More reasons to overhaul public university policies
THE decline in the number of foreign students in the public universities in recent times speaks volume of the dismal performance of these institutions, especially when the number of foreign in private universities continues to go up. According to a report published in New Age on Thursday, the University Grants Commission statistics put the number of foreign students in 34 public universities at 390 in 2009, 359 in 2010 and 210 in 2011 and in 52 private universities at 1,199, 1,557 and 1,651 respectively. Moreover, the UGC Annual Report 2011 on the state of public university education held responsible ‘the decline in the quality of education’ for the poor performance of the public universities in terms of foreign student enrolment.
It is important to note that neither of the universities, public or private, has been in the list of the world’s best-performing universities in recent decades. Besides, allegations have it that all but a few private universities, devoid of permanent campus and teachers and even adequate logistics, have failed to perform up to expectations since they came into being. Yet, that the public universities fared worse than the private ones in attracting foreign students hints at a deeper malaise in the former institutions.
In fact, the chaotic manner in which almost all the public universities have been operating in the past few decades has led them to such a pass. In the first place, their administrations have fallen victim to politicisation along partisan line of the ruling party of the day under successive governments. Recruitment of teachers has also hardly been free from the malaise. In addition, while suspension of academic activities for various reasons, including clashes between different student organisations and even teachers’ strike on flimsy grounds, has become almost a regular phenomenon in recent times, a significant number of teachers of the institutions reportedly continue to do parallel jobs, largely unauthorised, like taking classes in different private universities, outside the campuses, neglecting the duties assigned by their original employers. Above all, with the UGC being still just a paper tiger when it comes to enforcing compliance with rules and regulations, coupled with successive governments more eager to establish unfair control over the campus than to address the woes gripping the institutions, it is the quality of education in these institutions which has been hit hard.
One needs to keep in mind that the fall in quality of education offered by the public universities not only leaves their global image in jeopardy but also hampers the career prospect of their students. Hence, it is time that conscious sections of society put increasing pressure on the government to overhaul its policies about public universities.
comments powered by Disqus
THE decline in the number of foreign students in the public universities... Full story
The social stratification of ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ is a noticeable feature in Bangladesh society. Within public management, this propensity expresses itself in the flow of memoranda and minutes and the circulation of files without the... Full story