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TIB recommends 16 measures for governance of Private Universities

 
 
 
 
Though private universities in Bangladesh started its journey in Bangladesh as non-profit organizations with high hopes of further expansion of higher education, numerous irregularities by university authority including board of trustees, university administration, teachers and students blended with inadequate monitoring and corrupt practices by government agencies like the education ministry and University Grants Commission (UGC) have turned private universities into profit earning institutions backed by mutually agreed corrupt practices. These were revealed in a TIB study titled 'Private Universities: Governance Challenges and Ways Forward' released before the media on June 30 at the BRAC Centre Inn Auditorium in Dhaka.
Research & Policy Division’s Director Mohammad Rafique Hasan and Deputy Programme Manager Neena Shamsun Nahar unveiled the study at Brac Center Inn. TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman and Deputy Executive Director Dr Sumaiya Khair were also present during the programme. The findings came from 22 randomly selected private universities over a period of two years from May 2012 – June 2014. It captured a number of achievements of private universities including creation of higher education opportunity for a large number of student, emergence as an alternative to highly expensive foreign education, establishment of dedicated universities for women, creating study opportunity for professionals, scholarship opportunity for meritorious, poor and freedom fighters children etc.
Despite these positive achievements and characteristics, lack of proper and long-term plan, nonexistence of accreditation council even after four years of enactment of Private University Act-2010, commercialisation of education have resulted in mal-governance in this sector.
 
 

Only limited numbers of private universities have been able to provide quality education to the student. Besides there are evidences of managing complaints lodged by University Grants Commission (UGC) to the Education Ministry for violation of rules, lack of human resources in education ministry and the UGC to monitor private universities, political pressure in approval and running of universities have resulted in limiting success ultimately leading to inferior education. According to the report, illegal transactions ranging from taka one to three crores for approval; taka fifty thousands to three hundred thousands for fake certificates and taka fifty thousands to one hundred thousands for approval of audit report are transacted in running many private universities.
 

The private university sector is facing these governance challenges due to lack of transparency, accountability in its operation; ineffective monitoring by governemnt agencies and lack coordination among these - Dr Iftekharuzzaman

 
Among other irregularities, only two of the surveyed universities obtained permanent certificates and the rest either failed or violated the provision of obtaining this certificate within 12 years. The rest now are operating by renewing their temporary certificates. In addition, direct interference of board of trustees often takes place contributing to poor performace.
 
 
Commenting on governance challenges, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “The private university sector is facing these governance challenges due to lack of transparency, accountability in its operation; ineffective monitoring by governemnt agencies and lack coordination among these.” “The tripartite nexus has endangered this sector and there is no other alternative but ensuring governance to save it.” he added.
TIB made 16 recommendations to avert the existing irregularities in private universities. Major recommendations include formation of an accreditation council and a policy framework to implement relevant laws, amendment of Private University Act 2010, strengthening of UGC's monitoring system, allowing only high ranking foreign universities to run branches and closure of all outer campuses etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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