Brac University has joined a global network of teaching and research foundation named the Open Society University Network (OSUN), founded by American billionaire George Soros.
The network was launched on January 23 by Soros, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he pledged $1 billion to facilitate the integration of critical thinking, and open intellectual inquiry with higher education.
Prof Manzoor Ahmed, professor emeritus at Brac University, confirmed the university’s partnership with OSUN.
“This collaboration may help the research and training at the university, and will counteract the ideas of extremism and radicalism among the students,” he told Dhaka Tribune. “Liberal and secular values will be promoted through the activities of this network.”
He further said: “We have worked with them before, in the university’s early childhood development program. Brac founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and George Soros were close friends, and Soros was impressed with Sir Fazle’s ideas.
“I think the students’ extracurricular activities will be developed after exchanging views with other universities that are part of OSUN. We also have a plan to develop a unique curriculum in terms of research and teaching method through this network,” he added.
During his announcement of the initiative at Davos, Soros reportedly called it “the most important project of my life,” aiming to build on the work of his Open Society Foundations (OSF), which has invested billions into pro-democracy and human rights projects around the world.