As in other educational institutions, students are the principal stakeholders in a university. All activities of educational institutions centre round the needs and welfare of the students.
Traditional approaches still dominate such institutions in dealing with the students. However, the modern time demands that innovation be introduced there so that students can practically be treated as the prime stakeholders and beneficiaries.
Like academic counselling, psychological counselling is equally important for students at the university level. Thus, a comprehensive work plan should be worked out for smooth functioning of the same. Students will approach the assigned committee in case of any need for related purposes. The committee will try to solve the problems. In case of any difficulty beyond the committee’s reach, it will place it in the academic committee meeting.
The committee concerned may be asked to act as the watchdog against sexual harassment, if any, in the department. The students will be advised to approach the committee in case of any such complaint and the committee concerned will try to solve the problems. In case of any difficulty beyond the reach of the committee, it will place it in the academic committee meeting.
Career counselling is a burning need of the time. The committee for providing career counselling should arrange regular career related events such as job fair, career counselling, career related seminar, symposium, etc. The committee should also invite highly successful and motivated people and alumni in the related field or any other area of work in the country to give motivational speeches to the students.
A nexus between the department and various organisations in the country can also be established for this purpose. The assigned committee can try to have Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the department and various organisations so that students can have easy access to the job market.
The committee concerned should suggest as to how internship, where not available, for the students can be introduced as soon as possible. The committee should establish a nexus between the department and various organisations in the country. It needs to try to have MoU between the department and various organisations so that students can have internship before completion of their graduation.
With the passage of time, students are showing their increasing zeal and proving their capacity in extra-curricular activities. They need to be encouraged to be engaged in more extra-curricular activities. The assigned persons should also explore more areas of extra-curricular activities for overall development of the students. Extra-curricular activities can play a supportive role in keeping students engaged in wholesome activities.
The alumni of various departments have already been proved to be very useful, resourceful and keen to contribute to the causes and activities of the departments and universities. The assigned committee needs to explore the avenues and harness the resources in this respect so that the alumni resources and services can be used perfectly for the betterment of the departments and the students.
The assigned committee can also come up with suggestions as to how alumni services can be made an integral part of the department and place the same for approval in the academic committee meeting. Some well-off alumni even show their keen interest in contributing to economically-disadvantaged students.
The committee concerned can suggest ways as to how the alumni support can be used perfectly for the noble cause of helping the economically-disadvantaged students. The committee can also suggest as to how a special fund can be created with active alumni support for the students suffering from life-threatening diseases.
At many universities, the existing communication facilities are not adequate for the students intending to move from the campus to the town and vice versa. The assigned committee needs to devise mechanisms so that the existing system can be made more student-friendly.
The committee concerned can place the recommendations for discussion and approval in the academic committee meeting followed by lobbying with the higher authority for implementation of the recommendations for ameliorating the communication facilities of the students.
The existing canteen and shopping facilities at many universities are not up to the mark. The food provided in the canteen is at times not good enough and hazardous for good health. The shopping facilities at the campuses are not sufficient either. The assigned committee needs to chalk out elaborate actions for improving canteen and shopping facilities for the students.
The committee concerned should place the recommendations for discussion and approval in the academic committee followed by lobbying with the higher authority for implementation of the recommendations for improving the above-mentioned facilities for the students.
A committee can be formed to take necessary steps for initiation or revival of the departmental research centre as soon as possible. With the consent of the departmental academic committee, the committee concerned and the centre can arrange workshops at regular intervals. The students of the departments may work as the research assistants at the centre.
Necessary steps for regularising publication of the departmental journals are also required. There should be a provision for publication of the best thesis of the students by the centre. There should also be pragmatic steps for creating an enabling environment for attracting more M. Phil. and Ph.D. research works. The departments should try to create a research-friendly environment for the students.
Introducing student feedback is an urgent need and demand of the hour. However, the system should be made foolproof and certain preconditions should be in place so that this cannot be manipulated either by the teachers or the students. Student-teacher relationship is a divine one and it should not be politicised. Thus, feedback should aim at enhancing quality of teaching in which students need to be sincere in giving their feedback.
Students need to be more conscious about their rights. They also need to be vigilant in performing their responsibilities. For keeping the campuses student-friendly and learning-friendly, peace and serenity at the campuses is the topmost necessity. Students can play pivotal role here. General students are amenable to discipline. However, students involved in vitiated students’ politics cause problems which can and must be offset by the political parties.
The writer is a Professor, Department of Public Administration, Chittagong
University. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org