Going abroad for higher studies creates a range of possibilities for the Bangladeshi students from different academic background. Master program offered in developed countries for architecture students creates handful opportunities for choosing the field of interest, especially masters in architecture and masters in urban planning. Those who want to be more knowledgeable about the urban transformation with social and environmental issues in different scales both dealt in developing and developed countries; and also want to have such environment which would have priority in urban planning not only in theoretical practice but also in practical design process through studio work, Ku-Leuven is one of the best places for them which offers such atmosphere in “Master of Human Settlement” the English taught master program covered in full time one year.
The program focuses on the matters of housing, building along with urban development in areas with infrequent resources, continuous social pressure and environmental constraints.Here the courses of Human settlement have the aim to increase student’s understanding of multifaceted difficulties along with growths in developing countries in the issue of urban planning and housing.Though this course is open for all students but they give emphasis more on students from developing country by encouraging with scholarship also.Ku-Leuven is the university with a big intension to gain an international position by doing research on sustainable development with its international excellence.As a result the university is working with research both in local and international context.
This university maintains some linkage with different global networks such as Coimbra Group, Fédération Internationale des Universités Catholiques/Fédération des Universités Catholiques Européennes (FIUC/FUCE),European University Association (EUA), European Association of International Education (EAIE), League of European Research Universities (LERU), International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), Organisatie voor Economische Samenwerking en Ontwikkeling (OESO) – International Management in Higher Education (IMHE), European Universities Continuing Education Network (EUCEN). The main objective of this networking is to help the student and academics finding their fund for research, scholarship also to have the cooperation to develop other universities from developing counties. For doing this they applied exchanging students from the universities of developing countries where the students with their research, talents, experience can contribute to the development oriented research with comprehensive problems, beside this; every year they arrange field trips to developing countries to understand the housing, urban problems in various restraints to bring the way out. Such as in 2011 The multidisciplinary International OSA ASRO KUleuven did a workshop collaborated with BUET, IAB to explore the public space in Ramna and surroundings in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the goal was to create an understanding about the challenge and opportunities of this type of public space in urban environment .From this mission it is evident that this institution has the full potentiality to develop the student’s capacity in urban planning not only in local but also in international context keeping global perspective in mind. Moreover, at the end of the master program the potential master students can get into Ph.D there.
From the alumnus experience,the approach in Ku-Leuven offers the student to achieve practical knowledge about urban planning, housing with theoretical research and analysis. Not only that, the process of working with one project in groups let the students share various skills and thoughts which also enhance the chance of exchanging diversified cultural ideas. This institution gives the opening to mingle with international students from all possiblecorners of the world, in consequence;opens a new path to learn and broaden the mind to not get bounded in only one box but also get to know various cultures at a time. The study process allows to access and use state of the art software helping students to get adopted with new contemporary technologies which is undoubtedly important for this new era of architecture and urban planning. This is one of the best places for exposing the graphical expertise here, and share ideas with students from other part of the world.
In this institute they also bring different guest lecturer which let the students gain superfluous knowledge out of the syllabus and creates an occasion to communicate with the guest lecturer from former countries. Apart from European context students get chance to explore the developing countries like South Africa, Vietnam, Ecuador, Indonesia etc by the study excursion organized by the institution.Moreover, Europe is always the most attractive and prominent place for tourism, culture, history, art and most significantly architecture. The scholarsnot only learn from the territorial place of university but also more from exploring different parts of Europe where different texture have different story. However, opportunity and constraints always coincides with each other and Ku-Leuven is not apart from that. When It creates great occasion for the students in dealing with urban design, Landscape and create space for exploring the great cultural places in Europe, it also has too much strain in study to cover the syllabus within very short time like 1 year but it is also true, those who wants to do masters in Urban planning and housing in 1 year and in English language it has one of the best prospects to recommend.
Tabassum Zarin, KU Leuven Graduate, 2014| Lecturer, Department of Architecture, AIUB
Ashik Ikbal, KU Leuven Graduate, 2002| Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, AIUB
KU LEUVEN AT A GLANCE
Name of the school: Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning (ASRO), KU Leuven | Master of Human Settlement
Location and country: Leuven, Belgium
Degree offered: Master of Science (Mater of Human Settlement , Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning)
Program duration: 1 year (Mater of Human Settlement), 2 years (Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning)
Studio offered: Studio Concepts and Analysis; Studio Urban Design and Planning; Studio Strategic Spatial Planning; Studio Landscape Urbanism
Total credit: 60 credits ( MaHS) ; 120 credits (MUSP)
Scholarship: VLIR-OUS ( Master and PhD)