At the initiative of Mr. Hafizur Rahaman Khan, the Honorable Chairman of VUT, a meeting attended by some distinguished educationists and social workers was convened at the Varendra University (proposed) campus in Rajshahi city. In the meeting, Mr. Khan, in his speech, explained the enormous problems prevailing in the sector of higher education of the country, particularly in the northern region. The number of students seeking admission for higher education has been increased in an amazing rate but the number of universities has not been increased proportionately. Naturally, too many students cannot enroll into their undergraduate programs. Many students have to enroll into the colleges under National University which unfortunately cannot impart quality education for constraints of all kinds. Mr. Khan also stressed the deteriorating conditions of higher education which he attributed to mounting physical violence and party-politics in an epidemic scale among the students on the one hand and the involvement of the teachers in extra academic affairs on the other. He, therefore, justified the need of a private University in Rajshahi region to provide quality higher education to the ever increasing number of students and proposed its establishment. He further explained that the campus of the University should be away from the ‘madding crowd’ and it should be calm, quite and tranquil so that academic activities can be pursued in an atmosphere free from the noise and bustle of a big city. All who were present in the meeting accepted his proposal in one voice and urged him to propagate higher education in this less developed part of the country.
The vision of Varendra University is to be established as a top-ranking university nationally and internationally through continuous innovation in education, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
The mission of VU is to prepare students as competent, compassionate, ethically driven, and socially responsive professionals; to educate them through research for intellectual as well as social transformation and to enhance their lifelong learning capacity for adaptability to face the challenges of the 21st century.
VU, in general, aims at preparing its students nurturing their potentialities and proficiencies relating to the development of leadership, entrepreneurship and professionalism. It facilitates students’ involvement in higher research and implementation of the technological knowhow and ideas. The University is committed to work for the sustainable development and changes for the betterment of the society through a fruitful interaction with the government, business and social welfare organizations and with any international organizations as well. In this world of information, VU endeavors to accelerate students’ technological, intellectual, social and personal potentials providing them dynamic guidance and latest information about the new technologies of the world so that they can keep pace with the time and contribute to the advancement of the society. In an economically emerging country like Bangladesh, investment in higher education can lead to social returns of 10% by some estimate, which in turn means that these investments lead to increase in labor productivity, and short and long term growth at the same time.
The demand for higher education in Bangladesh is very rapidly increasing. In the public Universities more than 20 students vie for a seat on an average. Moreover, they have to work in an atmosphere where party politics is strongly present, and financial constraint is another hard reality. Students, there, spend much of their energy in political activities rather than devoting themselves in study. The disruption in the schedule of classes during the academic year has given rise to new terms such as ‘Session Jam’ and ‘Session lag’. Students who are entering into a four year honors degree program in a public University have to spare five to six years at least.
Rajshahi is called the ‘city of education’. Students of the entire northern region of the country come here for higher education targeting Rajshahi University, Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, and Rajshahi Medical College. More than one lakh students apply for admission in Rajshahi University but only five thousand or so get admitted. The rest can hardly enter any other public University. Private Universities are badly needed in the city to cater for the demands in higher education of this domain. Naturally, keeping this inevitability in mind, the sponsors consider the initiative with prime importanceto open a University named Varendra University in Rajshahi in 2012. Since then VU has endeavored itself in providing quality education in this region.
The higher demand for tertiary education has led to the emergence and quick development of Private Universities. Most private universities have few departments/ subjects having very high demand in the job market. They ignore the basic spirit of the university itself. A university must teach a wide variety of subjects and cultivate knowledge of as many kinds as possible. Moreover, many of them charge high tuition and other fees but provide inadequate financial support and scholarship for the poor and meritorious students. Varendra University, though very new, is dispensing quality education to the students at a comparatively affordable cost. In addition, it offers adequate scholarships and financial help to the students.
However, the private Universities are contributing significantly to human resource development of the country. As the government alone cannot satisfy the demand of higher education, a public – private partnership can help the country meet the growing demand of higher education in Bangladesh, and Varendra University has been working keeping this spirit in view.
The main objectives of Varendra University are:
To produce graduates of international standard by providing modern, updated and scientific instructions to students and also by engaging them in research and conferring Bachelors’, Masters, M. Phil and PhD degrees in different subjects taught at the University. Students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for playing a leading role in the national and international development sectors.
To offer Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma, 4 Year-Bachelors’, 1 or 2 Year Masters and other professional or non professional degrees in any technical or non-technical disciplines.
To authorize or to affiliate appropriate National or International organizations or bodies necessary for the above stated objectives.
To arrange training and education on specialized and newly developed subjects locally and in foreign countries with national and/or international experts.
To coordinate academic and/or non-academic research projects for the advancement of science and technology.
To collaborate with academic research group and institutions providing research facilities both in home and abroad.
To organize meetings, conferences, workshops, seminars and lectures or arrange and form study groups and training on subjects of national and international importance to update and contribute to knowledge and skills.
To establish Educational Institutions or outer campus nationally and internationally for training and development subject to the approval of the concerned authority.
To publish journals, research papers, books, monograph regarding company activities, research, product specifications and technical notes.
To conduct research work in architecture, civil, mechanical, electrical, aeronautical, and chemical and any other engineering problems of industries, factories, aviation, and dockyards; The University will play a key role in making sure that students understand the advances in knowledge and can absorb and utilize their knowledge in their own work for the development of the country.