All efforts to introduce the combined system for first year honours admission test at public universities have gone in vain as some prestigious public universities are in opposition to the issue. Almost all universities like University of Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chattogram, Jahangirnagar University and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology want to continue with their traditional process.
If the cluster system is introduced, the admission seekers will sit for an admission test once and will be enrolled at those universities based on the merit list prepared from a single test. The system will save the cost of fees, accommodation, transport and others.
Medical colleges have been holding the uniform system admission test. Students appear for one test only from his or her area of medical college and are selected as per merit. Besides, agricultural universities have already introduced the combined system of admission test from this year.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh held a series of meetings and talked to the Vice-Chancellors of different public universities to find out a solution in this regard. Contacted, Professor Dr. Md Akhtaruzzaman, Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka said, as the country’s most prestigious university is providing world-class education since its journey in 1921, it has also been maintaining its traditional admission system.
“We have not made any decision over holding of combined system of first year honours admission test at public universities as yet,” he told Bangladesh Post. Talking to Bangladesh Post on Wednesday, Professor Dr. Shireen Akhter, Vice Chancellor, University of Chattogram, said that they are not in agreement with the UGC’s proposals as they are holding the admission test according to their traditional system.
“I held a series of meetings with our academic council, deans of all faculties and chairmen of all departments on Tuesday. And we have decided that the University of Chattogram will continue its admission test according to its tradition,” she said. Talking to reporters, Professor Dr. Kazi Shahidullah, Chairman, University Grants Commission said, all public universities will have to come forward in this regard.
“As the government is committed to introducing the combined system of admission test in all public universities, considering hassles faced by students and guardians during admission to public universities, I also want this system,” he said. Apart from medical colleges, he said agricultural universities introduced the combined system of admission test from this year.
“And it is a breakthrough for us. If the Western and many developed countries could introduce combined system of undergraduate admission test at their public universities, why can’t we do it,” the UGC Chairman asked. Earlier, President M Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Education Minister called upon the vice chancellors of all public universities to introduce cluster-wise easy admission test system at universities to reduce the sufferings of admission-seekers, especially female ones, and their guardians as well.
As during the admission tests in different public universities, the students especially the females suffer a lot, the government on several occasions requested the public universities to find out a coordinated solution in this regard. Talking to this correspondent, Education minister Dipu Moni said, if they can hold combined entrance tests for admission to medical colleges, why not for the universities?
“Most public universities especially prestigious higher educational institutions are reluctant over the issue,” she added. According to public university sources, as many teachers get involved in the whole admission process from holding the examinations to checking answer sheets, they earn huge amounts of money every year.
“As the public universities’ teachers earn a good amount of money, they continue to oppose the uniform system,” an official of the education ministry said, adding that the ministry in 2010, decided in principle to introduce a uniform admission system or a cluster system.
According to the education ministry sources, a teacher of a public university, who gets involved in the admission process, earns Tk 50 thousand to one lakh every year. If the traditional system is abolished and the uniform or cluster system is introduced, the first year honours admission test will be controlled centrally.