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8 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Graduates not savvy to job market demands: Outgoing UGC chief

Harun Ur Rashid, Dhaka
Graduates not savvy to job market demands: Outgoing UGC chief

The outgoing chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Prof. Abdul Mannan, said countless number of graduates was coming out of universities every year on the same subjects without assessing the needs and requirements of job markets. “It would be fatal if we make the same types of graduates without assessing the needs and requirements of doctors, engineers and executives in the job market. Then, graduates with higher degrees will apply for low-profile jobs, which is not desirable and a wastage,” he added.

“The intention of setting up private universities was good. But most of the private universities are offering the same kind of degrees without assessing the needs and requirements of the job market. It will ultimately cause damage to graduates and the country,” he said.

Mannan made these observations to The Independent yesterday at his office on the eve of the end of his four-year tenure.

He also said the existing tertiary education system of the country had not achieved the desirable level of quality education which should be the main target of the government to cope with the international market. “Graduates should not run after jobs, rather jobs should run after graduates. It should be the spirit of any country. But still we could not reach that level in terms of quality education,” he added.

The outgoing UGC chairman said the government should not compromise with anything that could become a hurdle for the quality enhancement of education at the tertiary level.

He also said the 104 private universities in the country were now playing a pivotal role in offering higher education, but many of them barring a few were failing to provide quality education and not following the rules and regulations. “The government should take ruthless action against such universities without considering kinship or other political affiliations if we want to internationalise our higher education,” he observed.

“The government should take stern action against the universities that are involved in corruption by selling certificates. The government should take tougher action against the universities involved in financial irregularities and unfair dealings without considering any political affiliation and nepotism for the sake of the state and the people,” he added.

Mannan further said the UGC still did not enjoy sufficient power to take tougher action against the universities that violated the rules and regulations. “We work with the education ministry. We can recommend, but we cannot take many steps against a university. Now SOME improvement has come: If a university does not follow the rules, we will not give it permission to start a new course. But if any hard action needs to be taken, the ministry has to do it,” he added.

Appreciating the government’s approach for turning the UGC into a higher education commission, Mannan said the government has made a draft law in this regard. However, the draft law does not really reflect the spirit of the UGC and its implementation will keep the commission under the control of bureaucrats, he added.

Mannan said the UGC should be run by academicians and not bureaucrats to ensure the true spirit of the commission, as envisioned by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and to help promote a healthy atmosphere for quality education.

“I hope the Prime Minister will provide more power and duties to the commission to make it up-to-date and fully autonomous. We hope the government will keep the spirit of the UGC law of 1973 in the Higher Education Commission. None should go against the spirit,” he added.

About his performance during his tenure, Mannan said: “I would not say that hundred per cent has been achieved. It’s a continuous process. There are many things that need to be done for enhancing the quality of education.”

He also said all the members, officers and staff members worked with responsibility during his tenure. “The UGC has come a long way, but we have to go forward to make the education of Bangladesh internationalised like India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka,” he added.  

He said during his tenure, the higher education quality enhancement project (HEQEP) of the World Bank has done a remarkable task in enhancing the quality of education. “Being satisfied with our performance in HEQEP, another Higher Education Acceleration and Transformation (HEAT) project is going to be started for quality enhancement,” he added.

He expressed hope that the next UGC chairman will carry out the task of enhancing quality education at the tertiary level with greater speed.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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