05/03/2023, 12.20
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Bangladesh's only Catholic university celebrates its 10th anniversary

by Sumon Corraya

Notre Dame University was established by the Holy Cross congregation. The colleges of Dhaka and Mymensingh are also considered among the best universities in the country. The anniversary celebration was attended by many alumni of different religious denominations.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Bangladesh's only Catholic university, Notre Dame University (NDUB), founded in 2013 by the Congregation of the Holy Cross, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. "It is a very significant anniversary for us.

The Notre Dame family in Bangladesh wanted to emphasise higher education. With the university, we have succeeded. We can say that we have provided a different education than other universities," NDUB treasurer Fr Adam Subash Pereira told AsiaNews.

The Holy Cross priest explained that there are 45 public and 111 private universities in Bangladesh. The colleges in Dhaka and Mymensingh are considered among the best educational institutions in the country, offering a high standard of higher secondary education.

"In addition to academic courses, we also provide university students with an important values education," emphasised Fr Pereira. There are currently 12 programmes in five different faculties attended by 1,250 students, but the Holy Cross congregation plans to expand the university building to accommodate 7,000 students. 

The ceremony, held on 29 April, was attended by several NDUB alumni: "Notre Dame University has provided me with professional skills that have enabled me to achieve a successful career. But I also gained the awareness needed to work in today's global community. Our teachers guided me well,' Catherine Gomes, 26, an assistant judge of the Joypurhat District Court and former NDUB student, told AsiaNews.

She completed her law studies in 2018 as the department's first cohort. According to Gomes, the institution has some peculiarities: 'It is a very disciplined university. There is a good environment, the professors are very sincere with the students and they help in my career," said the Catholic girl, congratulating the university on its achievement: "I congratulate my university and wish it well."

Rumpa Neogi, a Muslim, now a doctoral student at St. Xavier's University in Kolkata, India, told AsiaNews that NDUB led her to work in human resources in two different banks before continuing with her studies. She was back in Dhaka for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the holiday that closes the month of Ramadan: "The teachers at NDUB are very helpful and supported me with counselling to enrol for my PhD. I am very grateful to my teachers," said Neogi. 

Besides academic classes, she was also involved in extra-curricular activities, such as the debate club, during university. "I was part of the organising group," she added. "I received the best education here. That is why I also advised my relatives to enrol in this university."

Christians in Bangladesh are 0.3 per cent of the population, but they are very present in educational services and run prestigious institutes in which Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists also often want to enrol. For example, the current Speaker of the House, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, and the Minister of Education, Dipu Moni, are former students of the Holy Cross College in Dhaka, a women's institution founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

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