A Journey to Develop New Paradigms
In the re-articulation of its new vision and mission statements, BUFT is signaling its commitment to adopt to disruptive times, in ways that embrace both change and continuity. The business of textile, RMG and fashion itself is evolving rapidly, appropriating to itself both future technologies and value systems.
Over the years, the roles and responsibilities of design, manufacturing, management, engineering and technology of textile, RMG and fashion fields have expanded manifold. Design thinking has the potential to intervene in everyday practices through the actions of curious and creative learners, doers and thinkers. And it integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirement of business success.
No university can move forward that does not introspect, and does not have its ears to the ground for innovations. At BUFT, we constantly endeavor to stay ahead of the industry and provide future leaders for the textile apparel and fashion scenarios of Bangladesh. The BUFT campus is vibrant, exciting and happening place where ideas collide and transform, and make their creators embark on exciting journeys of discovery and opportunity.
In our endeavor to constantly upgrade ourselves, we periodically review our curriculum with inputs from our stakeholders- the industry, the alumni and our peers in textile, apparel and fashion education. Every such review brings contemporary practice and its portents, and takes us on a new journey.
There is a whole new level of interchangeability and diminishing boundaries of various disciplines as of today, that are emerging as career and future practice. Technical skillsets need to be complemented by soft skills. Creativity is to be nourished and enterprise. The ability to assimilate is nourished by the opportunity to explore. The methodology of academic transaction should be such as to encourage resilience – the holistic understanding of contexts, the flexibility to adopt new ideas, and the capability to persevere.
Hence BUFT has embarked on a journey to create new paradigms to explore creativity, new frameworks to cement technical skills, new opportunities for industry linkages, new parameters for evaluation and renewed affirmation of its core values and strengths.
BUFT has adopted a format of Majors, Deepening Specializations, Minors and General Electives. Academic Majors are the academic disciplines or program related courses which undergraduate students formally complete. Students are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of a part of their core majors through a Deepening Specialization, which will give them a further edge in specific industries. Interdisciplinary Minors provide individuated pathways that would permit students to acquire interdisciplinary skillsets and opt for a set of subjects that complement studies in one’s major or explore an unrelated area of intellectual interest. General Electives are offered to the students to help them enhance their personality and develop interests in specific areas like personality development, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and professional ethics etc.
Increased industry interaction for students through classroom projects, internships and part transaction in industry environment is the focus of the restructured curriculum. The contact hours have been recalibrated to around 24 hours per week, giving increased time for practical sessions, studio practices, group works and self-study to the students. Standardization of credits across all programs and all semester has been undertaken.
New emerging areas across disciplines integrated into the curriculum:
- Soft Computing Techniques in Knitting
- Sustainability in Textile Value Chain
- Designing Ergonomic Environment
- Advanced Apparel Manufacturing Management
- CAD 3D & Contemporary Manufacturing
- Smart Textiles
- Shapewear & Seamless Garments on Computerized Knitting
- Surface Embellishment: Digital Embroidery, Laser 3D Printing
- Design Strategy
- Fashion Thinking
- Artificial Intelligence
The methodology of academic transaction at BUFT is aimed at giving the student a holistic understanding of subject, context and environment, and the ability to innovate and adopt. Study at BUFT is a combination of contact hours, practical sessions, studio practice, group work, and self-study. It also provides an immersive learning experience, with emphasis on learning from doing and learning through reflection.
A range of interdisciplinary minors have been made available to the students to choose from. The knowledge and skill sets acquired will strand them in good stead in their future careers, and will either enhance or provide alternate pathways.
Students are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of a part of their core majors through a deepening specialization, which will give them a further edge in specific industries. Floating credits are also offered for the student keen on learning beyond the regular curriculum.
The Industry Connect
The new curriculum enhances the BUFT engagement with industry, through institutionalizing industry visits, visits to exhibitions and fairs part transaction of subject in an industry environment, industry membership and live classroom projects based on an industry brief.
An array of subjects from physical activities to socio cultural studies to personality development and professional ethics have been woven into the course, and are transacted through subject experts. The intent is to foster a climate of exploration and curiosity, to develop people skills, and to inculcate the ability for lifelong learning. Learning outcomes have been carefully articulated, not just for the full program, but for every semester and subject. Assignments and evaluation are calibrated to capture the extent of achievement of the learning outcomes envisaged.
Holistic understanding requires assimilative evaluation as well. Therefore, the curriculum is peppered with assignments that assess the ability of the student for synthesis of his/her knowledge and skillsets across a combination of subjects.
Every student will have an academic mentor besides the subject mentor, who would be in a position to help the student better understand his/her strengths and areas of improvement, and to provide inputs for the student in their exercise of choice for selecting the deepening specializations and interdisciplinary minors. This will be over and above the academic mentoring provided during internships and graduation projects.
The courses have more creative potential and flexibility and are geared towards producing well-rounded graduates with expertise in millennial skillsets. The evaluation process has to be nuanced enough to appreciate the subtleties of creativity and innovation, but robust enough to be fair and impartial in assessment. The system of evaluation in BUFT meets both these requirements.