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Pvt varsities ruin quality education

Syed Nasir Hossain: Tabassum Islam could not get admission in medical college despite good result in higher secondary examination. She could not pass the admission test in Dhaka and Chittagong University. Later, she was admitted to the private North South University by family decision.
On the other hand, after passing HSC from a government college in Chittagong, Nusrat Rahman got admission in BRAC University after not getting a chance in Dhaka and Chittagong University.
Why did they choose North South or BRAC when there are so many universities in the country – when they were asked this question separately, they said that public universities were their first target. However, due to lack of opportunities there, I had to go to the private sector. And decided considering quality of education, profile of teachers, improved management, infrastructure, overall environment and reputation.
Not only Tabassum or Nusrat, public university is the first choice of most of the students of the country after passing out of higher secondary.
However, if there is no chance of admission there or if they do not get the preferred department, the children of capable families run towards private universities. And those who do not have the opportunity to get admission in public and private universities, they get admission in various colleges under the National University. Again, many families do not want to send their children to public universities due to various restrictions and fear of political instability. Some of them migrate abroad for higher education. The rest went to private universities.
Although there are hundreds of private universities in the country, the list of students’ choices is not long at all. Students are more interested in the handful of private universities. Apart from BRAC and North South, the list includes Independent University, American International University, East West University, University of Liberal Arts (ULAB), International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, University of Asia Pacific, Manarat International University, Daffodil International University, United International University and some other universities. Again, students’ interest in all departments is not equal in these universities.
Most of the students are not interested in the rest of the universities. Of course, many people admitted to these universities without getting any opportunity and eventually forced to do so. However, most of the universities are poisoned now due to charter trade, lack of quality teaching, lack of qualified teachers, various irregularities-corruption and mismanagement.
Analysts say that to ensure the quality of higher education in the country, there is no alternative to bringing private universities under discipline. Bangladesh Bank has recently taken an initiative to merge weak banks with good banks to remove instability in the banking sector. To eliminate chaos in higher education, it is necessary to take strict action in the case of private universities. Otherwise, even if a large number of certificate holders come out every year, it will not be possible to achieve the real goal of higher education.
A UGC official told, ‘Universities which have various problems and can’t take any action; They can be consolidated like private banks. University merger is possible using section 35 (7) of the Private University Act.
In that section of the law, it is said that ‘if there is a deadlock in a private university for any reason or if there is a risk of disrupting the normal education program and harming the students, the Chancellor can issue necessary orders and instructions on the recommendation of the Commission and the Ministry of Education for the sake of continuing the normal education program of that university and the Chancellor in this regard. The decision will be final.’
Siddiqur Rahman Khan, former director of Education and Research Institute of Dhaka University told, “There is no need for so many private universities in the country. Apart from a handful of 8-10, there is no education in others. It only enrolls students and conducts classes and sells certificates. That is why some of the top universities should be kept and the rest converted into technical institutes. Trade should be opened in universities as per requirement, availability of raw material and demand. Students will work in the country or abroad with that skill. In this, it will be possible to hire local manpower for various positions in the middle level of the country’s garment industry, where people from countries like India and Sri Lanka are now working. According to many academicians, it is not possible to merge private universities as teachers, infrastructure and management methods are not the same. This will increase the problem. They suggested to ensure quality of higher education through empowerment of UGC, increased monitoring, closer involvement of government in universities and dynamization of accreditation councils.
The former chairman of UGC, Prof. Abdul Mannan told, “Private universities must be proactive in solving the existing crisis.” Since the UGC can only recommend, the UGC will recommend, the Ministry of Education will have to take appropriate action.
He said, ‘Private bank is a business institution but private university is not. So even if private banks can be merged, it will not apply to universities. However, private universities can be closed if they cannot run at all.
Former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Professor AMS Arefin Siddique said, “There are differences between private universities. While some private universities have good quality of education, their infrastructure and other facilities cannot be matched by others. Many universities are plagued with various problems. Due to these reasons, there is no opportunity to merge the university. Different steps should be taken quickly to solve the problem.
Talking to the concerned people, it is known that there is a considerable difference in the quality of education among the private universities of the country. This difference is created around skilled and qualified teachers, teacher-student ratio, teaching system, infrastructure and management. Higher degree holders are appointed as teachers in top tier private universities. Most of such universities have adequate infrastructure. Education program is going on in the permanent campus. On the other hand, these facilities are insufficient in most of the private universities. Because of that, there is a huge difference in the quality of education. And these things act as criteria for students’ interest or disinterest in the university.
