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UGC forms body to bring govt univ colleges under public varsities

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ugc_logoStaff reporter
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Sunday formed an eight-member committee to finalize the process of bringing government university colleges under the control of public universities.
The eight-member committee, headed by UGC member Prof Dr Mohammad Mohabbat Khan, was formed following an urgent meeting at the UGC Bhaban.
Chaired by UGC chairman Prof Dr AK Azad Chowdhury, the meeting was attended by Vice Chancellors of public universities.
The other members of the committee are- UGC member Prof Abul Hashem, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, Jahangirnagar University Vice Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam, Rajshahi University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Mizanuddin, Chittagong University Vice Chancellor Prof Anwarul Azim Arif, UGC Secretary Dr Md Khaled and UGC Additional Director (Public University Division) Ferdous Zaman. Prof Mohabbat Khan will act as convener of the committee, while Ferdous Zaman as member secretary.
The committee will finalize the process of bringing as many as 181 government university colleges regulated by the National University under the affiliation of public universities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to the Education Ministry on August 31 last gave directives to bring the colleges having honors and master’ degree courses under the affiliation of public universities for improving the quality of education and reducing session jam at the National University.
As per the PM’s directives, the UGC arranged the urgent meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, the vice chancellors of public universities supported in principle the Prime Minister’s directives.
They emphasized increasing manpower and expansion of infrastructures of the public universities to implement the decision.
Some vice chancellors suggested separate syllabuses and curricula for the colleges in case of affiliation to the public universities to avoid chaotic situation in academic activities on the main campuses of the universities.
UGC chairman Prof AK Azad Chowdhury said the Prime Minister properly realized to improve the quality of education. “We’re not in favor of the National University. We want to strengthen it brining some colleges under public universities,” he said.
Prof Azad said once 260-280 colleges had been affiliated to Dhaka University, now no more than 10/12 colleges will be made affiliated to any public university.
DU Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique said bringing the colleges under the public universities has become an urgent need.
“These days, classes at the colleges are not held regularly. Students become dependent on coaching from intermediate level. So, a harsh decision will have to be taken to save the education,” he said.
Welcoming the PM’s directives, NU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Harun-or Rashid said they identified that the NU has been facing two serious problems -- session jam and lack of quality education -- for the last 22 years.
He, however, has taken a number of initiatives, including opening six regional centers, introducing online system, updating syllabuses and preparing academic calendar, to address the two key problems in 20 months after taking over the charge of the National University.
There are 2116 educational institutions and 21,07602 students under the university. Of them, government colleges are only 275 where the number of students stands at nearly 13 lakh, he added.
Prof Rashid suggested bringing private colleges offering honors and master’s degrees alongside the government colleges under the public universities. A comprehensive study is needed to implement this, he added.