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6 August, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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The government may encourage the growth of private centres of higher education. But it must be much more serious about its regulatory functions

Improving the private universities

It was reported that the University Grants Commission (UGC) sometime ago recommended that 11 new private universities be given licenses to come into operation with the suggestion to build their campuses outside Dhaka. But it is not known whether they would be compulsorily required to first set up their campuses outside Dhaka and then start operation. In the past, such universities started off with a commitment to establish their own campuses but never honoured that commitment.
Rather they launched their activities from rented premises often in dingy areas of the city to be hardly considered as suitable for proper academic activities. Most of them are still in their rented premises. These so called universities also continue to function while remaining seriously deficient in the areas of number of teachers, their background, teaching assets such as suitably provisioned libraries, etc.
Thus, it should be only logical to work for upgrading the standard in most of these private universities. There are over 60 such universities but most of them suffer from a poor image for the above reasons. Without ensuring that these universities comply with official requirements or the enforcement of rules and regulations in relation to them, allowing more of them to come into existence, will be short-sighted policy.
It was noted in the past that influential groups having powerful political connections were easily able to obtain licenses to set up universities . It needs careful consideration from the highest level whether this trend should be allowed to continue if the goal is truly not compromising with the quality of education.
A high powered committee of the UGC that went to work to ascertain the performance of private universities some years ago, gave a large number of them a period of five years to fulfill certain criterion to maintain their licenses .But it appears that many of these bodies have not complied with the orders from the UGC or have done so only partially.
Qualitatively, except a few private universities, the teaching standard, the academic atmosphere and the worth of the degrees of the others leave a lot desired. But this lack of quality has not prevented them from charging relatively very high fees compared to the public universities.
  The government may encourage the growth of private centers of higher education. But it must be much more serious about its regulatory functions. 

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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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