UCB partners with University of Central Lancashire to offer affordable UK degrees in Bangladesh

Universal College Bangladesh (UCB) has partnered with the UK’s prestigious University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). An exclusive agreement was signed between the two reputed educational institutes with the aim to open up a new avenue for Bangladeshi students to avail affordable UK degrees without leaving the country, reads a press statement. A signing ceremony was signed between the parties to this end today (1 June) at the UCB Campus in Gulshan, Dhaka. Bob Kundanmal, chairman of the Board of Directors, UCB, and Prof Catherine Jackson, pro-vice-chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, signed the agreement for their respective organisations. The event was graced by esteemed personalities, including chief guest Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, MP, minister of Education; and guest of honour Sarah Cooke, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh. Special guest in attendance included Begum Shamsun Nahar, MP, deputy minister of Education. Zarif Munir, Director, UCB; and Manas Singh, CEO, STS Group, and Prof Hew Gill, president and provost, welcomed the guests at the event. All activities of the 3-year UCLan programme will take place in Bangladesh. The programme at UCB has been awarded 5 QS Stars (Excellent) for internationalisation and inclusiveness. According to the Center for World University Rankings 2023, UCLan ranks in the top 7% of the universities worldwide. It is also appreciated among the community as the most affordable UK degree with high global recognition. To help the students’ experience a smooth journey, UCB is providing with attractive learning facilities like sports membership, a compact campus environment, a resource-enabled library etc. During the event, welcome speeches were delivered by the dignitaries, followed by the inauguration, and agreement signing. The vote of thanks was presented by Prof. Muhammad Ismail Hossain, Dean Of Academic Affairs, UCB. Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury appreciated the initiative, saying, “We have to focus on enriching the nation’s future workforce by empowering our youth with timely skills that align with the demands of not just the local but the global market. The partnership between UCB and UCLan is an ideal example of recognizing the need for global education, one that should be followed by others in the sector as well”. H E Sarah Cooke, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh said “Over half a million students globally are currently studying for a UK degree overseas, helping to boost their future job prospects. British higher education institutions are dedicated to providing accessible and high-quality higher education, building a brighter future for students around the world.” Bob Kundanmal, Chairman and Board of Directors, UCB, said, “The UCLan Programme at UCB represents a top blend of academic excellence and cultural diversity. At UCB, we are thoroughly committed to nurturing the next generation of leaders and innovators through transformative educational opportunities. We expect the UCLan Program to open doors to global perspectives and industry-relevant skills for Bangladeshi students. It shall also reinforce the importance of localized education solutions for prospective candidates who deserve such opportunities”. With this new introduction at UCB, local students now have another great opportunity to earn a reputable UK university degree from right here in Bangladesh. For further information about the UCLan Program and admission procedures, please visit the Universal College Bangladesh website.   Published in: The Business Standard

Learning transferable skills

A LOOK at the history of education indicates that there has always been an interchange between education and the world of industry. Every year, a vast majority of graduates enter the workplace and make practical applications of the theoretical knowledge they have acquired in schools and universities. When these students are equipped with the right skills and knowledge as required by their economic and industrial conditions, they can play a massive role in shaping a sustainable economic structure for their country. A well-trained workforce with industry-fit skills has the power to drive innovation, productivity, and global competitiveness. Bangladesh has particularly great potential to harness skilled young individuals against the backdrop of a growing population and favourable demographic dividends. As the world evolves at a fast pace with new technologies, advanced AI, blockchain, and NFTs, being industry-oriented means two things: keeping up with the industry and evolving with the industry. In other words, the relationship between education and employment is determined not only by the function of education to prepare learning for subsequent work tasks but also by ensuring that education is evolving continuously as lifestyles do so as well. A study by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in 2022 found that the industrial sectors of the country are experiencing a 30 per cent skills gap. The study reveals that only 3.65 per cent of the labour force in Bangladesh receives training each year, but the rate is only 1.35 per cent in 10 specific sectors. Typically, educational institutions focus more on theories, but students require practical knowledge as well. This means a collaboration of both industry and academia for an industry-oriented education that concentrates on both theoretical and practical skills. Fresh graduates can survive in the fast-paced world of digitisation when educational institutions set their focus on the industries and train their students to work. For instance, a number of educational institutions have taken a significant step towards bridging the gap between academia and industry. These institutions have partnered with many foreign educational institutions and other organisations to offer their students enhanced opportunities such as internships, placements, and training programmes. These activities will provide students with first-hand practical experiences and a great opportunity to utilise educational learning. Simultaneously, the government has also initiated programmes required for the current and future industry. A project titled ‘ProGRESS’ has been launched recently by the education ministry and the International Labour Organisation, Bangladesh, focusing on strengthening the TVET (technical and vocational education and training) and enterprise development systems in Bangladesh. The project also plans on making skill development training more inclusive and accessible for women working on policies, systems and operational levels. Whether it is through educational institutes, government initiatives, or online platforms, students seeking updated industry-oriented skills can access different mediums that provide quality and globally acclaimed skills.     In today’s world, nothing is as important as the young generation, who will take our country forward on all fronts. Along with equipping students with the right skills, it is also crucial to teach them about leading the way and always being on their toes to keep up with the competitive environment and fast pace. This, combined with academic and practical skills, will make a huge difference and, ultimately, produce employable graduates.   Published in: New Age

