This article arose in response to the recent impetus for embedding inquiry-based approaches in higher education. It draws upon the perceptions of students and faculty members regarding inquiry-based education in Academic English (AE) programmes at universities in Bangladesh within an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. Research-informed teaching (RIT), an intellectually stimulating and inquiry-based learning approach, is the conceptual base of the study. Data were collected from four Bangladeshi universities using a learning experience survey with students ( n = 319) and semi-structured interviews with six EFL faculty members. The findings provide four guiding principles on the design and implementation of RIT-based AE programmes: (1) addressing wider educational objectives in AE education, (2) incorporating applied features in the learning activities, (3) building faculty members’ research literacy and practice, and (4) establishing academic collaboration across disciplines. While the findings are derived from Bangladesh higher education, the guiding principles and strategies have resonance internationally.