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5 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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UGC concerned as pvt varsities skip regular meets

HARUN UR RASHID

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently expressed concern over the fact that several private universities are carrying on with their academic and administrative activities without properly holding mandatory meetings. The UGC pointed out that the accountability and transparency of a university become questionable when meetings of the syndicate—the executive body of the university—are not held properly.
According to Provision 18 of the Private University Act, 2010, the syndicate shall function as the executive authority of the private university concerned to conduct the academic and administrative activities and to carry out general management. The syndicate shall create posts for teachers and employees, fix tuition fees, and approve the examinations and results as per the recommendations of the academic council. It shall maintain the discipline of the universities at all levels, it further stipulates.
The 42nd annual report of the UGC in 2015 painted a bleak picture of the private universities as far as important meetings that were being held, such as those of the boards of trustees, syndicates, academic councils, and finance committees.
The UGC found three universities—ZH Sikdar Science and Technology University, Global University Bangladesh, and Queens University—did not hold any such meetings, in complete violation of the Act.
The report listed 15 universities—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Presidency University,

Britannia University, IBAIS University, German University Bangladesh, Bangladesh Army University of Science and Technology, Fareast Capital University of Bangladesh, ZH Sikdar Science and Technology University, Bangladesh Army University of Engineering and Technology (BAUET), Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib University, Queens University, Ranada Prasad Saha University, Global University, and CCN Science and Technology University—that did not hold any syndicate meeting in the year despite carrying out all activities. Four universities—BAUET, Queens University, Sylhet International University, ZH Sikdar Science and Technology University, and Global University Bangladesh—failed to hold even a single meeting of the board of trustees.
The annual report added that 13 universities did not hold any academic council meetings, while 13 other universities carried on income and expenditure activities without holding any finance committee meetings. The UGC pointed out that a university cannot run without holding such meetings. It has recommended necessary steps to the government to stop such activities of the private universities.
Experts said when a university skips meetings of the bodies, it naturally raises questions about the accountability and transparency of the university in administrative and academic matters.
Regular meetings of the board of trustees, syndicate, academic council, and finance committee are essential, as these bodies carry out the vital task of running the university.
Presidency University registrar Rashida Akter told The Independent that the university carries out all its academic and administrative work without holding any syndicate meetings. “Since we did not have any VC appointed by the government, no syndicate meeting could be held. Now, we have a VC who can head the meetings,” she added.
Global University Bangladesh registrar Rezaul Karim told The Independent that they did not hold all meetings because they got academic permission in May this year. “We got the approval for academic activities in May 2016. That is why no meetings were held. But we have already held 15 meetings of the board of trustees and three to four meetings of the syndicate,” he added.
UGC chairman Prof. Abdul Mannan expressed his surprise over the fact that universities are carrying out their activities without holding such vital meetings.
“How can a university run without such important meetings? Whenever we try to take action against such activities, they start a hue and cry. As our powers are limited, we cannot take prompt action. However, we again and again urge the government to take action,” he added.

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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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