Falling further and further behindMohiuddin Alamgir
Both public and private universities of the country have failed to find a satisfactory place in the international university rankings which experts say is an ominous pointer to falling educational excellence of the institutions in recent years.
Not a single university of Bangladesh found a place among the top 500 institutions around the globe in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013, also known as the Shanghai Rankings, for three years in a row,
which was announced on August 15.
Shanghai Rankings was prepared by the Centre for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, scrutinising more than 1200 universities every year and the best 500 universities were named.
ARWU adopts six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and fields medals, the number of highly cited researchers, the number of articles published in journals of nature and science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance.
The view of the educationalists is mirrored by the sharp decline in the excellence of Banladeshi universities in Quacquarelli Symonds rankings of universities around the world in which the position of Dhaka University – the country’s only university to got a place in the rankings – was 601+ in 2013.
The ranking of DU has fallen from 365th best university in 2005, between 550 and 600 in 2011 to 601+ best university in 2013.
DU ranked between 201 and 250 in 2013 from 151 and 200 in 2011 in QS Asian University rankings.
According to July 2013 edition of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which take into account the number of electronic publications relating to the university on the internet, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology ranked 2666th, Rajshahi University 3999th, Jahangirnagar University 4165th and Dhaka University ranked 5201st.
In the Webometrics Ranking of Asia Pacific Universities, no Bangladeshi university found a place among the top 300. Among the top 100 South Asian universities, Dhaka University was placed 43rd and BUET 52nd.
Substandard research work and publications, poor library and laboratory facilities, lack of motivation and interest among teachers and students and a politicised teacher recruitment process has led to the situation, the educationalist said.
Former University Grants Commission chairmen Nazrul Islam said quality of education in the universities had not improved in comparison with foreign universities.
He observed that the lack of quality research and small number of quality journals published by the universities coupled with politicised teacher recruitment was largely responsible for the dismal situation.
Many universities lack good governance, are always in unrest which causes hindrance to academic activities, he said.
‘Most of the vice-chancellors of the universities remain busy in safeguarding their power so they do not have time to oversee the other things…,’ Nazrul said.
The absence of posting details, including research and publications, journals on the website was one of the reasons for the country’s universities’ not finding a place in the international rankings, as many rankings are based on website or collects information from websites, said BUET vice-chancellor Nazrul Islam.
He said that in terms of quality and efficiency, BUET graduates attained international standards.
UGC chairman AK Azad Chowdhury, also former DU vice-chancellor, said quality of education in the universities was improving but ‘foreign universities’ were progressing faster making it difficult for Bangladeshi universities to keep pace with them,’ he said.
Azad Chowdhury said the country’s universities did not post all their details on the website. If they had done it, at least three or four universities of the country would have found a respectable place in the rankings.
The educationists said that budgetary allocation for higher education was less than what was required which constrained research and other activities of the universities.
Universities should make research visible and digitise publications as soon as possible, he added.
There are 34 public and 71 private universities in Bangladesh enrolling about 24 lakh students.
comments powered by Disqus
The cabinet on Monday approved the draft of Multi-Level Marketing Activities (Control) Bill 2013 incorporating provisions for a maximum 10-year imprisonment and Tk 50 lakh in fine for operating MLM businesses without licence. The government will be able to take over management of any MLM companies in case... Full story
The Asom Gana Parishad and the Trinamool Congress on Monday scuttled a move in the Rajya Sabha for introduction of a bill which provides for exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh, Indian media reported. As soon as external affairs minister Salman Khurshid rose to introduce Constitution... Full story
Both public and private universities of the country have failed to find a satisfactory place in the international university rankings which experts say is an ominous pointer to falling educational excellence of the institutions in recent years. Not a single university of Bangladesh found... Full story
The 18-party alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Monday announced a month-long ‘mass contact tour’ of district towns and divisional cities by its chairperson Khaleda Zia to mobilise support and give the government time to accept an election-time ‘non-party’ government. The acting BNP secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam... Full story
Militants killed 25 policemen on Monday in the deadliest attack of its kind in years, as Egypt’s army-installed rulers escalated a campaign to crush ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. The assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades at two buses carrying police in the Sinai Peninsula, sources said, just hours... Full story
The Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday took a decision to launch an investigation against state-owned Janata Bank for sanctioning and disbursing Tk 1,932.92 crore in loans to Chittagong-based S. Alam Group against mortgages of only Tk 12.59 crore, violating banking rules, an ACC director said. Full story
Jute scientists said on Monday that they were working to develop a special jute variety that could replace cotton for fabric manufacturing. They said that they would use genome sequencing of jute in developing the special variety of the golden fibre. The local jute variety is known for producing... Full story
The foreign minister, Dipu Moni, on Monday briefed foreign diplomats that the door for dialogue was still open on the composition of an election-time interim government. She briefed members of diplomatic corps, heads of United Nations and other international... Full story
The Detective Branch of police is in dark about the motive for the killing of Special Branch inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Swapna Rahman and how many people were involved in the murder. Dhaka Metropolitan Police joint commissioner Monirul Islam at a briefing on Monday claimed that Oishi Rahman, the... Full story
The Ekushey Padak winning folk singer Abdur Rahman Boyati died at 7.30 AM on Monday at a city hospital after suffering from old age complications. He was 74. He was under treatment at the intensive care unit of Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital when the end came. Full story
The Election Commission is likely to retreat from its position to propose repealing of Article 91(E) of the Representation of the People Order 1972 that empowers the EC to cancel candidatures if found guilty of breaching electoral code. The commission last month decided to propose... Full story
A new contamination scare hit New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar dairy industry on Monday after it was revealed a milk product with excessive nitrate levels had been exported to China. Both New Zealand’s ministry of primary industries and the company at the centre of the latest... Full story
An express train ploughed into a crowd of Hindu pilgrims in eastern India Monday, killing 37 and triggering a riot that left one of the drivers dead and carriages ablaze, officials said. The pilgrims were crossing the tracks at a station in the state of Bihar when the high-speed passenger train struck them, a senior police officer said. Full story
The father of slain Bangladeshi girl Felani Khatun started testifying against the Indian Border Security Force for killing her in an Indian town. Her uncle will testify later in the same special court which has been set up by the BSF itself. The special court began recording the testimonies of the two Bangladesh nationals from 11:00am on Monday. Full story
A dockworker died after falling from a ship at the outer anchorage of Chittagong port on Sunday night. The deceased was identified as Imam Hossain, 25, son of late Jinnah Hossain, of Khazura village in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur. Full story
A man and his son were killed on Monday when a microbus hit a bicycle they were riding at Sailkupa in Jhenaidah. The deceased were Bhabesh Adhikari, 32, and his seven-year-old son Anik Asdhikari. Anwar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sailkupa police station, said a Sailkupa-bound... Full story
Health minister AFM Ruhal Haque said on Monday that his ministry would ask the commerce ministry to get imported milk products and powdered milk from New Zealand tested for the presence of harmful chemicals. Replying to reporters at a news conference Ruhal spoke about the initiative a day after international news agencies... Full story
The cabinet on Monday approved the draft bill seeking amendment to the Information and Communication Technology Act raising the maximum punishment for offences to imprisonment for 14 years. According to the bill, the serious offences would be cognisable and non-bailable, said officials. Full story