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Professor Geof Wood has been awarded the Convocation Fellowship of the Independent University in Dhaka
Professor Geof Wood has been awarded the Convocation Fellowship of the Independent University in Dhaka

Internal News - 19 June 2006

Dean awarded Fellowship from top Bangladesh University

Professor Geof Wood, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, has been awarded the Convocation Fellowship of the Independent University in Dhaka.

As the guest of honour at the university’s recent graduation ceremony, Professor Wood made a convocation speech in the presence of the country’s Minister of Education other cabinet ministers and members of the diplomatic corps.

Professor Wood has worked in Bangladesh for thirty two years and has written seven books on the country’s political, economic and social development, and published numerous articles and papers on South Asia.

He said: “I was very pleased to receive the Fellowship and to have my work recognised at this level. The Independent University in Dhaka is one of the top three universities in the country and there are many areas of potential collaboration.”

“In my speech ‘Expatriates in Bangladesh: help or hindrance’, I explored not only the influence of Western aid on one of the poorest countries in the world, but also the significance of contemporary Islamic influences. The graduates in Dhaka are the immediate future of a country which faces unprecedented development challenges, and they need to define the terrain within which all expatriate influences operate.”

Professor Wood’s academic career began with an undergraduate degree in politics and sociology at the University of Sussex, based in the School of African and Asian Studies. This included courses in economics and anthropology - two fields which have underpinned his research ever since.

At Sussex he completed an MPhil in politics, looking at administrative training in Zambia, before moving to the University of Bath in 1973 to become a lecturer in sociology. Here he completed a PhD on class formation, state intervention and rural development in South Asia, which involved spending long periods of time in the villages of Bangladesh and Bihar, in North India.

He became Director of the Centre for Development Studies in 1985, and later helped set up the Department of Economics and International Development when it was created in 1997. He headed that department for 5 years before becoming Dean of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences in 2005.

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