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Bangladeshi students in Netherlands to work as bridge for innovation and creativity

More than 50 Bangladeshi students from different universities in the Netherlands gathered at Bangladesh House in The Hague for a seminar on 04 June 2016 organized by the Embassy of Bangladesh in collaboration with EP-Nuffic, the organisation responsible for internationalising Dutch education.

The objective of the seminar was to provide the students a platform to exchange their problems/ideas/thoughts with the Embassy/EP-Nuffic. Besides students from ISS, UNESCO-IHE, Wageningen UR, TU-Delft, TU-Eindhoven, TU-Twente, Hague University, Leiden University and other Universities, professors, alumni, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands and the officials from EP-Nuffic attended the seminar.

Ambassador Sheik Mohammed Belal.

Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal.

While welcoming students, academics, executives at the Bangladesh House, Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal stated that ‘‘today we are here to give you a platform with Bangladesh in heart’’. He urged the students to work as bridge between Bangladesh and Netherlands for innovation and creativity. Ambassador Belal urged students to work hard to convert their “know how“, gained in the Netherlands, into productive knowledge.

Ambassador stated “modern societies can amass large amounts of productive knowledge because they distribute bits and pieces of it among its many members. But to make use of it, this knowledge has to be put back together through organizations and markets. Thus, individual specialization begets diversity at the national and global level.” He added that “our most prosperous modern societies are wiser, not because their citizens are individually brilliant, but because these societies hold a diversity of knowhow and because they are able to recombine it to create a larger variety of smarter and better products.”

Ambassador Belal outlined initiatives how Embassy of Bangladesh wishes to partner with different academic institutions and businesses to open up opportunities for students of Bangladesh in the Netherlands. Thanking the government of the Netherlands, in general and EP-Nuffic, in particular Ambassador Belal hoped that they will also continue their support to steer this partnership to a new high with innovative initiatives.

The representative of the Foreign Ministry Ms. Louise Huijbens, in her intervention, assured the support of the government of the Netherlands. Dutch representative also elaborated on how the visit of Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to the Netherlands and Her Majesty Queen Maxima of Netherlands to Bangladesh in 2015 brought plethora of initiatives in the sphere of Bangladesh-the Netherlands relations.

Bangladesh students at the residence.

Bangladesh students at the residence.

The EP-Nuffic executives, congratulating Embassy of Bangladesh for taking the initiative, which is first of its kind among all embassies in the Netherlands, shared their ongoing and potential programs in Bangladesh through scholarship, fellowship, internship, and research on sectors relevant to Bangladesh.

Ms. Anneke Zijlstra, Team Coordinator of the NFP and Ms. Ute Jansen, Head of the Department Capacity Development (the NICHE programme) elaborated on hosts of capacity building initiatives the Dutch government is carrying forward and would like to chalk out in the future. Highlighting Alumni initiatives, Mr. Cooper Doo urged students to share their ideas and suggestion to make it a platform for discussion of future initiatives. Ms. Nancy Alexaki, Senior Policy Officer of EP Nuffic exchanged with the students as she answered to their queries and concerns.

Students and academics in their interventions expressed their happiness in the administration of EP-Nuffic but urged to consider more publicity in Bangladesh for recruitment of students in the Netherlands. Students also sought assistance for adequate job coaching, career planning assistance and internship opportunities in the Netherlands.

Professor Moors from Wageningen University shared his experience working with Bangladesh in climate resilience preparedness, Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, Water management, agriculture etc.

Elaborating on their studies and researches, Bangladeshi students shared their perspectives on how they can implement their learning on Dutch innovations and creativity in Bangladesh.

Ambassador Belal wrapped up the session highlighting Honble Prime Minister’s personal initiatives in the field of water, agriculture, innovations and requested the students to remain engaged with the Embassy to build a ‘‘Better Bangladesh’’. Ambassador assured that the Embassy will follow up on the suggestions made by the students and requested all to continue their feedback stream with the Embassy.

Ms. Jakia Akter of UNESCO-IHE and Mr.Siraj Kabir of Royal Dutch Shell moderated the event.

The Seminar was followed by dinner and a brief cultural program arranged to commemorate the birth anniversaries of two literary legends of Bangla literature Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladesh’s National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Quoting from their works, Ambassador Belal shared glimpses of rich literary history and heritage of Bangladesh.

It may be noted that this year Embassy arranged this program exclusively for local people of the Netherlands and students of Bangladesh availing the opportunity of this seminar.

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