Saturday, July 4, 2020 | ePaper

It is unbelievable that UGC lacks power

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THE UGC seems to be in a quandary as they have unanimously decided that a central admission test will be held this year to enrol students at public universities, despite the fact that four leading public universities --- Dhaka University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Jahangirnagar University and Chittagong University -- are still undecided about adopting the new system.
Worse, it cant force anyone to join. Its Chairman 'hopes' that all universities would join but it doesn't have the power to force anyone to make it join. And this is a problem. While guardians would want an unified system as it would greatly reduce their hassles of running to every university that their children would apply to for admission the universities themselves stand to lose out on significant revenues made by selling their forms.
There are 39 public universities, which enrol around 65,000 students every year through separate admission tests, excluding public universities like National University and Bangladesh Open University which have over 150,000 additional enrollments. So if these four universites decide to go their own way it will mean that fewer than a tenth of the students who enroll in university will be left out.
But unfortunately these universities are considered to be the best in the country. No parent would want their to not be able to get in if they thought that they had a ghost of a chance. While this would affect barely 2 percent of the HSC graduates it would make the lives of the other 98 percent easier. And this is of course the main aim of the move. To make the lives of the rest of the people easier.
The UGC must do more, however, if it doesnt want to be seen as a lame duck due to its inability to get the big four to meet its demands. So it must strive to get the four to accept as only the most brilliant students can get in these universities. Applying should be more of a hassle for them than for the rest of the students who apply elsewhere.

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