Some private universities are on the brink of closure, the reasons must be found out24 June 2022 Editorial Desk
A number of private universities are on the brink of closure as these higher educational institutions are failing to attract students despite providing tuition fee waivers and other offers. Students are the only source of income for many private universities to meet teachers and staff salaries, building rent, maintenance, lab, and library expanse, and research works. As the National University system became smoother over the years and taught almost all subjects at affordable cost and convenient distance, the new private universities are facing survival risks.
The entrepreneurs set up the private universities with the aim of providing quality education but this mission is not being achieved for the acute crisis of quality teachers and lab facilities. When university authorities cannot appoint quality teachers, the junior teachers take classes and examinations and it ultimately affects the standard of education. Each department requires either one full professor or one associate professor and three lecturers. However, the department may have part-time teachers but such teachers will not be more than one-third of the permanent staff. As a result, the private universities which are the non-profitable institutions as per the Private University Act, 2010, are affected financially.
The recent visits of UGC to a number of private universities have revealed that many universities don't have senior teachers. The private universities which have acute shortage of teachers and students are Times University, Bangladesh in Faridpur, First Capital University of Bangladesh in Chuadanga, Britannia University in Cumilla and Cox's Bazar International University.
Currently, there are 108 private universities in the country. The running of a private university is a matter of huge investment and also huge money making enterprise. Much depends motive ability of the founders.
Most importantly, the role of the University Grants Commission must be taken seriously.
The atmosphere in the country is not congenial for taking public duty with a sense of dedication. This is the long-term damage the present nature of government has been inflicting on the country. The incompetent party men are placed in highly responsible positions. Otherwise, a responsible Commission should investigate the reasons of closure of universities in the larger interest of students.