Financial discipline a must for Bangladesh’s public universities and there is no room for error here, says UGC chief
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided that it will allocate the budget for the country’s public universities based on their performance and efficiency from the next fiscal year.
Furthermore, in a bid to turn public higher education institutions into “centres of excellence,” the commission will provide them with more funds for research.
The UGC made the announcement on the concluding day of a two-day budget meeting for public universities held at the UGC auditorium in Dhaka on Monday.
UGC Chairman Prof Shahidullah, while speaking at the meeting virtually, said: “Financial discipline is very much needed at our public universities. There is no room for error and not a single penny can be wasted there.”
He also advised all concerned to make sure the money allocated for the universities does not remain unused, and urged them to perform their official duties following the regulations set by the government, the university and the UGC.
Echoing the same, UGC member Prof Abu Taher said the budget allocation for research efforts will be increased so that the country's public universities can become “centres of excellence,” maintain education quality and ensure a respectable spot in the world rankings.
Referring to the upcoming budget allocation in public universities, Prof Taher said: “We are thinking of allocating the budget for public universities after evaluating their performance and efficiency. When the level of proficiency of a university falls, the standard of that university as a whole goes down as well.”
Commenting on the demand for a uniform pay grade and structure for public university officials, he said: “The facilities of one university cannot be provided to another university, because each university is governed by its own rules and regulations.
“A university’s autonomy does not mean that it can do whatever it wants. Autonomy is only for academic decisions, not those concerning financial matters. For that, they need UGC approval,” he added.
He also advised public university authorities to follow the regulations and pay scales issued by the government.
Meanwhile, UGC member Prof Muhammad Alamgir said: “The budget allocation for the country’s public universities needs to be increased if they are to reach the desired standard.
“The Strategic Plan for Higher Education 2030 mentions an increase in the budget allocation for the education sector, but that money has to be spent as necessary,” he added.
The directors of finance and budget officers of a total of 23 public universities participated in the meeting.
The revised budget for FY2020-21 and the original budget for FY2021-22 were among the topics that were discussed at the two-day meeting.