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Private universities are not the problem

  • Published at 06:27 pm January 30th, 2018
  • Last updated at 06:59 pm January 30th, 2018
Private universities  are not the problem
The University Grants Commission’s recommendation to embed UGC representatives in day to day private university operations is an impractical idea that benefits no one -- not students, not teachers, not the overall state of education. As things stand, private universities are already subject to government monitoring, and no good can come of amending the law to allow government reps in finance and teacher recruitment committees, mandating UGC approval when setting student fees, or in embedding observers in trustee boards. Let us be clear: While there is indeed a crisis in our educational system, private universities are not the problem -- they are part of the solution to a problem created largely by public universities. Indeed, the growth of the private university system in Bangladesh can be attributed to the failure of public universities to provide a high quality education -- it is no secret that our large public universities, no matter how prestigious, are bogged down by session jams, student politics, and inadequate infrastructure. If the government is serious about doing something to improve education, it would be better off in paying attention to public universities, and fixing some of the problems that have plagued them for decades. Top ranked private universities of Bangladesh have done the nation a great service, but the move towards further UGC intervention will only make matters worse, and make it harder for private universities keep their standards high. However one chooses to look at it, the inclusion of UGC reps in private institutions is a bad idea. There are other sectors, such as state-owned banks and other state-owned enterprises, which do constantly flout regulations and are in actual need of government oversight. Diverting government resources to go after private universities is a futile endeavour.