The initiative for JNU to join the Virtual Institute was taken by Sharif Mosharraf Hossain, who is a graduate of the Master in International and Development Economics (MIDE) programme of core Vi member the University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, and is also a former Vi intern and participant in several Vi workshops and online courses. After graduating from MIDE and spending some time at a research institute in his country, Mr. Hossain opted for an academic career at JNU and spared no effort to establish cooperation with the Vi.
Dhaka-based Jagannath University, which has a history going back to 1858, was transformed into a university by government decision in 2005. The university aims to become a centre of excellence for educating successful and productive citizens for the country.
The Vi will cooperate with JNU's Department of Economics, which is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The department's main objective is to provide students with the highest-quality education, and to conduct academic research on various issues related to economics. At present, the department teaches undergraduate and graduate programmes in economics, offering courses in international, development, monetary, environmental, agricultural and industrial economics, as well as regional integration, economic development, and the Bangladeshi economy. There are also plans to introduce PhD and MPhil programmes in the near future to strengthen the department's research base and orientation. Faculty members of the department publish both in the yearly Jagannath University Journal of Social Science, and in national and international journals. Topics recently covered by their research include investment, export sectors' competitiveness, trade facilitation, regional integration, and poverty.
The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Mr. Hossain, who is currently responsible for courses on international economics and advanced microeconomics. His research interests encompass regional integration in South Asia, economic relations between Bangladesh and Japan, and agricultural trade liberalization.
The other colleagues taking part include:
Ishtiaque Selim, who teaches development and regional economics and quantitative decision-making techniques, and researches economic relations between Bangladesh, the Gulf countries, Japan, China and India, as well as regional integration and FDI.
Tareq Muhammad Shamsul Arefin, who is involved in courses on monetary economics and banking and financial institutions, and publishes on competitiveness and manufacturing sectors in Bangladesh, and trade facilitation and poverty.
Tabassum Zaman, who teaches development, international and agricultural economics, as well as macroeconomics and public finance, and has research interests in the macroeconomic determinants of investment and human development.
Habibur Rahman, who teaches international and development economics, macroeconomics and econometrics, and undertakes research on regional integration and cooperation, the impact of exchange rates on Bangladesh's manufactured exports, the multilateral trading system, globalization, and poverty reduction.
The department is ready to exchange information and teaching materials on trade and development issues, and to conduct collaborative research projects with Vi members in areas of mutual interest.
The department expects Vi membership to help it in designing courses and developing teaching materials on trade and development related issues, and to provide opportunities to participate in training workshops, courses and the Vi fellowship programme, and to cooperate in research with other members.