A preliminary set of indicators was refined at a workshop with experienced university education experts
In preparing the rankings, Org-Quest Research Limited in association with Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune developed a distinct methodology to carry out the study.
The tasks in this part of the study were first, to find which aspects of a university count when assessing their quality, and second, to collect data on those aspects.
Measuring the resources and facilities
When the ranking was launched, the indicators were selected through discussions with the participation of education experts, consulting similar studies conducted in neighbouring countries. A preliminary set of indicators was further refined at a workshop with experienced university education experts.
Consistent with the last one, we collected data for the same inputs. Our intention was to collect the latest factual data directly from selected universities. It is encouraging to note that as many as 25 universities responded positively and provided necessary data, and the remaining 11 either did not respond or refused to provide any data. Therefore, for the latter group of universities we used the data published by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2017.
To assess the strengths of a university, four broad variables were considered:
Each of the above had several sub-variables as shown in tables with points allocated for each out of a total of 100.
Because the most important process input was the faculty, it was allocated 50 points; the rest got 50. Of the faculty, the experience of the teachers, reflected by their rank, was considered the most important part and got 25 points out of the first 50.
In the first version of the rankings, the remaining 50 was focused on how much resource was allocated per student. The teacher-student ratio and the student-space ratio took up 20 points.
This time around, we emphasized research more, assigning 20 instead of 15 points to variables that measured research investment and output of a university.
A consistent trend in graduate quality
The second part of the study, a survey of perceptions of the private universities among people who are in the position to assess the quality of university graduates, was a more extensive task. Data were collected from two different sources.
Academics: This group included deans, heads of departments, registrars, and senior teachers.
Employers of university graduates: Employers were represented by responsible persons in human resources departments who recruit university graduates on a regular basis.
The survey was designed separately for the two groups. All respondents were asked to give universities a score (1-10) in six variables but also a weight (1-10) for each variable that showed how important they thought that factor was.
Academics were asked to assess the universities in terms of factors such as academic and working environment and quality of infrastructure and facilities. See page 11 for the breakdown of scores in each category.
Employers, on the other hand, were asked to assess university graduates in terms of their performance on the job, their teamwork capabilities, and similar criteria. See the breakdown and the scores on the following pages.
The perceptual survey was conducted amongst 200 academics and 150 employers, for a total of 350 respondents.
The score was calculated separately for the two groups of respondents. Each score was then weighted, summed up and averaged across weights to get a university’s scores in each variable. This was on a scale of 10.
The scores were then averaged and scaled up to 100 to find the perceptual score. The score was scaled to the weight of 60 on a scale of 100 with the factual weightage of 40.