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Dhaka Tribune

UGC forms committee to assess public university policy

The UGC recently reversed its decision on uniform financial policies due to opposition from university teachers concerned about autonomy

Update : 05 Jul 2023, 09:01 PM

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has formed an eight-member committee tasked with reviewing a policy regarding the operations of public universities.

The convener of the committee, UGC member Prof Dr Biswajit Chanda, confirmed the matter on Wednesday. 

The committee consists of Prof Dr Biswajit Chanda, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (Duet) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr M Habibur Rahman, Khulna University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mahmood Hossain, Dhaka University (DU) Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) Prof Dr ASM Maksud Kamal, Dr Celia Shahnaz of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Dr Md Tofazzal Islam of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers' Association (FBUTA) President Prof Md Akhtarul Islam and its General Secretary Prof Dr Md Nizamul Haque Bhuiyan.

The university's leading body recently issued directions about uniform financial policies and financial manuals to ensure the financial orderliness of public universities and to curb irregularities within these institutions.

Following a report published in Dhaka Tribune on June 24, the commission established a committee on the following day to review the policy.

Convener of the committee, UGC member Prof Dr Biswajit Chanda told Dhaka Tribune: "The commission has already held an internal meeting on the matter and is working to collect the necessary documents. A meeting with the committee members will be held very soon."

The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently backtracked from its decision to implement uniform financial policies and manuals, despite initially planning to do so from Saturday. 

This reversal comes after two groups of public university teachers opposed the new policies, arguing that they would infringe upon the autonomy of the universities.

According to them, the UGC formulated the policies on its own and did not consult them. 

The financial policies and manuals are meant to ensure more accountability and smooth operation of academic activities at public universities in line with the government's directives, the UGC claims. 

The UGC says the authorities of universities regularly violate the commission's financial guidelines and some of them are individually involved in financial wrongdoing.

Currently, there are 168 universities, including 54 that are under public management, in the country. More than 4.4 million students are studying in these higher education institutions.

The government has vowed to set up a university in each district.

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