Individuals can make all the difference

IU VC tells daily sun in an interview

Abu Salah Shamim

4 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Individuals can make all the difference

Prof Dr Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari

Islamic University has turned a perfect place of higher education in the country with all modern subjects. It is generating skilled manpower to contribute to socioeconomic development. The university was founded for the advancement of education, but such objective was frustrated due to radicalization of the campus for many years.

The university has got back its secular character with modernized academic curriculum due to brave and timely initiative of some people.

This was said by Islamic University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari during an exclusive interview with the daily sun recently.

Standing at the fag end of tenure, Askari expressed his gratitude to the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for giving him the opportunity to secularise and modernise the campus. Recently, he has been in the forefront of public university’s online education campaign in Bangladesh. Dr. Askari said Islamic University is one of the pioneering public universities in Bangladesh which started conducting virtual classes amid the coronavirus outbreak.

He said following the directive of Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni at a virtual meeting on April 30, the online academic activities gathered momentum. “All the 34 departments are now conducting online classes with a view to preparing the students for exams to be taken immediately after the pandemic situation is over.”

Since his takeover as VC on 21 August 2016, he inducted nine new subjects and three new faculties — social sciences, biological sciences and engineering.

To internationalise the university, he took various measures which include admission of foreign students and participation of overseas academic seminars and courses by teachers and students of the university.

Besides, Islamic University authorities launched collaboration and exchange programmes with 10 foreign universities in this regard.

IU got the biggest ever budget to the tune of Tk 537 crore to facilitate huge infrastructural and academic development under mega projects.

Three eye-catching Bangabandhu murals, post of Bangabandhu Chair Professor and Ekushey Corner, Muktijuddho Corner and Bangabandhu Corner at the Central Library are some of his noble achievements.

“I have made sure that Islamic University goes ahead in keeping with honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of a digital Bangladesh and her government’s higher education policies.”

Expressing satisfaction, he claimed to have played a very good innings and completed the four-year tenure which did not happen in case of his predecessors.

“I have tried my best to get the university back on track after it suffered overwhelming odds since its inception. I am happy to have secularized the campus which was a stronghold of religious bigots and fundamentalists.”

About the future of the university, he said, “I don’t know who is going to lead Islamic University. Whoever he is, it would be his turn to take the university where he likes. I believe individuals can make all the difference.”

In concrete terms, another large-scale project should be made including an increase in the area of the campus by at least 50 acres of land, building high boundary walls, introducing central sewerage and waste management system, opening agricultural and health science faculties and a research and faculty development centre.

Everything depends on how faithful the vice chancellors are to the motto of the university and how capably they can translate their dreams into reality, the VC concluded.