Dhaka, Bangladesh
LETTERS

LETTERS

Double shift at public universities University Grants Com-mission (UGC) in its annual report has suggested to examine the introduction of double-shift in public universities against backdrop of acute admission crisis in the higher education institutions. Though over 10 lakh students passed higher secondary examinations (HSC) every-year, only 45,000 students can enroll themselves with public universities including medical colleges. University Grants Comm-ission in its latest annual report expressed concern at the growing expenditure of higher education in private universities. Country?s private universities had over 320,000 seats in 2015. However, only 120,000 students got themselves admitted to private universities as cost of the education in that educational institutions is extremely high and more than 50 per cent of the private universities lack skilled, experienced, qualified teachers, proper environment and poor academic atmosphere. The price of land and house in major prime locations of the Dhaka city is as expensive as it in European countries. Entrepreneur of the private universities have spend a lot of money in purchasing land and renting buildings. The cost of higher education can be reduced if these universities are set up in major divisional towns and outside Dhaka city. The government should mull over shifting all private universities outside Dhaka city in the next 20 years to ease pressure on mega-city and expand wings of higher education at district levels, opined educationists, planners and environmentalists. The governments in the last 25 years without considering the environment allowed setting up in the Dhaka city creating various crises. Some leading industrialists of the country are constructing international standard boarding school at Jaflong, Sylhet. This model of boarding university can ease crisis in the Dhaka city and the government should urged the owners of private universities to shift up their universities outside Dhaka, presumably in Tangail, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Chittagong, Rangamati, Jessore and Mymensingh. The number of students in public and private universities has been increasing over the years putting pressure on Dhaka city. Out of 117 public and private universities, 12 government and 45 private universities have been set up in Dhaka city and surrounding areas that are regionally discriminatory and a barrier to sound and healthy expansion of higher education, said 40th annual report of UGC. The UGC in its 40th annual report recommended setting up of universities in Bhola, Munshiganj, Joypurhat and Bogra, as those districts lack scope of higher education. UGC considers that the setting up of universities in those districts will help students from nearby areas to pursue higher education and will also help develop infrastructure and reduce pressure on the capital city and divisional towns. The setting up of private universities in Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Khulna, Bogra, Munshiganj, Bhola, Magura and Jessore will give a boost to underdeveloped parts of the country, said a member of University Grants Commission. Over 80 private universities have been set up in Dhaka city, most of those on unhealthy conditions and violating the UGC rules. The construction of universities with full residential facilities in the divisional headquarters will also expand wings of the higher education outside capital, said a town planner. The present government has taken a decision to set up at least one university in each district to expand higher education. The government also encourages private sector to set up universities in district level. Against this backdrop, Private University Act 2010 was passed. Under this act, over 80 private universities have been set up in Bangladesh. According to UGC, 11 private universities have been set up on their own campuses in Dhaka and Chittagong. The universities are North South University and Independent University at Basundhara, University of Science and Technology in Chittagong, International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology at Uttara, Ahsanullah Science and Technology University at Tejgaon, East West University at Rampura, BRAC University at Savar, Premier University at Pachlaish, Chittagong, City University at Ashulia, Bangladesh University of Business and Technology at Mirpur and Stamford University with some conditions at Siddheswary. According to UGC report 2013, a total of 68 private universities earned taka 196429.73 lakh and spent taka 189,552.04 during the same year. The university will help develop faculties and techniques in a student to accept challenges in future with German precision, he said. Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina who has a vision to turn Bangladesh into middle-income group and turn Dhaka into modern city within a short time would look at the issue, hoped a town planner. Farhana Rahman Dhanmondi, Dhaka

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