The Bangladesh University Grants Commission (UGC) will not be able to hold a single admission test for all public universities this 2023-2024 academic year due to unavoidable reasons.
“Therefore, like in the last academic session, the public universities this year will enroll students at the undergraduate level for the 2023-2024 academic years through admission tests under cluster system,” UGC Chairman (additional charge) Professor Dr. Muhammed Alamgir said at a meeting of ‘National Integrity Strategy Action Plan, 2023-2024’ held at UGC office at Agargaon in the city on Wednesday.
He said as per the directive of the President, the chancellor of all universities, the UGC had taken the initiative to hold a single entrance exam for the public interest in accordance with his wishes.
“We formed a 15-member committee headed by the UGC chairman. We also held a discussion about how and in what way we could hold a single admission test for all public universities from the 2023-2024 academic year. The UGC also sent a recommendation to the education ministry requesting to issue an ordinance in this regard,” Muhammed Alamgir said.
He further said the committee members discussed various aspects of the single admission test and agreed that the goodwill of the university authorities is essential for its implementation.
“Except Dhaka University and Buet, I’m urging all public universities to conduct the entry test for the 2023-2024 academic years under cluster system,” he added.
Therefore, like in the last academic session some 32 public universities this year will enroll students at undergraduate level for 2023-2024 academic years through admission tests under cluster system.
Three new universities- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman University, Kishoreganj, Chandpur Science and Technology University and Habiganj Agricultural University will also join the system.
The entrance test will be held in three clusters and the schedule of the entrance test will be fixed immediately.
One of the clusters is for general and science and technology universities, another for agricultural universities and the other one for engineering universities.
“The UGC will ask the universities concerned to resolve the hassles by helping students in selecting their desired university centrally, completing the migration process by stipulated schedule and fixing the reasonable admission fee in this regard,” a highly placed source in the UGC told Bangladesh Post on Wednesday.
It should be noted that like the previous academic session, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, and Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology will also hold the combined admission test for 2023-2024 academic year.
However, Dhaka, Rajshahi, Jahangirnagar, and Chittagong Universities are run as per the 1973 Ordinance, which gives them full authority to enroll new students independently. On the other hand, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology is also run according to special laws.
According to the UGC, this year the cluster admission test will be taken at different colleges alongside the universities campuses concerned.
So, the country’s five other prestigious universities beyond the cluster system will also be asked to take entrance tests, publish results, and announce the admission dates quickly along with being advised to reduce the entry test fee and the seats of some departments.
Meanwhile, students and their guardians heaved a sigh of relief over holding a cluster based admission test for the 2023-2024 academic year.
These prestigious public universities prefer to continue holding entrance exams following customised questionnaires which have been the conventional practice.
A cluster-wise easy admission test system at universities will help reduce the sufferings of admission-seekers as well as their guardians this time, they added.
“The introduction of uniform public university entrance exams is removing sufferings of students, particularly females and their guardians who have to travel to multiple places to appear for separate university admission tests,” an admission seeker said.
Talking to a number of students those, who are set to sit for the admission test for 2023-2024 academic year echoing the same argument expressed their satisfaction over the cluster-wise easy admission test system, saying they would not have to travel from one place to another.
Apart from the sufferings, they said that they will not have to bear the additional expenditure like traveling and residential fare and the students who apply for public university admission tests would have to appear for only a single admission test.
“I’m very much happy over a uniform public university as I shall be able to participate in the examination from my division,” Saba Al Rabbi Abir, an admission seeker said.
Earlier, the students appearing for individual customised admission tests are forced to buy separate application forms and appear for separate examinations at different locations of the individual university.
On the other hand, the individual public university customized entrance examination system involves huge costs from buying multiple admission forms, (for separate faculties) traveling to individual universities for appearing in the tests and other associated costs.