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Academic experts express mixed reaction over rankings

  • Published at 12:37 am May 24th, 2019
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File photo of the Aparajeyo Bangla sculpture in front of the Arts Building at Dhaka University

Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor said,“Despite having limitation in budget allocation and lacking in many important components, including faculty members, we are gradually addressing the issues”

Academic experts have expressed mixed reactions over the “QS Asia University Rankings-2019, prepared by UK-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), in which six Bangladeshi universities secured spots.

They also shared their views on the Asia University Rankings, published by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, in which no Bangladeshi universities could secure a position.

When contacted, Dhaka University (DU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof M Akhtaruzzaman told Dhaka Tribune that the QS evaluated the performance of each of the universities after examining information available on the websites.

“Despite having limitation in budget allocation and lacking in many important components, including faculty members, we are gradually addressing the issues,” he said.

Akhtaruzzaman went on saying: “I came to know that the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine charge a token fee for registration to be evaluated in the ranking. We never paid any institution for such ranking.” 

Maybe, the THE did not put Dhaka University in the ranking process due to lack of necessary information on the university website, he furthered.  

While talking to this correspondents, Abdul Mannan, former chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC), said many institutions do the rankings based on their own indicators.

“But indicators such as the number of Nobel Laureates, alumni funding and academia-industry collaboration  are not possible for Bangladeshi universities to maintain...Thus, local universities are being kept away from such rankings,” he observed.

The former UGC chief also blamed negligence in exposing research works of the university academicians and outstanding results of the students of Bangladeshi universities which sometime affect the rankings. 

“And this is also widely practiced in public universities,” he added. 

Noted academician and Dhaka University Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury said the QS ranking is much satisfactory compared to the one done by the THE magazine.

Emphasizing on improved teaching techniques and research work, he said these two factors could be improved further if more foreign students were enrolled.

Just after the THE ranking was published on May 1, he expressed grave concerns over the present environment of the country's education sector. 

At that time, former DU VC AAMS Arefin Siddique said: “We have to find out why our universities are not included in the rankings. Sometimes the rankers collect information from websites where the data is not updated for very long periods of time. It is unexpected that we are not part of the rankings, but we have to look into where we are lagging behind and try to improve our conditions.”