There are over 270 public and private polytechnic institutes across Bangladesh
The Education Ministry has taken an initiative to give polytechnic institute students with engineering diplomas the opportunity to study for an Honors or Masters degree at any public university.
The initiative has been taken to support students aspiring to pursue higher education.
The ministry has already sent letters to the vice-chancellors of all public universities asking to allow admission of polytechnic institute students. However, the universities are yet to make a decision, reports Bangla Tribune.
When asked, Education Minister Dipu Moni told Bangla Tribune: "If the students from any institution have the merit to pursue higher education, then they should be given that opportunity. That is why we have removed the age restrictions for admission to polytechnic institutes.”
“I have written to all [public] universities and asked them to allow the polytechnic students a chance for admission. They will of course go through the admission test. If they qualify, why shouldn’t the universities take them?” she added.
According to ministry sources, HSC or equivalent certificates allow students to get honours first-year admission in universities. And admission to a polytechnic institute for the engineering diploma course requires an SSC or equivalent certificate.
As students are not allowed to seek university admission two years after passing the HSC exams, polytechnic students after finishing the four-year-long engineering diploma course do not get the opportunity to apply for admission even if they want.
Keeping the deprived students in mind, the education minister has taken the initiative to provide opportunities for Honors degree admissions.
Regarding her letter to the universities, Dipu Moni said she found it illogical that students with required merit -- after they complete polytechnic courses or their studies abroad in three or four years -- are not allowed to seek admission in public universities.
Saying this needed to change, the minister added: “I alone can’t make everything happen. Nothing can't be changed in one attempt. We are working on it.”
Until November 2019, the country had 52 public polytechnic institutes, with 900 permanent teachers and 130,000 students, under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB).
There were also as many as 220 private polytechnic institutes around the country at the same time.
According to a study by the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics, more than 80% of private polytechnic institutions and about 60% of public institutions were founded between 2001 and 2017. Rangpur has the highest number of institutions and Mymensingh has the lowest.