Independent University, Bangladesh's (IUB) School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE) has organised a symposium titled "What roles can the universities play to mitigate the existing skill gaps in the industry" on Sunday (29 May) at the university premises in Dhaka.
Noted business personality Dr Rubana Huq, vice-chancellor of Asian University for Women (AUW) and Syed Nasim Manzur, managing director, Apex Footwear Ltd were the key discussants at the event, reads a press release.
They took part in a conversation between themselves and responded to questions asked by each other.
In reply to a question, Dr Rubana Huq said, "What we look for when we interview someone is the spirit, the eagerness to be engaged, the eagerness to learn. So, if you [future graduates] are coming to us and you are answering questions, curiosity is something we look for apart from credentials."
While talking about the opportunities in the readymade garments (RMG) sector, Syed Nasim Manzur said, "I am often struck by the lack of interest in manufacturing. China is known as the factory of the world, accounting for 65% of all manufacturing globally. But the trend is shifting towards other countries in Southeast and South Asia. So, our factories need to transform; we need to have a different quality of workforce in the factory."
Abdul Hai Sarker, chair of the IUB Board of Trustees, said, "We should think about forming a multi-sectoral task force with representation from the Ministry of Education, the various industries, the academia, and other stakeholders in order to build on the outcomes of such symposiums."
Vice-Chancellor of IUB Tanweer Hasan said, "The universities have a key role to play in keeping up with the changing demand from the industry. We must train our students adequately to jump into new territories."
Some of the traditional jobs no longer exist. "So, students need to be technically-savvy to be able to adapt to the requirements of the industry," he added.
The programme was hosted by Prof Meherun Ahmed, dean of IUB's School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE).
Several members of the IUB Board of Trustees, university faculty and students joined the discussion.