Special Features

20 Years of Brac University 

The first doors of Brac University opened to a sum of 80 students, unbeknownst to whom was the very beginning of a journey worthy of a thousand tales. If only walls could speak, BracU’s ones would talk about joys, heartbreaks, excitement, desperation and so much more. In the 20 years of leading one of the topmost private universities in Bangladesh, BracU undoubtedly has stories to tell. 

The emergent age  (2001-2005) 

In June 2001, amidst the country’s most respectable milieu, BracU was formally inaugurated by the former President of Bangladesh. At its helm sat the very first Chancellor, Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, to spearhead BracU in its new age. The formative years of the university saw expanding numbers of students crowding out halls, extensions of campus facilities, and the commencement of the first Residential Semester at Savar in 2003. Slowly, the walls of BracU began to witness excited students huddled over plans for their respective clubs, exhausted and weary faces toiling during mid-term weeks, and the despair of those whose finals were a tad too difficult. 

From 2002 onwards, the university launched its MBA program and founded the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) – two of the hallmarks of its name today. The very first architecture exhibition was oriented along the Linux Lab for the CSE program in 2003, both of which were notable accomplishments that have paid their due and more. With a host of scholarly personages joining different faculties across BracU’s new and improved programs and an increase in collaboration with foreign institutions with the likes of John Hopkins University, the university saw change and growth in the most unbridled fashion possible. 

The advancing age  (2006-2011) 

Shortly after the foundation of this institution in 2008, the students of BracU proved themselves in the international arena with Iftikhar Ul Karim (Alumnus, BBS) winning the Symbian award in the essay category.

In 2009, the honourable founder, Fazle Hasan Abed, was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his endeavours to fight against poverty and build a better future. Furthermore, BracU embarked on its journey to become a truly international institution by commencing an exchange program with the University of Ottawa. The School of International Development and Global Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa and BRAC Development Institute at Brac University formed a partnership to provide quality education to its students through this program.

The gilded age (2011-2016) 

In the years 2011-16, BracU successfully organised several national and international conferences, competitions, and industrial tours which helped play a vital role in student development. The ENH department hosted the IACSS international conference titled “Cultural Transformations: Development Initiatives and Social Movements”, which was the biggest highlight of 2011.

In 2012, BracU sent a robot named Chondrobot-2 to NASA, with the BracU Robotics LAB being established in the same year. In the following year, CSE students participated in the National Mobile Application Development and won the best participation award from the secretary of MoICT. CloudCamp Bangladesh Innovation Forum started its journey with BracU as the co-founder in the same year. This motivated students to pursue undergraduate courses on Programming for the Internet, Mobile Computing, and Cloud Computing. Another noteworthy event was the GDLN Asia Pacific meeting hosted by BracU in collaboration with the World Bank.

In 2014, 6 students from BracU BBS Department got selected to work for the Youth Entrepreneur Development project. Dr. Sajidur Rahman, Assistant Professor of C3ER, BracU, published two articles in the editorial of Alokito Bangladesh in December 2015. The Ground-breaking Announcement Program of BracU New Campus was held in the same year as well. 

The resilient age (2016-21) 

In these years, BracU showed tremendous ambition, determination, and adaptability in the face of daunting challenges. The ambition to become a state-of-the-art research university was on display when BracU decided to charter the murky, vast space by developing the country’s first-ever nano-satellite, Onnesha in 2017.

Furthermore, in 2019, the top-brass of BracU decided to appoint the ever-dynamic and experienced Professor Vincent Chang as the Vice-Chancellor. Professor Chang immediately showed that he was here to take BracU to newer international heights by inviting Ban Ki-Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, as the key-note convocation speaker in 2019. The new leadership decided to restructure certain departments and schools of BracU to induce smooth collaboration in teaching and research of interdisciplinary fields.

However, the biggest challenge faced by BracU in these five years came when the pandemic shut down in-person classes in 2020. BracU showed incredible foresight by adopting the online-learning platform buX early on. This allowed the students to view course lectures at their convenience from even the remotest part of the country. Thus BracU managed to continue five semesters online and allowed its students to complete timely progress and graduation.Additionally, to ensure each student can continue his or her education during the pandemic, BracU went above and beyond by providing the Student Assistance Fund (SAF).

This period also celebrated the triumphs of the multi-talented student body, who brought home renowned accolades in diverse fields ranging from debate to robotics.

In 2019, Sir Abed laid the foundation stone of the new campus of BracU on which were etched the words: “From Sylhet for Humanity. From Here for the World.”

Since his passing, the aforementioned phrase remains indelible and a great testament to the vision he had for this university – a vision in which BracU makes significant contributions across the globe. Over the last two decades, parts of his dream were indeed turned into reality.  Moving forward, it is up to the future generations of BracU students to carry on the legacy and take the university to even greater heights. 

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