Friday, 22 October 2010

Khulna University Revisited

My host receives a phone call from Khulna University that they would like us to come for a longer visit this time so we can exchange information and start exploring collaboration. 

The visit has been arranged for 3:00 PM and we spend part of the morning discussing our presentations and best approach towards collaboration. We decide that I should introduce the subject by discussing the importance of relevant regional research and university-community interaction, a subject I am well familiar with as applied research it is on most university's agendas these days, including my own. My host will introduce his NGO and explain his knowledge brokering system.

Set up in 1991, Khulna University is quite a young University and despite its young age has managed to establish 21 faculties. 

This time we are hosted by the Dean of Sociology who has invited some of his own facility staff and other departmental heads to join in the discussion. 

We do roundtable (well oblong really) introductions and I learn such interesting facts that research has been conducted by staff of this University on the present condition of the informal sector ~ which in many cases is the real economy in the developing world, growing rapidly and contributing significantly to GDP ~ as well as on the socio-economic vunerability of communities in the coastal zone (e.g., most of the communities we have visited!). 

Dean of Sociology
roundtable intros

Dean's Office Luxuries

Our presentations are well received and we have a frank discussion about future collaboration opportunities, especially between the University and my host's research and development organisation. In the process, the Dean of Sociology assures us that unlike other universities there is no corruption in Khulna University ~  staff in public universities are public servants appointed for life ~ and that their interest in collaboration is genuine. Some two hours later, we leave with promising ideas for the future.

Before we leave the university grounds, we stop for cold drinks at the uni cafetaria, which  makes the caf in my Aussie uni look like a five-star restaurant!

No comments: