The education ministry will provide finances for the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology's plan for renovating its laboratories and boosting its research activities, said sources.
As a part of the initiative, Buet's syndicate has passed a development project proposal involving Tk2,500 crore for modernising and expanding its laboratories.
Currently, Buet has 100 laboratories, which will be renovated with state of the art technology by utilising the fund. Besides, 300 technical manpower will be recruited to operate the machinery at the laboratories.
The University Grants Commission has also passed the proposal and sent it to the education ministry, which will send it to the planning ministry and then to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council for final approval.
Professor Dr Satya Prasad Majumder, Buet's vice-chancellor, told The Business Standard that the ministry assured them of providing Tk2,500 crore for lab renovation.
"We will seek more money for research from the government. We also have agreements with many national and international organisations, from which we receive funds for research," he said.
"We are planning to provide up to Tk20 lakh to any teacher who will take up good research projects," he said.
"We hope to get the fund soon as we have already been lagging in enhancing our research activities," said Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman, director of Students' Welfare at the Buet.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said, "Buet has sought Tk2,500 crore for modernising their laboratories and research work. We take the initiative positively and will send the proposal to the planning ministry soon."
RISE-BUET to foster world-class research
Buet's authorities set up the Research and Innovation Centre for Science and Engineering (RISE) recently to pioneer new technologies, research and innovation in science and engineering.
Buet, the country's first higher educational institution for engineering, has also prepared a plan to upgrade the dormitory facility for MSc and PhD students. Besides, the MSc and PhD students will get monthly remuneration for conducting research at the Buet.
Buet will also introduce on-campus jobs for its current students so that they can spend their time with the researchers on campus instead of spending time on private tuition.
Professor Dr Muhammad Anisuzzaman Talukder, director of RISE told TBS that it will work to promote indigenous and novel innovations for the benefit of society, to establish an environment that allows researchers at all levels to innovate, and promote world-class research.
"We will maintain the highest ethical standards and best professional practices to create pathways from the laboratory to the market, to develop meaningful business relationships with sponsors and investors, and to increase the visibility of RISE," he said.
Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman, director of Students' Welfare at Buet, told TBS, "The university is already the best higher educational institution in the country, and we want to make it one of the best institutions in the world. So, we are concentrating on research."
"In the last QS ranking, Buet secured the 387th position among 4,000 engineering universities across the world. We hope that the university will be ranked between 200th and 250th this year. We would like to make it one of the top 50 universities in the world," he said.
Professor Dr Dil Afroza Begum, acting chairman of the UGC, told TBS that the commission encourages the research work and it will assist Buet in every possible way in this regard.
Buet will also award scholarships to 50 MSc and PhD students this year to encourage students to concentrate on research.
Under this programme, 40 Master's students will get Tk30,000 each per month for 18 months, and 10 PhD students will get Tk45,000 per month for 36 months.
Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman said they are planning to provide scholarships to at least 100 MSc and PhD students next year.
Buet teachers will get Tk1.5 lakh each if they publish their research papers in a reputed journal.
The university will also provide Tk3 lakh to each teacher as a basic research fund so that they can spend it for attending conferences, publishing research papers and applying for research funds.
Buet currently receives research funds from 25 national and international organisations and the number of such grant providers will increase to at least 50 by the next two years, said sources at Buet.
Initially, the university will start the scholarship programme with Tk21.6 lakh from its resources. It has been decided to allocate for fellowship 15% of the allowance received by the teachers from various government projects for working as consultants.
In a bid to accommodate more MSc and PhD students, Buet is planning to upgrade the capacity of the Shahid Smriti Hall. Currently, it can accommodate 200 PhD and MSc students, which will be increased to 1,200 students.
Moreover, Buet authorities have recently decided not to promote any teachers if they do not have a PhD degree.
Post-Graduate Fellowship Scheme for foreign students
The Post-graduate Fellowship Scheme for foreign students at Buet was launched in 2020. The scheme aims to attract the best and the brightest foreign students for the Masters and PhD degrees in Buet.
Candidates who are seeking admission as new full-time MSc and PhD students at Buet irrespective of their country of origin should be eligible to apply. Applicants should demonstrate outstanding qualities of academic performance, research ability, potential, communication and interpersonal skills, and leadership abilities, said relevant sources.
For admission to the MSc programme, the minimum requirement is four years of BSc Engineering, BSc Honours or equivalent degree.
For admission to the PhD programme, the minimum requirement is MSc in Engineering, MS or equivalent degree. For both the programmes, candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 out of 5 or 3.0 out of 4 or 60% marks in all certificate examinations.
Depending on the degree programme chosen by the candidate, the application will automatically be assigned to the respective department or Institute. The respective Board of Postgraduate Studies (BPGS) or Research and Academic Committee (RAC) shall select the eligible candidates based on the number of fellowships allotted in a year.