Vice chancellors and business leaders laid emphasis on pouring sufficient funds both by the government and private sector in the field of research and innovation.
They also want to reduce gap between industry and academia in terms of output-based curriculum development and generating industry-needed skills. Speaking at the event styled as “Industry and AcademiaLinkage: Role of Academia” on Saturday, Prof Satya Prasad Majumder, Vice Chancellor of BUET, said that the industry-academia collaboration in the USA, Europe and South Korea could be the example for Bangladesh.
"We need to adopt short and long term planning, and for technological innovation and research, necessary funding is a must," he emphasized.
Prof Majumader also called upon both government and private sector to take the initiative of ensuring adequate fund for the field. He underscored the importance of redesigning the curriculum emphasizing on technology innovation, business incubation, startups and entrepreneurship development.
M Abul Kashem Mozumder, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Bangladesh University of Professionals, the universities mainly focus on teaching, research and entrepreneurship development whereas the students also need training and facilities to conduct research.
He put emphasis on representation of industries in the university governing body, syndicate and senate.
For research and development, he said, “There is a lack of necessary funding, but to get adequate funding, the government should give tax benefits to this precious investment.” Dr Carmen Z Lamagna, Vice Chancellor of American International University of Bangladesh said the industry and academia gap leads to problems like a curriculum failing to industry’s needs, lack of working environment for interns and academics without industry exposure.She said the government could provide financial incentives, policy support, guidance and infrastructure to foster industry-academia collaboration.
Rizwan Rahman, President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), urged the universities to integrate syllabus the fulfill industry requirements at the undergraduate level.
He suggested updating the university curriculum incorporating the best practices followed in best western and regional universities. “For this, collective efforts by the UGC and universities is needed,” he said.
He underscored the importance of research-based universities with a special focus on science, technology, engineering and maths. In addition, Prof Imran Rahman, Special Advisor (Board of Trustees) and Dean, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), put stress on an industry-academia joint initiative for development of the sector.
“As a whole, we need to redesign our curriculum in line with the demand of fourth industrial revolution and market demand,” he added.