Five Bangladeshi terrorists killed 22 people in Dhaka. The identity of these terrorists revealed that they were normal and regular guys, came from affluent families, actively used social media, and some attended Bangladesh’s top-notch educational institutes. One terrorist, Nibras Islam, caused an uproar when people found out that he attended one of the first elite private universities of Bangladesh – North South University in Dhaka. Many well-off families in Bangladesh send their children to North South University (NSU) as it is considered the ‘center of excellence in higher education.’
Curious, I wanted to know more about the university – who are the people running such a top-notch educational institution? Who are the students? How they maintain their excellence? I searched “North South University Dhaka” online for their website. Boom, it is just there! After browsing the site here is what I’ve learned.
North South University boasts that 90% its faculty members hold degrees from British, American, Australian and Canadian universities. Visiting faculty members are also from foreign universities! Out of 399 faculty members in four schools, 270 are lecturers. That means many faculty members are also perhaps young and energetic. But surprisingly, the university does not reflect the energy of a modern, contemporary space for learning. There is no way to know what the faculty members are doing. What is their vibe, what is new with them? There is no blog – not from the university, not from any faculty members! All Quiet on the North-South Front!
North South University has a website that is carelessly designed, poorly maintained, rarely updated. The homepage of the university is primarily a bulletin board for notice, message that behaves strangely as the page is loaded with all kinds of design tricks – tickers, tabs, slides! University’s mismatched home page and rest of the page have many no-info links! Such as the university’s Center for Information and Communication Technology, Academic Council, Curriculum Committee, Disciplinary Committee etc. will not give visitors any information. The university will not give social media links (they are at the bottom, but do not work!).
Once visitor is at the admission section of the website – there is no way to come back to home page! You must take admission!
From dead links, missing info, skewed pictures, scripted typeface, to misplaced comma , all are there. Sometimes visitors have no idea whether a link will take them to a webpage or a PDF file or a WORD document or a JPEG document!
North South University’s student enrollment is about 15,000. There is no way to know what their campus life feels like! Visitors will not know anything about student activities – the sport they play, the drama they stage, the movie they watch, the volunteering work they do, the clubs they run, the life they lead.
The university added few links of their student alumni organizations: One here and another here. And there is another private alumni here, which is not mentioned university’s website. And then there is another alumni link can be found in the LinkedIn page. Shockingly, that link is an adult website now! How come the ‘center of excellence in higher education’ of Bangladesh has a porn site linked with its alumni website!
A quick check of the domain name history tells me that the Alumni Association of North South University (AANSU) perhaps once owned the domain name. AANSU.org was active without any changes for years until 2013! The alumni of NSU proudly added the link to their LinkedIn page and then forget about it. And then the name perhaps expired, it was owned by other entities and they started hosting whatever content they like! No one from North South University ever cared or have time to update the link. Once (.org) expired, they jumped into another domain name (.net). BTW, do anyone remember the white house dot com saga?
Sure the university authority may have forgotten to update the information, this is not intentional. Mistakes, typos, and oversights are mostly done by the lower level clerks in Bangladesh! But these are certainly embarrassing for any center of excellence. Why can not a university with all the PhD holders, imported overseas teachers, foreign-educated teachers and IT department provide and present their information in a convincing way! If the university can not update their own website information then how come will they upgrade, uplift their students?
Like education, the internet is a great equalizer – it deserves constant attention.