Syed Saad Andaleeb

Dr Syed Saad Andaleeb is distinguished professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University in the US, former faculty member of the IBA, Dhaka University, and former vice-chancellor of Brac University.

Deciphering the student-learner

What makes a good student? A definitive answer to this question is difficult.

1w ago

What makes a good teacher in the 21st century?

Today, the question of being a 'good teacher' generates a new vernacular.

2w ago

Will our universities survive in 25 years?

Finding the “quality” in quality education continues to be elusive in Bangladesh

‘Higher education is slave-generating’

It is time to hold the education industry accountable.

A digital solution to Dhaka’s waste problem

The Internet of Things (IoT) technology can be used creatively to improve Dhaka's current waste management system without introducing major alterations to the core structure.

How Dhaka can benefit from circular waste management

Adaptability and being aligned with the needs of the broader public can make the idea of circularity indefinitely relevant for Dhaka city.

The psychology of improper waste disposal in Dhaka

The root of the problem lies in human behaviour, especially people’s apathy towards dealing with waste.

Dhaka has a waste management problem

. According to one study, about 5,000 tonnes of waste is being generated in Dhaka city every day.

Public universities and research: In 2022 and beyond

Research is like the cygnet: it grows and transforms with power and beauty. It represents endurance, elegance, promise and joy! (Adapted from a quote on a consumer product)

Creating research-capable institutions in Bangladesh

Is it possible for Bangladesh to create research-capable institutions similar to ones that are already playing a key role in other Asian countries, driving rapid economic development in the knowledge-intensive era of the fourth industrial revolution?

DU in the 21st Century

In a futuristic convocation speech, Sir Philip Joseph Hartog, the first vice-chancellor of Dhaka University (DU), stated: “A man may be an excellent teacher of elementary subjects without the power to add to knowledge.

Covid-19 preparedness: Is an Emergency Response System in place?

Uncountable numbers of people in India are suffering the painful and deadly consequences of a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Bangladesh: A journey of ascendance

Since Henry Kissinger famously branded Bangladesh as a “basket case,” (a remark for which he still owes an apology), the country has come a long way. From its fledgling footsteps, it has become a bold, confident, and creative nation as it continues to ascend its learning curve and improve overall well-being.

We must modernise textile engineering education in Bangladesh

The present government has correctly emphasised the need to develop and expand technical education in the country.

The future contours of education in Bangladesh

Being in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), let’s consider two scenarios: In one, consortiums of universities no longer offer terminal degrees.

What business and engineering students want from their universities

For the HSC students in Bangladesh, when it comes to choosing a field of study, business and engineering have generally been the top picks for a long time.

Insecurity: A foreboding shadow for female students

BUET students still remember Sabequn Nahar Sony who was killed in June 2002 during a fight between two rival political groups. Tragically, she died at the hands of a few wayward “students” at the very campus where she went to fulfil her dreams.

Is BCS creating a mismatch and imbalance in the job sector?

It is 8.30 in the morning. Suman, a fourth-year student of one of the well-reputed universities of Bangladesh, walks towards the central library of his university.

Are grades all that matter?

The Academic Experience Project is a faculty-student collaborative work aimed to glean insights about the experiences of tertiary-level students. Each Friday, The Daily Star publishes an op-ed highlighting its findings. This is the eleventh article of the series.

Will open-door recruitment improve university education?

The Academic Experience Project is a faculty-student collaborative work aimed to glean insights about the experiences of tertiary-level students. Each Friday, The Daily Star publishes an op-ed highlighting its findings. This is the tenth article of the series.

Times have changed. Teachers should, too.

The Academic Experience Project is a faculty-student collaborative work aimed to glean insights about the experiences of tertiary-level students. Each Friday, The Daily Star publishes an op-ed highlighting its findings. This is the ninth article of the series.

Teach me, Sensei!

The Academic Experience Project is a faculty-student collaborative work aimed to glean insights about the experiences of tertiary-level students. Each Friday, The Daily Star publishes an op-ed highlighting its findings. This is the eighth article of the series.

Student Counselling: Unconscionably Neglected?

The Academic Experience Project has already highlighted several significant and strategic themes that deserve greater attention of the policymakers and administrators in higher education.

How many students want to leave their university and why?

Do any of our universities, public and private, ever ask their students: “Have you thought of leaving your institution for another?”

Institutional reputation through enabling students first

The Academic Experience Project is a faculty-student collaborative work aimed to glean insights about the experiences of tertiary-level students. Each Friday, The Daily Star will publish an op-ed highlighting the findings of the project. This is the fifth article of the series.

Do I Belong?

John Denver felt at home in West Virginia. Similarly, students want to feel at home in their academic institutions. At least that’s what a recent survey by The Academic Experience Project, conducted on university students of Bangladesh, has shown.

University Life: A Dream or a Nightmare?

University life is going to be the best time of your life! We often hear this growing up, and yet when we do reach that level, we find that it is not at all what we expected it to be. So, what exactly did we expect and why are we not satisfied?

How relevant are academic programmes in universities?

The unemployment rate among university graduates in Bangladesh has risen sharply. A study conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue indicated that about 46 percent of the total unemployed youth are university graduates.

How to get the best out of our students?

How should we see our students: as customers or products? In my four-plus decades in academia, I have seen them quite differently: as co-creators of knowledge.

Rekindling the Joy of Learning

Many are the number of universities in Bangladesh, both public and private. Large numbers of students graduate every year from these institutions. But how many of them really experience the joy of learning? This question must be answered by the country’s academic institutions.

