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A new Private university ordinance is approved November 26, 2008

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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


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