Research – the soul of universities

19 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

We have come to know with a sense of despair about the dismal state of research in our universities. Research is the soul for any educational institution. According to a latest UGC report, six public universities and 15 private universities had made no allocation for research in 2018. Universities are established for creation and dissemination of knowledge. They must thus promote innovation and invention which cannot be achieved without research.

Research and use of knowledge have been fundamental to the ascendance of the western world in global influence. In the latest knowledge-driven world, we need educational leadership. In fact, practice of research is neither well-founded nor well-established in our country. Most of the universities never considered that research can be a vehicle for social transformation. Because of this phenomenon, our public universities have not done well in regional or global rankings. In the private universities, with their emphasis on revenue, research has been marginalised.

Universities get the best brains of the country and they can play a crucial role in creating an innovative as well as highly skilled manpower. They also work as a bridge between business, knowledge and society. Bangladesh aspires to become a developed country by 2041. Research universities have deep implications for the country to become developed one. It will have to become a knowledge society by promoting research not only by guaranteeing necessary financial support, but also by regenerating a research culture and transmitting it among the coming generations. Universities, through their research activities, train students who are capable of original thinking and can become the  next generation’s pride, enabling the society to adapt to rapid changes.

Research is still not prioritised in the country’s universities. We should encourage research in the universities if we want to prepare our next generation to face the challenges of the 21st century. Bangladesh will have to build a strong research base in its universities. Others will not help us become knowledge powerhouses. We must remember that a modern research-oriented university is the mother of a society in which knowledge industry plays a vital role in enhancing its power and wealth. It is simply in our own interest to see Bangladesh emerge as a knowledge-driven nation by pursuing boundless new opportunities it holds.