Some questions on DU’s research budget

A local newspaper published a report recently on University of Dhaka’s (DU) Tk 869.56 crore budget for the current fiscal year, the largest ever, to support the work of the iconic institution poised to celebrate its 100th year since its establishment in 1921.

‘I can’t breathe’: Curbing police brutality

The brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a policeman placed a knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, has been viewed globally in horror as his life flowed out in pain and agony.

The Covid-19 vaccine: panacea or enigma?

As the deadly Covid-19 virus continues to climb the grisly charts, an intense race is already on, globally, to discover the next vaccine, the next panacea.

Education and employability in the digital age

“Human resources—not capital, nor income, nor material resources—constitute the ultimate basis for wealth of nations.

Changing the shy world of adolescent girls

Back in 2017, we had an opportunity to build a small and experimental toilet in Jhalokati, with the simple intention of helping adolescent girls in a rural school who had no real toilet to avail.

Academia’s global standing: The research imperative

Recently an M Phil student, studying service management of hospital patients, emailed: “Sir, I am doing descriptive type of cross-sectional study and I am not testing any hypothesis.

Listening to Student Voices

Academic programmes across the world are becoming increasingly innovative, competitive and challenging. They are responding to changing times. There is also the realisation that, built in the right spirit, universities can generate enormous social capital and rich economic dividends.

Teaching load: The missing link in higher education quality

Ask faculty members in the country’s universities what would motivate them to devote more time to research and you will hear one common answer: decrease present course loads and class sizes. Both factors continue to weigh heavily on their daily toil and pursuit of excellence.

Why we must build specialised research universities

“It is most difficult to get people on the path to research and publication. That culture, that appetite, that scholarly commitment has eroded considerably. [They] LOVE the microphone, they HATE the pen.”

Return on research: Academia's new challenge

Discussions about research in Bangladesh's higher education institutions (HEIs) have become animated and contentious in recent times.

Future readiness of Bangladesh's higher education institutions

The Daily Star's February 3rd issue carries a story on page 5 about the acute teacher shortage at Khulna Medical College.

Leading by inspiration

The nation is now in the grips of another approaching election. A flickering hope among many is for an inspirational leadership that energises, enthuses, and leads competently, and with good intentions to touch the lives of the people of Bangladesh.

Whither law enforcers?

Once again, a headline in The Daily Star grated: “Fifth-grader 'raped' by headmaster.” Another headline literally stung: “RMG worker gang-raped in moving bus.” Violence against women continues inexorably and with inexplicable regularity, reflecting the unconscionable disregard and disrespect that is held today for the helpless victims. Where does such abjectness come from? Is there something in the male ethos,

The widening scourge of sexual harassment

Violence against and violation of women result from “some of the worst forms of discrimination” that continue unabated in a variety of ways: mistreatment, harassment, lewd stares, groping, maiming, raping, and even murdering. With choices that matter to women in their hands, men seem to have been endowed with an arcane sense of entitlement to do as they wish with the lives of women.

How NRBs can help boost research

Winter is a great time for the replenishment of academia in Bangladesh when many Non-Resident Bangladeshi (NRB) academics alight on our shores for both personal and professional reasons.

What ails the commercial research industry?

Here is an example of an organisation that benefitted substantially from research: Courtyard by Marriott found out that business travellers needed hassle-free service, relevant information, and time to relax during their travels. They made their check-in and check-out procedures efficient; seeded their website with maps, restaurant types and locations, and promotional materials; and introduced quiet lounges which didn't have music or TV noise to cause distraction. I don't need to elaborate on Marriott's customer satisfaction ratings or their bottom line!

Attaining global standards in our universities

With every new discovery, we enter a new realm of knowledge that quickly reveals our inadequacies and how much more we need to know.

Building a framework for skill development

Of the 30 million youth between the ages of 18 and 25 in Bangladesh, roughly three million go on to pursue higher education.

October 29, 2016
October 29, 2016

Building research universities

In an editorial I wrote in the Journal of Bangladesh Studies in 2003, I had noted a perplexing and worrisome situation in Bangladesh's academic institutions, both public and private – lack of a research culture.

October 21, 2016
October 21, 2016

Innovate to save lives

I recently went to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a city hospital. One of my students at BRACUniversity suffered a serious brain injury

September 24, 2016
September 24, 2016

May I have the left lane … please?

Much has been written about the monumental traffic jams that literally inflict physical, psychological, economic and emotional trauma

January 16, 2016
January 16, 2016

Reimagining academia for students of the future

Recently I heard a rather bewildering story on teaching in higher education. Taught to depict a triangle as ABC, a student wrote PQR

September 18, 2015
September 18, 2015

Street abuse: Drawing the line

The abuse of our streets seems to have reached monstrous proportions. At the root of it all is a phenomenally growing aura of indiscipline that borders on the unbearable and challenges one's physical, emotional, and even financial endurance.

May 13, 2015
May 13, 2015

Research: Academia's Achilles Heel

The role of research is indispensable for the advancement of any society, especially because things around us are constantly changing.

April 8, 2015
April 8, 2015

Rooftop Innovation: A potential growth industry

HAVING had the occasion to be on the 12th floor of an apartment building in Dhaka, I was taken in by the panorama that was both breathtaking and dispiriting.

February 17, 2015
February 17, 2015

Academia's missing middle

THERE is a perplexing problem in Bangladesh's “universities,” especially in the private universities. A significant number of departments of these universities are staffed by faculty members who are of very senior rank (professors).