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A new Private university ordinance is approved November 26, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION, GOVERNANCE.
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The Advisory Council of the Caretaker Government has approved the Private University ordinance. It was long overdue. The first ordinance was promulgated in 1992. It was revised in 1998. Even after the second revision, there were loopholes in the ordinance which was utilized by the owners of the private universities and transformrd the sector into a profitable business rather than to be worthy supplement to the exiting public education.

The ordinary citizen had the opportunity to look closely into the affairs of a private university and observed how the sponsors exploited the weakness of the UGC and government in monitoring the affairs of the private universities to earn money for themselves in the name of serving education to the community.

It is reported that there are 51 private universities by now and only one has got the permanent certificate to run the university. Most of the other universities couldn’t fulfill the conditions set by the ordinance even after 5 years of temporary permission.
In the new ordinance , it is said that before getting permanent registration, no private university will open the outer campus, will not make any agreement with foreign universities and even will not provide any distant learning.
Expert said it is a weak ordinance. People who want to dodge the government, will able to do so and more rules and regulations will be required to make it effective.

After the Ministry of Education circulated it through gazette notification, the ministry will start the formulation of the regulations.

One of the important addition of the present ordinance is the required experience and qualification for the VC of the private universities. One must have 20 years teaching/administrative experience or 10 years teaching and 10 years administrative experience.

Many of the private universities have no respect for this academic post. Sometimes businessman or even politicians hold the post on the wish of the sponsors.

The ordinance also suggests modification in the Trustee Board which will include representative from the UGC, educationists and professionals. The Syndicate and Senate will be headed by the VC and he will be the chief executive and Academic officer.

The number of the regular teachers should be adequate and the number of temporary teachers must not be over 25% of the regular teachers.

There will also be provision for ‘accreditation council’ to improve the qualities of education and there will be indication for the ranking of the universities in the ordinance.

No new permission will be given to the upcoming universities till the ordinance is implemented.

As per latest statistics , the number of students in private universities is 1,24,267. [Source: Prothom Alo , 26 November 2008]

An ordinary citizen

Post script:
6 January, 2009
Government has promulgated the ‘Private University Ordinance-2008′ with effect from 30th December 2008.
The full ordinance is available at http://www.moedu.gov.bd

On introduction of Accreditation Council for universities September 5, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION.
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Professor Dr. M. Asaduzzaman, Chairman of the University Grant Commission was speaking at a seminar in favour of an accreditation council for private universities. Dr. Shamsher Ali, Vice Chancellor of South-East University added that the Accreditation Council should be for both private and public universities.

Attempt for accreditation was made before. But it didn’t see the light of the day due to opposition from the sponsors of the private universities and partly due to lack of initiatives on the part of the government.
Accreditation Council is needed for improving the quality of education in the universities.AC is entitles to verify the standard of an university to introduce any subject, degree, department or faculty.

AC is present in developed countries like USA, Australia for the universities, Medical Colleges and other institutions. India has also an Assessment and accreditation Council for the universities.

UGC has earlier suggested a composition for the formation of AC with a chairman for the council and members from the UGC, Ministry of Education, Private universities, Public Universities etc.

Chairman of the UGC said in the same seminar that the caretaker government should introduce the council within its tenure, otherwise it will be delayed.

An ordinary citizen

Private universities, irregularities and UGC August 10, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION, GOVERNANCE.
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Ministry of  Education of Bangladesh on recommendation of UGC(University Grant Commission) is taking some steps to rectify the irregularities in the field of Private University education. They have already stopped 56 local centers of Foreign Universities and have taken decision to stop the 100 outer campuses of the universities.

With the promulgation of the Private University Act in 1992, private universities started to grow like kindergartens in our country. The organizers have taken the advantage of the loopholes of regulations in the Act. Though the Act was revised in 1998, but with no significant change. The growth of private universities blooms during both of the BNP regimes due to slackness of the regulatory bodies. They may also be  credited for giving private universities a commercial entity.

Many industrialists as an individual or as a group started the private universities. They became chairman or members of the Board of Directors in the style of the companies or became members of the Syndicate to dictate the rules and regulations of the university. Earning profit became more important than imparting knowledge to this group of investors. Private universities grew in our country like that of Industry to earn money.

Despite many complaints and evidence of irregularities, the past political governments particularly the last BNP Government could not take any major steps due to political compromise and underhand negotiations.

 

The present Caretaker Government has given its attention to the private university after coming to the power. It is heard that private university act is under review.

We hope that the CG will         

a) rectify and upgrade the private university act

b) strengthen the UGC to have complete hold on the universities including the private universities

c) will make the Accounts of the private transparent and

d)let the private universities grow as  academic  institutions, not as a private enterprise.

Bdoza

   

Post script:
Illegal private universities bid to attract admission seekers despite ban [DS]
APUB against Private University ordinance [DS]
3 private universities submitted rejoinder [DS]

UGC, public universities and 1973 ordinance June 3, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION.
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UGC (University Grant Commission) chairman Professor Najrul Islam said in an interview that 1973 university ordinance may be amended to discipline the university teaching(bdnews24.com).

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The ordinary citizen has little expertise on the 1973 ordinance.

But what he cannot overlook is the fact that these public universities which are run by the exchequer of the Government are not fulfilling the expectation of the people.

Both the teachers and students are  markedly politically divided.Both are engaged more in non-academic activities than academic exercise.

The courses are lagging behind their schedule. The curriculum is interrupted by many non-academic events.

The teachers are divided in colours. They are more  busy to establish their political doctrine than to give lessons to the students.

A leader of the teachers finds no fault  in doing politics himself and declaring it publicly but fell no shame in preventing a Nobel Laurette to come to the campus as the convocation speaker in a university where he himself was a student.

Teachers are more interested in taking classes in the private universities whereas classes are missed days together in his regular university. They also remain engaged in their private assignments during office hours.

A good amount of the energy of the teachers are also used to communicate with the student political wing.

Teachers are selected on the basis of political linkage rather than merit. Their promotions are also considered in the same way.

Many teachers are going abroad for higher studies and are not coming back in time though their service is remaining intact.

All these privileges they are enjoying in the name of autonomy and independence.

The ordinary citizen is not against the autonomy of these public universities but there must be a fine balance between responsibility, accountability and autonomy.

 

Bdoza

 

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