Hand of friendship extended by Global Alliance to ULAB, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh
A special ceremony marking the affiliate membership of ULAB, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh to the Global Alliance was held on campus in July. GA board member Professor Gregor Halff presented the certificate to ULAB Vice-Chancellor Professor Imran Rahman, who hosted the ceremony and spoke about ULAB’s unique features, history and student’s activities at ULAB. He highlighted the major values held by ULAB with its vision to provide quality education that created future leaders in Bangladesh.
ULAB is the only university in Bangladesh which provides the Liberal Arts approach. With the growing demand for qualified workers in every sector of Bangladesh, ULAB is meeting demand by teaching students communication, leadership, management, computer science, English and other important topics.
ULAB’s journey started in 2005 when there were very few private universities available in Dhaka. Prof. Rahman talked about how ULAB is maintaining the quality of education facilities while modifying curriculum and introducing qualified faculties every semester. ULAB student are encouraged to participate in Intra University, Inter University, National and International competitions around the world.
ULAB faculty members are evaluated every semester with professional development for faculty members including psychology related seminars and workshops.
“There are several research centres working on different research projects in ULAB. For example the CSD (Center of Sustainable Development) is running research on the sex workers of Bangladesh”, said Prof. Rahman. He highlighted other archeological research conducted by Dr. Shahnaj Husne Jahan at Panchagor where the largest Buddhist Settlement was discovered by her team of students.
Head of the Media Studies and Journalism Department of ULAB, Prof. Jude Willium R. Genilo gave an overview of the brief history of PR and PR education facilities in Bangladesh. He said, “In Bangladesh there are many misconceptions and confusion about the responsibilities of a PR practitioner.”
The major reason behind this, he explained, is that the majority working in PR sector are not educationally familiar with PR responsibilities in Bangladesh. Practice was concentrated in the private sector, but a new PR major for MSJ students should fill this gap in Bangladesh. He talked how these new students will be groomed in ULAB to become well-educated PR practitioners.
“So far ULAB is the only university in Bangladesh teaching PR as a major for undergraduate level students”, said Mr. Genilo. He added that membership of the GA will open allow students to stay abreast of developments in world public relations.
Mr. Genilo said, “There is no active PR association in Bangladesh at the moment. The responsibility of a PR in some public offices is limited to collecting newspaper cuttings due to not knowing about what other responsibilities he or she has.” He expected that the situation will change when the PR practitioners of Bangladesh will gather knowledge on PR from international organizations like GA.
The GA Board approved ULAB's application for affiliate membership in a meeting held on May 9 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. GA is the confederation of the world's major PR and Communication Management associations and institutions, representing 160,000 practitioners and educators around the world.
Writer: Ishita Sharmin Rayhan
(She is currently working as a Media and Communications Officer at an idea agency named “BetterStories Ltd.” and a student of Masters from Media Studies and Journalism department of ULAB.)