Programme overview

To strengthen the teaching and learning capacity in the higher education sector of Bangladesh, British Council, in partnership with University Grants Commission Bangladesh initiated the Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) units. The role of the CETL is to develop provision that raises the quality of teaching in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Bangladesh, thus improving student attainment and experience.

Aims and objectives

  • Our work will directly contribute to University Grants Commission (UGC) mission and priorities to develop the universities as the centre of excellences
  • Engage policy makers in decision-making
  • Build the leadership capacity of senior administrators in universities in Bangladesh
  • Produce trained and skilled manpower capable of resolving socio-economic problems working towards the Human-Development Index and raising productive competitiveness.  

What we deliver and engage locally?

  • Opportunity to contribute and influence the development of quality teaching and learning in higher education
  • Engage and create a synthesis among universities (public and private), policy makers, university lecturers, professors and students
  • Lead development as a key activity area through networking opportunities
  • Increase international cooperation and make the UK the best partner of choice
  • Contribute to the continuing evolution of universities for both participating countries: UK and Bangladesh
  • Synergising networking opportunities as to create an exposure and experience in strategic development at a national level. 

Project so far 

The British Council supported the University Grants Commission (UGC) in Bangladesh to establish CETLs in six public universities that were spread over the major geographic divisions in the country during the first phase of its operation. Each of these centres has a wider geographical spread so that each could become a regional hub working with neighbouring institutions within remote districts. With time, four private universities came on board to this network. 

After the inital phase of CETL ends to meet the British Council’s aim of establishing the importance of teaching and learning concept into the Higher Education (HE) sector, that has been strongly acknowledged by UGC. The initiative has not only been successfully meeting the emerging need of teaching and learning in HE but also the British Council’s role to influence university policies. These were coupled with the formal establishment of the CETLs within institutions and for UGC to develop a comprehensive plan which shall also include the curriculum and resource development. The CETL project is an example of a low cost or high impact project. It also aims at forming a sustainable hub with new inclusions into the model for strengthening the technique of teaching and learning techniques widely.

CETL Impact Evaluation

The British Council recently commissioned a research to conduct the impact evaluation of the CETL initiative. The study had 51 respondents, including senior professors, vice chancellors, young faculty members, UGC and representatives from the British Council.

The study reveals that CETL is seen to be addressing the critical need of making teachers in higher education aware of their important roles and responsibilities and providing the necessary training to educators to efficiently perform and grow. While a few universities have been working to address these needs for a few years, CETL programme is seen to have combined sporadic efforts and offers a more modern and standardised approach to the enhancement of awareness and skill among the teachers in higher education sector.

The faculty members receiving training from the CETL units highly appreciate CETL workshops and training sessions as those help educators take a holistic preparation for a career in higher education: from forming a teacher identity and engaging students in the classroom to conducting effective research studies and publishing for career progression. Newly appointed teachers are most appreciative of the CETL programme. They credit the training provided by CETL for a smooth transition from a student’s role to that of a teacher’s.

Senior professors and university administrators also appreciate CETL programme as it helps create a culture of accountability and create an awareness of the need for skill enhancement and excellence in higher education. Across the board, teachers think that their learnings from CETL have positively impacted their students because they have been using better student-engagement and assessment techniques and are more conscious of teaching ethics.

While the respondents of the study positively evaluated CETL programme, they want the programme to be more robust. They demand more specialised and customised training modules, advanced training for trainers, and better office and training facilities for CETL

Universities within the CETL network

  • American International University Bangladesh (AIUB)
  • Bangladesh Agricultural University 
  • BRAC University
  • Chittagong University
  • Dhaka University
  • Green University, Bangladesh
  • Jahangirnagar University
  • Khulna University
  • Rajshahi University
  • University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh (ULAB)