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Prof. Hew Gill

Pro Vice-Chancellor

Ms. Aura Rahman

Lecturer, Biology

Aura Rahman


Aura Rahman is a lecturer at Universal College Bangladesh. She is also acting as a coordinator for the Monash University Foundation Year program. Aura attained her bachelor’s (BSc in Biomedical Sciences) from University College London, United Kingdom. She then completed her master’s (Msc in Biotechnology) from North South University. Her research interest lies in the field of genomic epidemiology of infectious diseases. Her contribution in several local and international research projects have led to publications in several highly ranked peer-reviewed journals including BMC Genomics, Nature Scientific Reports, Science and FEMS Microbiology Letters.

Mr. Md Kamal Hossain

Lecturer, Mathematics

Md. Kamal Hossain


Mr. Kamal Hossain is working as a Lecturer at Universal College Bangladesh. He completed B.Sc. in Mathematics and M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Dhaka. He is an M Phil researcher at BUET. His research interests are mathematical modeling in biology, machine learning programming, etc. Some of his research papers are in the pipeline for publication in international journals. He is a lifetime member of the Dhaka University Mathematics Alumni Association.

Ms. Ambreen Zaman

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, CSE

Ambreen Zaman

Senior Lecturer

Ambreen Zaman is a senior lecturer with eight years of experience in various local universities in Bangladesh. She is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the University of Bremen, Germany. She obtained a master’s degree in information technology from the Institute of Information Technology at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her research papers have been published in national and international journals and conferences. The area of research she is most interested in is human-computer interaction.

Mr. Dewan Muhammad Nur -A Yazdani

Senior Lecturer, Global Studies

Dewan Muhammad Nur -A Yazdani

Senior Lecturer

Dewan Yazdani is a Senior Lecturer at the Universal College Bangladesh. He is also acting as the MONASH University Foundation Program Coordinator. Dewan attained his MSc (Research Methods) from Liverpool Hope University, United Kingdom. He also has a master’s degree in international business from the University of Wollongong, Australia. His research interest lies in the field of Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Higher Education Marketing, Service Marketing, Public Health, and Consumer Behavior. Dewan Yazdani also published in leading local and international academic journals such as PLOS ONE, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Health Security, Annals of Global Health, Journal of Advanced Research in Economics and Administrative Sciences.

Ms. Tazin Islam Nova

Adjunct Lecturer-Law, UCB

Mr. Monirul Hasan

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Computer Science

Ms. Nahida Parvin

Lecturer, Business Studies

Nahida Parvin


Nahida Parvin is a lecturer at Universal College Bangladesh. Before joining UCB, she worked as a lecturer of accounting and marketing at Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology (AUST). Nahida has received her MBA & BBA degrees, majoring in Accounting & Information Systems, from the University of Dhaka. She has been the recipient of “Dean’s Honor Award 2018”, awarded by the University of Dhaka. Currently, Nahida is on study leave. She is pursuing her second master’s degree in “Quantitative Finance & Data Science” at Oklahoma State University, USA. Her research interest lies in the field of ESG accounting, ESG finance, circular economy, and data analytics in the field of accounting and finance. Apart from being a lecturer, Nahida also served as a program coordinator for Monash University Foundation Year program at UCB from August 2021 to May 2023.

