The first Bangladeshi American owned university in the USA

Publish: 8:40 PM, February 24, 2021 | Update: 8:40:PM, February 24, 2021

In the month of mother language, a new leaf has been added to the Bangladeshi community in the USA. A diligent and brilliant migrant makes history. In this context, one might reminisce about Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam of Canada regarding their contribution in turning the 21st of February into ‘International Mother Language Day’. This time around, it is Engineer Abubokor Hanip, called as a, ‘Magicman’, residing in Virginia, Washington DC. His remarkable journey reaches a great height with the ownership of a university here in the USA.

On February 11, he took full charge of ‘IGlobal University’ (Innovative Global University or IGU), in Vienna, Virginia. It has been one of the top destinations for Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and European students since its inception back in 2008.

Notably, Engr. Abubokor Hanip is also the founder and CEO of the ‘PeopleNTech’. In the US IT sector, he has contributed to the creation of more than 7,000 high-paying jobs for the migrants via this institute.

The official transfer of university ownership has generated much hype in the US and the migrant communities. Now, more Bangladeshi students can reach out for higher education in America, thanks to this university. Already, students from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East make up for a large section of its degree holders.

More than four thousand students have obtained their higher degrees in the last 12 years. Currently, 500+ students are pursuing their studies here. Admission-wise, international students easily outnumber their native counterparts. Engr. Abubokor Hanip chairs the administrative council. Since taking the charge, he has introduced massive changes academic curriculum. He also promises necessary assistance and training for the degree holders prior to their successful entry into the job market/ landing the dream job.

In this context, he adds, ‘high paying jobs demand university education. However, a degree, in and of itself, never guarantees dream jobs. For example, it did not pay me off 20 years ago. I used to do odd jobs with low payments, despite having a coveted Bangladeshi degree in engineering. During those times I felt that I could have landed a fancy job if only I had a North American university education.

IGU chairman and CEO Abubokor Hanip furthered his point, ‘I did masters in Computer Science with a $50,000 loan. However, I failed to manage a job then and there, in spite of achieving the highest degree. Desperately, I had to reassume my odd job cycle. Life pushed me down that road once again. But this unfortunate turn of events did not disappoint me altogether; neither did I stop my endeavors. A few days later, additional skill development training carried me into an IT job. Then I fully realized the value of skill development in addition to degrees. In America, only higher education does not get you anywhere near your dream unless you fundamentally expand your skills. Taking lessons from my real-life experiences, I established the PeopleNTechabout 15 years ago. Approximately, 7,000 of our trainees have made it to their targeted jobs since then. In fact, my days in the PeopleNTech drove me towards the establishment of a university. That dream, at last, came true.’

On a positive note, he adds, ‘my team and I can proudly assure our students that we will continue with career assistance until they attain their professional objectives. PeopleNTech facilitates these backward linkage privileges. We take pride in our educators being industry practitioners, rather than solely sticking to scholarly endeavors. They command an admirable 4 to 30 years of experience in their respective grounds.’

The IGU offers higher education in Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT), Master of Science in Cyber Security, and Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The prominent undergrad programs include Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Besides, there are certificate courses on the computer, IT, and so on. They are also planning on rolling out several professional courses on health care, nursing, data science, and artificial intelligence.

Moreover, Bangladeshi students can benefit from a $200,000 allocation in scholarship per year. The varsity authority has started a discussion with the relevant parties in this regard. One may submit a scholarship application at www.igu.edu.

PeopleNTech is the largest Bangladeshi IT training institute in the USA. Their students have managed jobs with yearly salaries, ranging from $80,000-$200,000. Most of these learners held their expectations low due to the stark lack of guidance. Incredibly, they were diminished to the odd jobs (taxi driving, restaurant jobs, supermarket staff, salesmanship, receptionist, etc), despite having excellent academic records in their native countries.

At the entry-level, even degrees from US universities do not guarantee jobs that pay more than $40,000-$50,000 on average, Engr. Hanip says. Many graduates resort to student loans and they usually flounder in its repayment as a nice job is often a bit of tough luck. This mismatch drives them towards depression. Consequently, scores of bright students are opting for odd jobs rather than seeking a loan for higher education. Financial worries occasionally shake off their graduation resolve.

PeopleNTech founding CEO and IGU chancellor Abubokor Hanip says that IGlobal     University models its career assistance program, aiming at imparting education as well as finding suitable employment. Bangladesh can emulate this well-researched policy. He is eager to cooperate with both public and private universities in Bangladesh for joint study programs. His university is also willing to work in partnership with the Bangladesh Government.

Remittance, garments, and agriculture are the three main drivers of Bangladesh’s economy, opines Hanip. However, information technology has the biggest potential of transforming the economy at a rapid pace. The young generation needs proper IT education for this purpose. Besides, Skilled Bangladeshi workers are in high demand in a number of developed countries. Nowadays, an efficient tech professional can earn monthly $2,000-$5,000 dollars, working from his home.

Tapping into his perseverance and innovation, Hanip has turned his American dream true. Lately, he has become an icon for Bangladeshi migrants. He elaborates that Bangladesh can certainly mimic the example of Indian IT success. In this context, students require hands-on lessons, prior to their graduation. It will also expedite the Digital Bangladesh Vision of our government, he assumes.

‘IGlobal University’ (IGU) is certified by the US Department of Education, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & College (ACCSC). Per the International Student and Exchange Visitor Program of the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), they can also issue the ‘I-20’ visa. They are also authorized to issue the ‘J-1’ visa by the US State Department and the Federal Student Aid of the Education Department.