The British Council in partnership with the University Grants Commission Bangladesh  organized an 18 months long workshop series since April, 2012 entitled: Strengthening Leadership Capacity in Higher Education. The workshop series are aimed at building the capacities of senior and middle level executives to internationalize the higher education sector of Bangladesh and for 23 senior faculty members from 6 public and 8 private universities of Bangladesh were selected to participate in this workshop series. The workshop series have four phases: the local workshops at Dhaka; periodic skype conversations of the participants with their UK Mentors; the UK study visit; and the feedback session of the participants in Dhaka with a vision that exposing the participants to an international platform will allow them to share their ideas with their UK mentors and eventually enhance their leadership capacity in providing solutions to the various challenges that beset their respective universities. Prof. Dr. Charles C. Villanueva, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Dr. Ehsanul Huda Chowdhury, Associate Dean of the faculty were fortunate to have been selected to participate in the four phases of the workshop series. The workshops were both conceptual and practical dealing with the various issues facing the respective universities of the participants and how these are being addressed. The UK visits of Drs. Charles and Ehsan held from 11-15 February and 18-22 March 2013 were also made possible with the AIUB travel grants. The participants were allowed to meet personally with their respective mentors and  the provided opportunity to interact further on both domestic and international issues identified prior to the visit. The mentors and universities they represent are University College London, University of Nottingham, University of Liecester, Loughborough University, University of Liverpool, University of Bradford, University of Manchester, and Liverpool John Moores University. Prof. Dr. Charles went to Liverpool John Moores University and University of Manchester while Dr. Ehsanul was affiliated with Loughborough University and University of Nottingham during their UK study visit. During the visits, the participants enable themselves to have a face –to-face interaction with the mentors, attend teaching-learning committee meetings, ocular visits to libraries, common learning centers, museums, training and development centers and other landmarks of the universities. It is interesting to note that the following areas, topics and issues were highlighted during the visit: -admission policy -accreditation process -governance -reward and recognition of excellent teachers -teaching strategies: remedial, clubs, peer teaching -development perspectives: strategic development plan for the next 20 years -setting of operational priorities, key performance indicators, target settings and outcomes, key support activities -professional support services -career and employability of graduates: tracking of job vacancies; destination of leavers; brokers for job placements; industry based curriculum development -student volunteering vis-a-vis  accreditation for internship -overview of the British higher education system -student participation and student satisfaction -research funding and utilization: international research collaboration -certificate in education, a requisite for teaching in the university -global trends: massification of education, cost of transportation and communication. transnational education -others The workshop series will culminate in a follow-up seminar to exchange experiences with the rest of the participants and how these learning experiences can be shared or replicated in the respective universities. A one-page report will be submitted to the British Council for consolidation to focus on the laudable experiences gathered from the study visit in UK. The study visit was indeed rewarding in view of the many information related to strengthening leadership in higher education. We look forward to conduct an echo seminar participated in AIUB to be participated by the senior officers, department heads, directors and deans so that it can bring new ideas and insights in addressing the challenges of the university in the near future.
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