“Public-private partnership (PPPs) in the education sector of BANGLADESH: what prospects in higher education?”, Mozzem Hossain and Mohammed Samsul Hoque
Moazzem Hossain Associate Professor, Adj Department of International Business and Asian Studies Griffith Business School Griffith University, Nathan Campus Brisbane, Australia firstname.lastname@example.org Mohammad Samsul Hoque Deputy Secretary and Executive Magistrate Bangladesh Civil Service Dhaka, Bangladesh email@example.com
Purpose: Compared to many developing nations, Bangladesh scored strongly in reducing poverty and other goals of the UN MDGs programme between 2000 and 2015. Bangladesh now has major initiatives to implement several projects to make the UN’s plan on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda a grand success. There are only 12 years until 2030 in which to make the SDGs agenda of the UN a success. The public-private partnership (PPP) initiative is regarded as one of the pathways towards achieving the SDGs in Bangladesh. In this paper we will investigate how this nation would make use of the PPP approach in the higher education sub-sector, by employing a sectoral analysis introduced by the World Bank (WB) in establishing its Public-Private-Partnership in Infrastructure Resource Centre (PPIRC).
Design/methodology/approach: In order to transform Bangladesh into a developed country as per its ambitious Vision 2041, the government needs to create an effective domestic education agenda in order to develop a critical mass of globally competent citizens. While the country has been pursuing the vision with the aim of transforming itself into a developed economy, with sustainable economic growth and consistent improvement of human and social development indicators by the year 2041, according to a recent dialogue jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Bangladesh and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) (an international development NGO), the new generation will need to compete with their peers around the world. With a view to incorporate values of internationalism in the domestic education system of Bangladesh, the programme was organised with a view to start a dialogue about how to turn the aspiration into reality. It was emphasised that, “Students have to be capable of addressing the emerging challenges like climate change, migration, financial crisis and traditional and non-traditional security that cut across the borders, on the one hand, while they need to develop communicative skills and collaborative approach to discuss those challenges in the global platforms, on the other”. At present, there is no effective mechanism to create coherence between the core international curricula and domestic education agenda. At the same time, establishing a useful link between the international and national education system may create good opportunities for students to learn from different worldwide experiences to foster their global citizenship skills, further emphasised by the organisers of the dialogue. In view of the above, the present paper will investigate the PPP approach in the education sector of Bangladesh, in particular covering the vocational and higher education areas. In this respect both public and private sectors have a major role to play under the SDG agenda.
Findings: The present study would contribute to the Bangladesh government’s policy strategy to create and examine effective domestic education in the area of vocational, trade, polytechnic and commerce, and other skilled based education. This would be done with the support of private investment in order to develop an effective public-private partnership to attain SDGs by 2030.
Originality/value: The study is original in its approach (no other studies have been found so far) and would generate debate with a view to how to embrace a private-public partnership approach in investing in the education sector, particularly technical education, over the next 20 years. The PPP will enhance and enrich the skills of millions joining the workforce in the next two decades, and attain the SDGs by 2030.
Keywords: Bangladesh; Education; Public-Private Partnership; Higher Education; Technical Education