Attack on UBC student in Bangladesh fuels efforts to open Canadian PSE wider in South Asia

June 23, 2011

An attack in Bangladesh that left a University of British Columbia graduate student blind has bolstered support for efforts to open the doors to Canadian PSE wider in South Asia. Academics and students are leading a large Canadian contingent rallying behind Rumana Monzur, whose husband has reportedly confessed to assaulting her. Monzur's husband is said to have vehemently opposed his wife returning to Vancouver to defend her thesis. "This tragic occasion is a poignant marker of the need to work to protect the fundamental human right of all women to pursue education," says UBC president Stephen Toope. For months Canadian institutions have been pushing for deeper partnerships in South Asia, trying to attract more students to study in Canada. In January, Amit Chakma, the Bangladeshi-born president of the University of Western Ontario, visited Dhaka's Asian University for Women to underline the importance of boosting women's access to education. When you hear of this kind of brutality against women, Chakma says, "I think this should enhance our resolve to do more to try to be helpful to individual students who want to come here to study." Globe and Mail | Message to the Community from the UBC President