This year marks the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the University of Dhaka. On behalf of the Department, let me greet all students, guardians, well-wishers, teachers and staff of yesterday, today and tomorrow of the University. Our observance fortifies the multiplier, coinciding with the golden jubilee celebration of our dear country, Bangladesh.
The University of Dhaka, with its origin in the political settlement in the juncture of the 20th century, has profoundly shaped the building of a nation. It is the intellectual lighthouse of the awakening in every moment of national aspiration. The University was the centre of the movement that led to the creation of the country in 1971, besides contributing to establishment of Bangla as one of the state languages and restoration of democracy. The University boasts educating leaders, scientists, poets, playwrights, lawyers and teachers alike, to serve the country. The distinguished scholars as faculties are enriching the global stock of knowledge through noted contributions.
At the moment, we are passing an unprecedented time. Our challenge is to set forth a road to recovery from the wounds inflicted upon us by the ongoing COVID-19. We know that we have to collectively knuckle down when there is work to be done.
Our focus is to build an internationally acclaimed centre of excellence through providing innovative teaching in the field of development studies, a rapidly growing area of study concerned with the people, society, economy and ecology, and to foster high quality research on the challenges of developing countries in general and Bangladesh in particular.
Since our beginning in 2002, we are attracting students and scholars committed to the study of social, political, ecological and economic changes. Our Bachelors, Masters, MPhil and PhD programmes are endowed with generation of skills, knowledge and citizenship in its core. We plan to strengthen our teaching and co-curricular activities to arm the students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, besides cultivating citizenship, integrity, empathy, leadership, and services to society. We also have a mind to provide greater number of scholarships and create opportunities for disadvantaged sections of the society.
In our endeavours to contribute to the nation building, we plan to have more degree, certificate and training programmes for professionals in the government, private and third sectors such as the Master of Development Studies (MDS), Post Graduate Diploma of Development Studies (PGDDS) and the Executive Certificate Programme. Our acclaimed MDS programme for the officials of the central bank, Bangladesh Bank, has experienced us with the capabilities to move forward with many more such programmes. These programmes have opened doors to welcome and nurture practitioners representing diverse backgrounds in terms of their professional expertise, academic orientation and demographic characteristics.
Secondly, the founding spirit is our source of strength and the bedrock of our next centenarian goal. In an ahead-of-its-time convocation speech, the first vice-chancellor Sir Philip Joseph Hartog avowed: "A man may be an excellent teacher of elementary subjects without the power to add to knowledge. But in advanced work I maintain that no one can really teach well unless he has the combination of imagination with critical power which leads to the original production (of knowledge), and for that, if for no other reasons, a university to be a true university must see that its teachers are men who are also capable of advancing knowledge."
Accordingly, we want to transform into a research-led teaching department. This would require the faculty members’ reflection and actions for a transforming rejuvenation as an innovative and knowledge-driven powerhouse. The faculty members are committed to further professional competence, advance independent analysis, and instil greater public understanding. Cutting edge research, publication and dissemination will be strengthened to make an indivisible part of our lives.
The Department intends to further its ties to work with, and for, national and international stakeholders and communities in dynamic settings, through stimulating research, interactive dialogues, knowledge-driven conferences to advance exceptional ranges of theoretical interests and empirical evidences.
The Department has a strong trust in accountability and transparency, buoyed by our collective actions and decision-making processes through the different Committees and Sub-Committees. Further to the Academic Committee and the Coordination and Development Committee, the Department runs its affairs through Development and Partnership, Admission, Examinations and ICT Coordination, Research and Quality Assurance, Cocurricular and Student Affairs, Finance, and Purchase Sub-Committees.
Through our collective endeavours, we will achieve our milestones. Let us all join hands towards making the Department a centre of excellence.