What is the achievement of the university to date?
Before 2017, we had no position even in local ranking. In 2017, our position was 19th in the local ranking assessed by Bangla Tribune and Org-Quest Research. In the next round of assessment in 2019, our position went up radically and we occupied the 12th position. In 2022, Scimago, a highly reputed international ranking organisation, assessed Southeast University as the number one university among all private and public universities in Bangladesh, in terms of innovation, research and publication and social contribution. We are reputed now as an excellent education provider.
What is the specialty of your university?
On several counts, the SEU is different from others. The first and foremost speciality is that the university was established by a group of dedicated educationists and philanthropists who never take a single farthing from the university. All surplus income is spent on the welfare of the students and establishments. Our girl students have hostel facilities which are subsidised by the university. We have more than a dozen different kinds of scholarships, and each year we provide about Tk12 crore as scholarships and waivers. We have established 18 student clubs to improve the confidence and leadership quality of the students. Each and every student has an adviser (teacher) who acts as a guide and path finder.
Are you producing market-oriented graduates? And do you have any initiative to link the graduates to the industry?
We are producing market-oriented graduates with high priority. Every 3-4 years, we update our syllabus as per the demand of the time. In the departmental curriculum committee, we include three external members, namely one alumni/employer, one academic, and one industry leader. In course curricula, industry visits are mandatory. In each course again, we engage industry experts to deliver at least one lecture.
Why will students choose your university for admission?
Southeast University never attracts those prospective students who like to obtain a degree without attending classes, and without group studies and library works. Our teachers are very keen on teaching sincerely and they never compromise with the standard of setting question papers and examining answer scripts. We have a high reputation that many of our science graduates are currently working abroad. Our textile graduates have high demand in the Chinese market. Our Textile, EEE, CSE and pharmacy laboratories are comparable to other best universities.
Under the Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project financed by the World Bank and the Government of Bangladesh, two departments of Southeast University were graded Excellent (A+) and all other departments "Very Good", which is rare in other private universities.
What are the challenges for the university to provide quality education?
From the very beginning, SEU has been following the policy of not treating education as a commercial product and has been firmly committed to serving society without having any commercial motive whatsoever. Quality education is the focus of all our activities. We are committed to building SEU as an excellent teaching and research centre to build our teachers and students to face the challenges of globalisation. It's not an easy job, but we are committed.
What is the future plan of the university?
We will shift to the new campus by December 2022 where we have some special work to do. In this regard, we are now preparing a "10-Year Academic Master Plan". At the new campus, our first and principal job would be to establish the "most modern lab" for the science departments so that our future graduates earn the right skills not only to face the challenges of time but also to lead the sector of their studies. The second most important work would be setting up a "digital library" so that students can enter the library wherever they live and whenever they like to read books. We are also considering opening up a new programme called Entrepreneurship Development Program.
Do you think that education migration can be reduced by the existing education system at private universities?
I do not think that any private university would be able to survive without giving importance to quality higher education. The government is coming up with the Higher Education Acceleration and Transformation (HEAT) Project, the UGC has been providing necessary directives to private universities most frequently and Bangladesh Accreditation Council is now in place. So there is no way to compromise with the quality. All this will lead to enhance higher education quality and ultimately reduce education migration abroad.