With a large percentage of youth entering their productive years, Bangladesh will have a window of opportunity to achieve a “very high economic growth in about 10 years”, said Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury yesterday.
However, “In order to reap the maximum benefits from this window of opportunity, a prerequisite is to have [an] educated and skilled workforce,” he said this while speaking as a convocation speaker at the fourth convocation of United International University (UIU) on its permanent campus in the capital's Satarkul.
A total of 1,610 graduates received degrees at the ceremony while six students received gold medals for their outstanding performance.
In the past, most university graduates used to be able to continue their professions with the knowledge they had acquired at their universities, but the scenario now is changed, Prof Jamilur said.
“The generation of new knowledge in all fields -- particularly in science, engineering and technology -- has reached a level which is unprecedented in human history. Keeping pace with this new knowledge has become essential if one has to survive, let alone succeed in profession.”
In attaining this knowledge, “try to take advantage of the gateway to new knowledge opened up by ICT in acquiring new knowledge in your field,” he advised.
He also said acquiring language skills is a must since communication among nations has become very important due to globalisation.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid conferred on degrees to the graduates on behalf of President Abdul Hamid, who is chancellor of all universities in the country.
Nahid in his speech said skills in technology will play an important role in taking the country to a digital phase.
The students need to stay updated by taking advantage of information and technology to become a resource for the country, he said.
Nahid urged all to be vigilant on the students' behalf so the anti-state elements cannot destroy the lives of brilliant students by misinterpreting Islam to engage them in militancy.
The main objective of higher education is to infuse the students with our liberal tradition, culture, creativity, humanity and rationality so they are able to resolve any national crisis, he said, adding that the universities therefore have to ensure that their activities are not only limited to formalities.
Prof Abdul Mannan, chairman of the University Grants Commission, urged all universities to increase research activities.
He cautioned all private universities that the government will take action against those which fail to ensure proper academic environment, do not comply with rules and the law, and focus only on making money.
Dr M Rezwan Khan, vice chancellor of UIU, Hasan Mahmood Raja, chairman of the Board of Trustees of UIU, also spoke at the convocation. Valedictorian Avijit Saha spoke on behalf of the students.