A report published by the Centre for Enterprise and Society (CES) has revealed that 62% of undergraduate students in Bangladesh are under extreme stress.
CES Director Sajid Amit published the report for Undergraduate Academic Experience Survey (UAES) 2016-17 at a ceremony on Monday.
The research findings conclude that undergraduate students are stressed with their student life despite being satisfied with the overall university experience.
A very precise set of criteria was used to assess the satisfaction on a scale of five.
Among the students who expressed their stress, 32% reported being “very stressed” and another 30% to be “stressed.”
Students of Natural Sciences were found to be the most stressed, with 62.5% reporting to be under stress. They were followed by students of EEE and Computer Science with 49% and 43.5% respectively.
The study measured the satisfaction of private and public university students on a few parameters, including faculty-to-student ratio, course curriculum, quality of teachers and emotional/mental well-being of the students.
A total of 460 students were surveyed, among which 290 students were from private universities and the rest 170 were from public universities.
According to the report, overall, students were satisfied with the quality of education they were receiving. More than two-thirds of the students reported being “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied,” while only less than 10% reported being “very unsatisfied.”
Among the students from different departments, English majors were the most satisfied, with 56.3% being “very satisfied.”
The students were mostly satisfied because of the teaching methods and the attitude of the faculty members towards the students.
When it came to “value-for-money”, less than half of the students surveyed said they were having a “very good value-for-money.” Interestingly, lower income people regarded their education as being “very good value-for-money” compared to the higher income people, most of whom reported their education to be “poor value-for-money.”
The faculty to student ratio is quite reasonable, according to the study. On average, the faculty to student ratio in public universities was 1:50, while in private universities the ratio was 1:40.
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From left, Prof Imran Rahman, Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Prof M Omar Rahman and Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam at the publication of the report on July 10, 2017 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune
Over 75% of the surveyed students said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their faculty members. However, the report also shows that higher income group students were more satisfied with the faculty members than lower income groups, indicating the possibility of faculty bias towards higher income students.
However, the report alarmingly shows that only 34.6% of the students consider their curriculum to be “very relevant.” Among these students, 27.5% currently pursuing BBA reported one of the lowest percentages.
The reasons for this mentality were a predominantly North American orientation in text books and a lack of industry orientation among faculty members.
Only 29.8% of the students said they were emotionally or mentally well-enough to be perfectly capable of handling their student lives. Female students fared slightly better than male students. All students reported their mental/emotional well-being plummeting during the 2nd year of their enrolment.
When it came to extra-curricular activities, 59.6% of the students thought of extra-curricular activities as being “very important”, while 22.6% of them said they were “somewhat satisfied.”
Prof Abdul Mannan, chairman of the University Grants Commission, was the chief guest at the presentation ceremony. Also in attendance were Prof M Omar Rahman, vice-chancellor of Independent University Bangladesh, Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, vice-chancellor of Asia Pacific University, Taheerah Haq, a trustee of ULAB, Prof Saad Andaleeb, vice-chancellor of BRAC University, Prof Abdur Rab, vice-chancellor of Eastern University, Prof William Derrenger, vice-chancellor of Canadian University of Bangladesh, Syed Manzoorul Islam, professor of the Department of English at ULAB among others.
Here is the full survey report