Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said the government stands ready to heartily embrace any regional collaboration, cooperation and partnership in fostering higher education.
"Now, it's our utmost duty to realize Bangabandhu's dream through transforming the next generation as talented global citizens by investing in higher education," he said.
The Foreign Minister was addressing a symposium on the "Significance of Regional Cooperation to Ensure the Quality Assurance in Higher Education 2021" held virtually.Chairman, Bangladesh Accreditation Council Prof Dr Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Dr Md Sabur Khan, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Daffodil International University, acting Vice Chancellor of Daffodil International University, Prof Dr SM Mahabub Ul Haque Majumder and Convener of ISSRC 2021 and Director, IQAC of Daffodil International University Prof Dr AKM Fazlul Haque also joined it.
Dr Momen said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wished to build the country's higher education institutions as a place of free thinking and expression.
In his address at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology on 20 March 1973, Bangabandhu emphasized building an education system to facilitate the creation of the ‘Sonar Bangla’ – The Golden Bengal - by producing ideal citizens.
"Bangabandhu’s educational thoughts and philosophy seem to be more relevant than before as we intend to become a developed country by 2041," said Dr Momen who has been a faculty member for years.
He said Asia is experiencing a growing need for skilled managers and professionals in a variety of fields.
Investing in higher education will help build Asian countries' high-income economies with the promotion of innovation, knowledge and technology to thrive in an interconnected, competitive and technologically advanced world, he said."It's heartening to see that in Asia, governments and stakeholders have recently demonstrated a resurgence of interest in investing in higher education as a means of promoting competitiveness and economic growth," said the Foreign Minister.
From their perspective, Dr Momen said, regional partnership and cooperation based on SAARC, BIMSTEC and Asia-Pacific region remain crucial in further advancing quality higher education in the region.
"We must not forget that we’re living in a fast-changing, complex and hyper-connected world. In this era of globalization, we cannot make progress in any area by walking alone. We need to work together and cooperate with each other in the interest of reaping mutual benefits and for ensuring sustainable development," he said.
Dr Momen said they always encourage innovativeness, independent thinking and creativity, self-discipline, hard work, motivation, competition, self, competitiveness and connectivity more so.
"I personally believe, it is innovativeness, creativity, self-discipline, hard work, motivation, competition, competitiveness, connectivity, and of course, networking that are engines of growth and excellence both in personal life as well as in national context," he said.
Dr Momen said human resource development is one of the key drivers for promoting sustainable economic and social development of a country.
He said the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan described education as "a human right with immense power to transform".
Dr Momen said the government is determined to reap the potential demographic dividend through skills generation and quality education.