A QS Showcase profile of Professor Atiqul Islam, vice chancellor of North South University
“Universities can play an important role in promoting harmony through enhanced understanding of physical, spiritual and intercultural aspects of human life and existence.”
Professor Atiqul Islam
The universal purpose of universities is to create and disseminate knowledge. Universities are essentially world institutions hosting scholars, researchers and students from diverse geographical, political, ethno-cultural and religious backgrounds – with one objective: pursuit of knowledge. Universities play an important role not only in advancing thought and technology but also in promoting understanding and harmony. My personal academic philosophy is to promote harmony through enhanced understanding of physical, spiritual and intercultural aspects of human life and existence.
I was born in a remote village in Bangladesh where I got my primary education in a dilapidated tin shed primary school. High schooling was in a boarding school followed by studies at the University of Dhaka. I obtained an M. Com from the University of New South Wales and a PhD from the University of Sydney. My academic career started at the University of Dhaka, and over a period of five decades, I worked at a number of universities in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
I held the positions of head of School of Commerce at the University of South Australia, dean of Business and Government at University of Canberra, executive dean at the Faculty of Business and Law, and pro-vice-chancellor (engagement) at Edith Cowan University. I am a compassionate, goal oriented and positive manager. I am keen on equity and access issues. Under my leadership, the School of Commerce at the University of South Australia made fantastic strides in teaching and learning, research and engagement. As a university leader, I restructured the faculties at the University of Canberra and at ECU to achieve spectacular efficiency gains, and positioned them for expansion and excellence in research.
I am fortunate to be the CEO of a reputed university. But a tremendous potential remains to be realised. North South University has the brand, it enjoys strong demand for its places, has the best physical infrastructure with a magnificent campus and is financially sound. It has world-class research leaders in every school. Furthermore, NSU has a number of world-class research institutes and highly reputed collaborative partners in research. I also believe that the greatest asset NSU has is a team of highly dedicated young and energetic academic staff who are poised to excel in PhD studies. Staff qualification upgrade and a quantum leap in research are the two objectives we are pursuing vigorously.
I strongly believe, with the 100% employment rate that NSU graduates enjoy and the successful entrepreneurs and leaders that this university has already produced, with enhanced staff qualifications and research output. It will be recognised worldwide as a top-class university. Higher rankings should follow.
In this dynamic world, change is the only constant. While the technology of education will no doubt keep changing (MOOCS, virtual campus, robotics and so on) the need for campus-based universities will endure. In knowledge-based economies and societies universities will lead. North South University will be there with the best of them.