Higher education plays a crucial role in modern civilisation. While this is a self-evident truth to many, its importance cannot be stressed enough. It holds true from both micro and macro perspectives.
On a micro scale, the most obvious benefit of higher education is that it clearly provides greater employment opportunities than secondary education. There is also the fact that university students learn to build character and focus on key aspects such as teamwork, interaction with the larger society and self-discipline. These often prove to be instrumental to success in their careers. On a macro scale, higher education is the final step in the grueling process which people are thrust into almost from the moment of their births. Higher education is all about putting the finishing touches on a new generation, giving them last minute pointers about the ins and outs of the larger world. It's about preparing them for the future: not just any future, but a better future.
Thus it is truly lamentable that, at the moment, higher education in Bangladesh seems to be doing a decidedly less than spectacular job on both levels. It seems to be immersed in an unpalatable concoction of messy complications that have become endemic to its structure. We must strive to untangle these Gordian knots before they strangle the life out of our dreams, so that we may build a stronger, more eminent, more responsible nation.
First of all, there needs to be a greater emphasis on academic research. Research is the yardstick of not only the technical aptitude of faculties, but also the creativity and cognisant capabilities of students. While in recent years there has been some progress in this regards, it's still a far cry from the state of research in many developing countries, let alone that of developed countries. In China, for instance, there are more than two dozen higher education research centers. In Bangladesh, student participation is virtually nonexistent in such work. There is...
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