Providing education with moral values and real-life skills is one of the core objectives of the International Standard University (ISU). We ensure quality education to students at the lowest possible cost and most of our programmes are designed to help graduates adapt to the industry. There are some challenges however and weak English skills among students is a big one, said Prof Dr Abdul Awal Khan, vice-chancellor of International Standard University (ISU), during an interview with The Business Standard.
What is the speciality of ISU?
ISU is the result of a dream by its founders to ensure quality education at the tertiary level as a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. In Bangladesh's context, this is a rare example of social service with no profit motive. The students have been ensured quality education here at the lowest possible cost.
What initiatives have been taken to link the graduates to the industry?
Most of the programmes are so designed that the graduates passing out from ISU can adapt themselves to their real life situations in the industry. Faculty members with industrial backgrounds are teaching a good number of courses.
Moreover, the provision of lab facilities and internship programmes before graduation help ISU students get acquainted with the industrial environment. Frequent industrial visits are also arranged for the students of Business, Science and Engineering.
Why do the students choose this university?
Students who are willing to get admitted into private universities try to find the right university that will ensure their proper education in their desired discipline at a bearable cost. At ISU, we ensure both in a student-friendly environment.
Female students prefer ISU because they are ensured a safe environment on campus and are also allowed a 10% additional waiver on their tuition fees.
What is the vision of ISU?
ISU aims to provide social service through quality education with moral values. The university ensures its aim to achieve excellence by learning through devotion, hard work, and sincerity.
Do you think you have reached the goals following your vision?
We have worked almost round the clock to ensure that the university makes some remarkable progress during the period of the impasse.
We have retained and developed the university's capacity to invest in students, teaching, and research activities through effective planning, proper financial management, efficient operations, and robust financial controls.
What are the achievements of the University till now?
The achievements of the university are as follows:
(a) Engaging top-quality faculty members: The faculty members of the university are well-qualified with higher degrees from top-ranked universities at home and abroad.
(b) Developing institutional standard curriculum: The curriculums have been developed to promote critical thinking and openness for the students to learn so that they get the required knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution.
(c) Industry collaborations: The university has made successful and active collaborations with a range of corporate houses to help our students enhance their capacity and apply their achieved knowledge and skills for career development.
(d) Technology adaptation: The campus is fully equipped with modern technology which has enabled both students and faculty members to access the best lab facilities, libraries, journals, etc.
(e) Establishing research centre: The university has established a research centre called the Centre for Research, Development, and Publications (CRDP) for facilitating faculty members to produce cutting-edge scholarly research on national and global scales.
(f) Developing part-time job opportunities: The university has founded the Centre for Higher Studies and Career Development (CHSCD) which aims at providing job opportunities for its current students who are financially and academically weak to qualify for a level of scholarship or waiver on tuition fees that may allow them to pursue their university studies unhindered.
What are the challenges of ISU?
The biggest challenge is to convince the students about the need for and the essence of quality education. Another challenge is to remedy the widespread linguistic weakness among the students.
What is the future plan of the university?
The university aims at improving academic and administrative strength through the careful utilisation of its resources. The university is, moreover, committed to developing international quality integrated and multidisciplinary programmes that are based on the country's resources.
What are your thoughts on 'Education Migration'?
Education migration to Western universities at the tertiary level has a long history of its own. Recently it has been expanding towards other ends of the world. Such migration to India, Malaysia, China, and Japan has also become a regular feature.
Our public universities could have taken the responsibility to develop the quality of our higher education. But unfortunately, they have failed the nation's expectations.
Some of the private universities, however, have shown rays of hope for a better future and it is our belief that if the government policy becomes effective and the authorities of private universities act honestly and efficiently, academic migration will come down gradually.