The Dhaka University (DU) authorities have shut down the Theoretical Physics undergraduate programme due to a lack of infrastructural facilities, teaching staff and proper laboratory facilities.
The department, however, will continue its postgraduate programmes as before, confirmed current DU Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman.
The department consists of 4 teachers and 23 undergraduate students, who were enrolled in the 2016-17 academic session.
Two of the four teachers of the department had sent an application to the DU VC in favour of shutting down the undergraduate programme, which was raised at the Deans’ Committee Meeting on September 24. The meeting was chaired by DU VC Akhtaruzzaman.
The two teachers had also written an application to the VC in a bid to remove the name of the department from the new admission (2017-2018) circular, sources said.
Requesting anonymity, a first year student of the department said: “We don’t know about the undergraduate course’s cancellation. We hope that the university authorities will continue the course for the sake of our future.”
Meanwhile, theoretical physics department Chairman Prof Golam Mohammed Bhuiyan claimed the application that was raised at the Deans’ Committee meeting was a fake letter, and that he had sent another letter to the VC which contained “the proper information.”
He added that he wanted the undergraduate programme to continue.
However, DU VC Professor Md Akhtaruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune: “In the Deans’ committee meeting, the decision to scrap the theoretical physics undergraduate programme was made unanimously, because the department doesn’t consist of well-equipped lab facilities and there are an inadequate number of faculty members.”
“The department’s undergraduate programme was opened without any preparation or planning. We will try to resume the honours programme after sound preparation in the future,” the DU VC added, saying the current batch would be the last for the time being.
Teachers from other sections of the physics department would be taken if necessary to complete the remaining theoretical physics undergraduate classes, he said.
Dean of the Science Faculty Prof Mohammed Abdul Aziz refused to comment on the matter.
VC Akhtaruzzaman also said that the admission circular for the 2017-2018 session would soon be changed, as theoretical physics has not been erased as yet.
The DU theoretical physics department has been in disrepair and poor condition since its establishment. It was founded in 1975 and, although very successful, the department had to stop its activities after only three years, in 1978, due to shortages of faculty members and infrastructural facilities. The department was revived in 2007.