Again, in terms of quality and reputation, the first-ranked universities usually complete the admission process of students earlier. That’s why talented people get admission in those universities. There are hardly any seats in such universities.
On the other hand, others start this process after the admission process in good quality universities is over. In this case, many universities admit students directly without taking any entrance exam. Some universities don’t even consider student results. However, many institutes do not admit students according to the number of seats. Some of these universities have become completely certificate-based. Research is a far cry; In many cases regular academic activities are not even conducted.
Despite repeated warnings and warnings from the University Grants Commission (UGC), many private universities are running campuses in rented buildings without constructing permanent campuses. Because they fear that if they leave the heart of the capital and go to the permanent campus outside, they may lose the few students who are available. It may also have to close the activities of the university.
According to the information obtained from the private universities wing of UGC, most of the private universities, except a few, are plagued with various problems. Not going to a permanent campus; Irregularities in purchase of permanent campus land; Not having a permanent certificate; Absence of Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Treasurer appointed by the President; Failure to convene properly; Conflict between the Board of Trustees and the Vice-Chancellor; Board of Trustees disputes; Financial irregularities of board members; Student-teacher ratio is high; lack of quality teachers; There are various allegations including non-submission of audit report and negligence in research and trading of certificates.
Poor condition of private universities
At present, the number of private universities approved by the government in the country is 114. Among them, education programs are running in 104 districts of the country including the capital Dhaka. However, many private universities have not yet moved to permanent campuses. Many universities have not yet achieved permanent accreditation even though the temporary accreditation has expired. UGC is investigating financial irregularities in four universities.
Recently, through a warning notice, Ibis University, America Bangladesh University and the University of Comilla, which operate illegal campuses and illegal educational programs, announced the closure of student admissions. They said that as the temporary permit has expired, there is no legal basis for the activities of the universities. Apart from this, due to expiry of permanent charter, disputes over ownership, lawsuits, lack of valid Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Treasurer appointed by the President, no audit by any audit firm by the Ministry of Education, the admission of students in the Central University of Science and Technology of the capital has been announced. is done
According to UGC sources, the commission is currently investigating all types of complaints against four universities, including financial ones. These are Leading University, Southern University, German University and University of South Asia.
Among the private universities located in the capital, Prime Asia University, Stamford University, University of Development Alternative (UDA), Presidency University, The Millennium University, Asha University and The People’s University have not yet moved to permanent campuses. A UGC official said that the universities that could not go to permanent campuses will be visited and reported when the heat wave subsides.
On the other hand, only 15 universities have permanent charter. These are University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC), Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, East West University, University of Asia Pacific, Premier University of Chittagong, Daffodil International University, City University, World University of Bangladesh, Eastern University, Atish Dipankar Science and University of Technology, BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology, American International University Bangladesh, United International University, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology and Bangladesh Army University of Engineering and Technology at Natore. Although the permanent certificate is mandatory, the universities do not care about it. On the other hand, UGC is not being strict about this.
Meanwhile, board of trustees conflicts exist in Sylhet’s Leading University, Chittagong’s Southern University, Manikganj’s NPI University, Central University of Science and Technology, Britannia University, The People’s University, Cox’s Bazar International University and Stamford University.
The international practice of higher education is to award students certificates through convocation. But many universities of the country are indifferent about convocation. 8 universities have never held a convocation since their establishment. These are Hamdard University, North East University, First Capital University, Isha Khan International University, ZH Sikdar University of Science and Technology, Exim Bank Agricultural University, Northwestern University and Britannia University. Central Women’s University has had only two convocations in the 31 years since its establishment. Apart from this, some universities have been able to hold only one convocation even after an era of establishment.
The Vice-Chancellor is the head of a university. However, several universities still do not have vice-chancellors. These are Central University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh University, University of South Asia, Prime Asia University, German University, Chittagong Independent University and NPI University.
The UGC has not given an opinion on the Vice-Chancellor Panel of the Central University of Science and Technology as the Board of Trustees is not appropriate. Bangladesh University Vice-Chancellor and Treasurer Panel proposal is under process. The UGC has asked the University of South Asia to re-send the Vice-Chancellor’s panel for putting people without qualifications and experience on the panel. The Treasurer is serving as the Vice-Chancellor at Prime Asia University. The same is the case in German universities. However, the Vice-Chancellor’s panel is in process. Chittagong Independent University Vice-Chancellor and Treasurer Panel proposal is under process. The People’s University has recently appointed a Vice-Chancellor but no Treasurer. NPI University has not been holding the post of Vice-Chancellor and Treasurer for a long time. The Board of Trustees sent two conflicting panel proposals which were not considered.

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