Khulna University: An institution with a difference

Published : 01 Dec 2022 06:33 PM

If any tourist drives from the capital down to the Sundarbans along the Dhaka-Mawa highway, he must encounter a distance board; that signals Khulna University is not very far away. If the stranger ventures to explore the site, I’m sure he could hardly guess from the outside what is happening inside. It’s nearly incredible we can predict thousands of young minds doing their business so peacefully. An idea of university that has grown over the years particularly in our context doesn’t go with this character. The choice of the admission seekers also gives us an insight into the social chemistry. 54 thousand high scorers from across the country were found racing against a little over thousand seats. No doubt, KU is a general university founded in 1987. But the strong institutional bias towards research and innovation added with its commitment to match contemporary demands pushed it forward along the frontliners. Anyway, nobody would at least contest my assertion that KU has rapidly progressed on many counts and climbed up to an amazing height of academic excellence. Not that the craze blows over the delta zone, it spills over beyond our international territory.

Today is 25 November. On this day of 1991 the academic activities were finally and formally kicked off. Incepted in 1987,the foundation stone of this university was laid down in 1989.But the idea of establishing such universities was embedded in the spirit of liberation. Soon after the emergence of a sovereign state, Dr Kudrat-e-Khuda commission recommended such an institution in greater Khulna division; that promised to disseminate quality education and reach up to the periphery; where people on the margin could reap up the dividend of freedom. It was also the dream of Bangabandhu that these qualified graduates would contribute in the making of a just and knowledge-based society. Today I’ve reasons to believe KU has travelled all the way since its inception to keep pace with the aspirations of our nation. The university aims to leave social and economic impacts through translating academic wisdom into practice. The graduates will be the agents for changes and deliver on food security, poverty alleviation, nutrition and environment. The core values of this institution include freedom of thoughts and tolerance to dissenting voices. On top of everything KU retains an uncompromised conviction to academic excellence.

Khulna university stands by the river Moyur at Gallamari; that always reminds us of the barbarous genocide that Pak army perpetrated during liberation war. The university campus stretches over 106 acres of land. It is roughly 4 km away from the heart of the city and just by the side of Khulna-Satkhira road. KU is the 9th public university in Bangladesh. The power base of the university lies in its academic potential and diversity. The university has 8 schools,29 disciplines and 2 institutes. Science, Engineering and Technology school has architecture, chemistry, computer Science, Electronics and communication Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Rural Planning disciplines. Life Science has Agrotech, Biotech Genetic Eng, Environmental Science, Fisheries and Marine, Forestry and Wood, Pharmacy and Soil, Water and Environment disciplines. School of MBA consists of Business Admin and HRM. Economics, Development Studies, Sociology, Mass Communication and journalism fall in Social Science School. Arts and Humanities school accommodates Bangla, English, History and civilization disciplines. School of law has Law discipline and Fine Arts has Drawing and Painting, Print Making and Sculpture disciplines. The school of Education operates an institute of Education and Research.

Not that KU can only boost of its conventional capacities, the institution has already unfolded a unique chapter of research and innovation. An institute for integrated studies on the Sundarbans and coastal eco system was established here for the first time in history. Solid Waste Management project is running in full swing to ensure green campus. An ambitious Green House project is also likely to be implemented soon. Soil Archive was also installed here for the first time in the country. Institutional Quality Assurance Cell is relentlessly working to attain academic excellence. Outcome based education is the latest reform in curricula adopted to prevent mismatch in the run up to reaching world class quality. Its time to work with students in partnership, not to see them customers. We must help them learn, encourage to be active rather than passive listeners. Central Lab is going to be well equipped. Innovation Hub is being prepared. Disciplines are getting ready with Smart Class rooms. The central library is now growing resourceful with ample supply of e-books and automation.

More than 500 teachers are the epicenter of all hopes and energy. They are preparing more than 7000 students for upcoming time. One third of the teachers are PHDs. Teacher-Student ratio remains 1:12 which is up to the international standard. 15 thousand graduates already entered the job market over the last 3 decades. They are engaged in reputed profession. Initiatives are taken to boost incentives for research and innovation. More than 500 scholarly articles were published in the international journals during the recent years. Different survey suggests a good number of teachers have been ranked in the list of leading scientists. Many universities from Europe, America and Asia have already signed MOU for joint collaboration in promoting research and higher education. Hectic efforts are going on to bring about a qualitative change in Khulna University Studies.

There are differences in opinion about real impact of higher education on learners. We are now experiencing an age of transition. We need at the moment high-level skills. That kind of knowledge actually comes from research, workforce development and creativity. Competition in the international arena is growing tougher. Now we live in a borderless world. Knowledge and ideas must be shared. If we fail to keep pace with the fast changing mode of learning, the nation will suffer. If we search a way out, a quality university like KU is the answer.