North South University and Independent University, Bangladesh finish second and third in a new ranking published Friday
The first ranking of the top 20 private universities in Bangladesh was published jointly by the Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune on Friday.
Brac University emerged as the premier institution in the survey, which was conducted by Org-Quest Research Limited and is the first of its kind in the country.
Second place in the “Dhaka Tribune – Bangla Tribune Private University Rankings 2017” went to North South University, ahead of Independent University Bangladesh in third, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology in fourth, and American International University Bangladesh in fifth position.
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, East West University, University of Asia Pacific, United International University, and Daffodil International University round out the top 10.
The study’s publishers said international best practices were adhered to throughout the survey, which will help students choose between universities and also help the universities to improve their quality.
“I think the initiative is good and necessary for the overall development of the country’s private university sector,” said academic and writer Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam, a former Dhaka University teacher and an advisor to the study.
“Many countries including India and USA conduct these sort of rankings. The universities which topped the rankings will be encouraged to do better in the future (so) this initiative will create a competitive platform for private universities.”
The factual scores were calculated from data collected from the University Grants Commission report published in 2014 such as number of students, faculty, PhD holders, and amount of research spending. Brac University topped the Factual Rankings list.
The Perceptual Scores were collected from academics and employers who scored the universities on factors such as their academic environment, infrastructure and quality of their faculties; and on the job performance and ability to take initiative and communicate of the graduates. NSU topped the Perceptual Rankings list.
The Factual Score contributed to 40% and the Perceptual Score contributed to 60% of the overall grading.
“The ranking has been made on the basis of both realistic and conceptual data,” Prof Manzoorul said.
“We have considered how the given universities are carrying out their operations, how good is the standard of education, how much research they do and their quality, the number of students, the number of libraries, students’ perception about their universities, universities’ study environment teachers’ performance,” he added.
“We also have considered the opinions of employers and evaluated the performances of graduates in the job field.”
The university ranking project was carried out under the supervision of an advisory committee consisting of education experts from various fields. In addition to Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam, the committee members are Monzurul Haque, chairman and managing director of Org-Quest; Zulfiqer Russell, editor of the Bangla Tribune; Sharifuzzaman Pintu, news editor of Prothom Alo; and Syeed Ahmed, CEO of the Institute of Informatics and Development.
There are currently 83 private universities in Bangladesh, however not all 83 universities were considered.
The universities blacklisted by the government were excluded, together with 20 institutions that started their academic activities after 2012 and have not yet held a convocation.
Universities that offer degrees in only one subject – such as teaching only engineering, business, agriculture or English – and those that do not offer an honours degree have also been excluded.
Finally, universities which are not governed by the Private University Act, for instance, the Asian University for Women, were also not assessed.
Prof Manzoorul said a number of these private universities are just doing business instead of providing quality education in the country.
“Many of them are charging students exorbitantly and not giving sufficient salaries to the faculties. This ranking would make things difficult for them and would encourage them to maintain standards,” he said.
The aim of the ranking is to understand the current scenario of private universities in the country, so that both aspirants and employers can learn about the universities that are doing well.
“We want the good universities to keep their efforts ongoing and those are lagging behind to work hard to get to the top,” the educationist said.