As the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) approaches its tenth year, it has become one of the leading private universities in Bangladesh, offering a high quality, well-rounded learning environment to its students. ULAB's approach to learning is characterized by rigorous academic standards, active learning and opportunities for self-development. This approach to learning is reflected in the many achievements of the university to date.
Dynamic Programs. All the academic programs at ULAB – BBA/MBA, English and Humanities, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, and Media Studies and Journalism – are imbued with the value of Liberal Arts. Students learn cross-disciplinary skills and knowledge, meaning they can better weather the challenges of a changing global marketplace.
Active Learning. Learning is not directly transmitted from teacher to student. Rather, it needs the active participation of the student. ULAB faculty members are trained in Active Learning techniques to encourage greater student engagement. From debates, blogs, and filmmaking, to participation in archeological excavations, ULAB students have a wide range of active learning possibilities.
Research. The mission of ULAB is not only to educate our students, but also to be a creator of knowledge. ULAB promotes a research culture, whereby faculty members see research as important to their teaching and career prospects. Students participate in university research, and knowledge is disseminated locally and internationally. ULAB has four research centers; Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), Center for Enterprise and Society (CES), Center for Bangla Studies (CBS), Center for Archeological Studies (CAS). Considerable funds are invested in the centers to conduct research on topics important for our country and society. In addition, ULAB has a competitive Faculty Research Scheme, which funds faculty research on a generous scale. Solid research will help ULAB forge academic collaborations and links with reputable international universities and research institutions.
Publications. ULAB has a good publication record with a number of journals published by the university and books written by faculty and published either in Dhaka or internationally. Recent notable books include: Bangladesh's Changing Mediascape, published by the renowned international publisher Intellect; Bangladesh: The Price of Freedom by the noted Indian photographer Raghu Roy; and, a centenary edition of Tagore's Gitanjali. The current list of journal published by ULAB includes Bengal Lights literary journal, Crossings, a Journal of English Studies, Journal of Science and Engineering, and ICT for Development.
Extra-Curricular Activities. ULAB believes that knowledge can be produced beyond the classroom. Consequently, ULAB places great emphasis on its extra-curricular programs and provides ample scope to learn skills through its thirteen clubs. Of particular note are ULAB's Adventure Club, Social Welfare Club, Sustainable Development Club, Debate Club, Computer Programming Club, Electronics Club, Theatre ULAB and the Sangskriti Sangsad.
Highly Qualified Faculty. ULAB hires faculty members with degrees from renowned international universities, and relevant industry experience in their respective fields. A significant number of foreign faculty have worked at ULAB as full-time employees. Besides teaching, faculty are expected to conduct research and publish in reputable journals, be student advisers, and actively contribute to development programs.
Scholarship and Awards. ULAB provides a range of scholarships and financial aid to its students. Currently 65% of ULAB students are receiving financial aid. We have special scholarships to attract female students, engineering students, and fully finance 6% of students under the remote area and freedom fighters quotas.
Career Services: Classroom education needs to be augmented with career skills to land a good job. ULAB's Career Services Center helps students with internships and job searches, and offers free workshops on planning, goal-setting, and soft skills.
Student Affairs. In order to support students' emotional needs in the high-stress world of university, ULAB has established the only fully-fledged one-stop Student Affairs Office of any university in Bangladesh.
Permanent Campus. ULAB has acquired land and is completing all permissions to build the first-ever sustainable green campus in Bangladesh, in Ramchandrapur, Mohammadpur.
The writer is the Vice Chancellor of ULAB.