Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said most private universities in the country were successful and some of them were maintaining international standards.
Addressing the inauguration programme of an international conference on Social Sciences and Humanities, the minister said: “A few universities are not abiding by the laws, and actions will be taken against them. But most private universities in the country are successful.”
The Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) at Independent University, one of the private universities in Bangladesh, organised the first ever international conference on Social Sciences and Humanities titled “Identity in the Globalised World: Dimensions, Transformations and Challenges.”
Meanwhile, the education minister's claim came just few days after Transparency International, Bangladesh claimed that they found gross irregularities in private universities of the country.
In his speech, the minister brushed aside the TIB claim, and said private universities were important in the country's education sector, as public universities were not adequate.
“The ministry does not differentiate between private and public universities,” Nahid said.
Putting emphasis on research activities, Nahid also said: “Universities should create new knowledge. All universities must be research oriented. Otherwise, our universities will be useless.”
The minister also said the ministry would take initiatives to amend the University Grants Commission law to run the universities more smoothly.
Speaking at the programme, Professor Willem van Schendel from University of Amsterdam said Bangladesh had already entered in the new global network and the scholars of the country were also contributing globally.
Echoing the education minister's voice, IUB Vice-Chancellor M Omar Rahman said research activities were not luxuries but an important part of higher education.
Omar urged the government to increase the budgetary allocation for education sector, particularly for higher education sector, so that they could carry out research activities.
Mentioning that despite having potentials, many female students dropped out before starting higher education. The IUB VC said initiatives should be taken to check the drop out of female students.
The three-day conference, where renowned social science researchers from home and abroad will present a total 64 research papers, is scheduled to end tomorrow.