a globally recognized standard?
While the rankings may be dismissed as arbitrary by many, when it comes to Bangladeshi universities and education in the country in general, there is no doubt that we stand out.
It has been seen everywhere that the unusually high unemployment rate continues in the country, which is telling us that our higher education is failing in preparing our students for the job market.
Beyond that, our lack of prioritization of research coupled with an outdated curriculum are some of the issues holding us back for a 21st century nation seeking to make its mark on a globally recognized economy.
Make no mistake about it: if we don’t address these issues as soon as possible, we risk further stagnation. It starts from the top, and in the near future, when officials talk about the need to improve our standards, it’s time to back up their words with actions.
Although the national budget allocation for the education sector this year has increased by nearly Rs 10,000 crore from the previous fiscal year, our expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is still very low, indicating that it has not been prioritized at the highest level. It should be the most important sector for developing countries like Bangladesh.
Going forward, if we want to improve the quality of education not only in our higher institutions, but in Bangladesh as a whole, a concerted and focused effort must be made by all. Failure to do so would not only be a shame, but would hold us back from being the great economy we aspire to be.