BAUET: No eve-teasing, no smoking on the campus
A large number of private universities have sprung up in Bangladesh since the mid-1990s as the existing public universities, including the premier Dhaka University, could not cope up with growing number of students seeking high-level education.
Then it was followed by a number of defense-sponsored institutions like Bangladesh University of Professionals and then the ones like Bangladesh Army University of Engineering and Technology (BAUET) set up in 2015 in Qadiraband Cantonment, Natore. The university's Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Army Chief General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Huq.
Set amid natural beauty with hostels for men and women, the university's Vice-Chancellor retired Brigadier General AHM Shahidullah shared his thoughts his own institution with Roving Editor Nadeem Qadir. Here are the excerpts.
Set amid such a scenic setting you and your students are very lucky.
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: Indeed we are happy to be here as nature adds to our efforts to provide best education to the students. The quite and tranquil location provides the perfect education required for my students who are studying technical subjects.
Since it is an army-sponsored university is it like the cadet colleges and very regimented?
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: Yes, we are serious in maintaining schedule; we do not allow any kind of politics, no smoking, no eve-teasing and strict discipline to ensure completion of the curricula. The students have uniforms too. He added that these are the primary reasons why I believe we are providing proper education and timely graduation under the supervision of qualified teachers.
What do you think that you offer to the students here besides education?
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: The most important thing is we have intern programmes with major industries and also have placement opportunities. The Career Club helps in placement, while our branch of the Bangladesh National Cadet Corps provides leadership training. Proper leadership qualities help shine in their professional lives.
There are sports club, debating club and others. We also provide daily bus service between Rajshahi and Qadirabad via Natore.
Your university has co-education and students stay in hostels in close proximity. You said no eve-teasing, but are you sure there is no such incidents?
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: No such incident has been reported as far as I am concerned and every Monday we provide counseling to our students to cope with their relations with the opposite sex. Everyone is open hearted and we monitor their activities very closely. More disciplined students ensure better results and it should be seen negatively as it was just like a family.
Who are performing better --- boys or girls?
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: Of course it is the girls who are more disciplined and more serious in their education.
You already have Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information and Communication Engineering are there any other subjects you are offering?
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: We are also offering Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Honors in English language.
Do you plan to add more subjects like journalism and international relations?
Brig. Gen. Shahidullah: Maybe we will, but we have to ensure that are stronger with our existent subjects. It will also need expansion of the facilities.
Thank you for your time Mr. Vice-Chancellor.