Ms. Habiba Kibria

Lecturer, Marketing

Habiba Kibria

Senior Lecturer

Ms Habiba Kibria is a working as a Senior Lecturer at Universal College Bangladesh. She completed her Masters in Marketing from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and holds a double degree in Bachelor of Marketing and Human Resource Management from North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been in academia throughout her career- from being a Lecturer to a Student Councilor to a Country Manager for a foreign university. Her area of interest lies in customer service management, consumer behavior and digital marketing. She holds the Duke of Edinburgh award at Broze level and has been awarded as one of the best project coordinators during her high school community service days. She was an active volunteer at Jaago Foundation and participated in multiple fundraising events. She was also the official Master of Ceremony for her university both in Bangladesh and in Australia.

Ms. Farin Daulah

Lecturer, English

Farin Daulah

Senior Lecturer

Ms Farin Daula is working as a senior lecturer at UCB. She is a trained education professional from the UK and has a degree in Education and English from University of Surrey, UK. She also holds a Master’s in management from Westminster University, UK. Ms Farin received her teacher training at the department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, UK. Ms Farin is the founder of the education platform, One Circle. She is a certified mental health first aider and a life coach. She has extensive experience in the life-skills education sector, working in various schools and non-profit organizations in London and Dhaka. She is the author of the Tara and Joy children’s book series. The first book of this series called “Tara and Joy: Body Safety” is available now both in Bengali and English version.

Ms. Sumaiya Binte Kabir

Senior Lecturer, Business Studies

Sumaiya Binte Kabir

Senior Lecturer

Sumaiya Binte Kabir is working as a senior lecturer at Universal College Bangladesh. She is also acting as the Monash College MCD of Business Program Coordinator. Sumaiya has attained both her BSS and MSS degree majoring in Economics from University of Dhaka. She has achieved the Bangladesh Bank Governor’s Scholarship for academic excellence. She is also actively involved in voluntary work in different animal welfare organizations. Her research interest lies in the field of public economics, environmental economics, development economics, consumer behavior and higher education marketing.

Dr. Sadia Afreen

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Dr. Sadia Afreen

Assistant Professor

Dr. Sadia Afreen is an assistant professor at the Universal College Bangladesh (UCB). She completed BSc in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). She obtained her PhD from the University of Nottingham and then completed her postdoctoral research at Nanjing University in the field of chemical engineering. Her research expertise is in applied chemistry and nanotechnology. She has significant publications in her areas of research, and she contributed as a journal reviewer to prestigious journals in her fields of expertise. She earned the Postgraduate Student Teachers Certificate during her postgraduate study at the University of Nottingham. She worked in the hall committee, conference committee at the University of Nottingham; teaching and learning subcommittee, and program coordinator in the Monash College MCD program at UCB. She worked in industry and had several engineering and research training at home and abroad.

Prof. Muhammad Ismail Hossain

Dean of Academic Affairs, Monash & LSE Program

Prof. Muhammad Ismail Hossain

Professor & Dean of Academic Affairs

Muhammad Ismail Hossain is a Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs, Monash & LSE Program at Universal College Bangladesh. He is on leave from his earlier appointment as Professor of Marketing at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prof. Hossain received his Ph.D. in consumer behavior from Monash University, Australia. He is an MBA from the University of Dhaka and also has a Master’s degree in International Business from the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research interests lie in the fields of tourism, consumer behavior, and supply chain management. He is one of the co-authors of the book Social Media Storms: Empowering Leadership beyond Crisis Management published by Routledge. He has more than 50 publications including books, research monographs, journal articles, newspaper articles, and keynote papers. His work has been published in many international high-impact journals such as the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Recreation Research, Current Issues in Tourism, International Journal of Tourism Research, and Journal of City, Culture, and Society among others. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Travel Research, the leading tourism journal in the world. He has received a notable amount of external research funding locally as well as internationally as part of various international and local research groups. The value of such local and international funding is BDT 1.06 crores and USD 827,873 respectively. As a consultant, he worked for government projects, not-for-profits, and for-profit local and international organizations.