4:32 pm - Tuesday September 23, 8679

Experts want govt to spend more on higher education

Experts and officials have stressed increasing public expenditure on higher education institutions so that the number of seats they offer can accommodate the number of students passing the HSC examinations with a good GPA score.

Their recommendation came in light of the fact that a good number of higher education aspirants are not being able to pass the admission tests in reputed universities despite securing a good GPA score.

graduation-hats-640They said the number of seats offered by the country’s top universities of the country is very insignificant compared to the number of students passing the HSC examinations scoring the GPA-5, the highest grade in the examination, reports UNB.

Talking to UNB, former chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof Nazrul Islam said, “More economic support and infrastructural development are needed to solve this problem. The cccommodation capacity of the country’s universities must be increased to increase the seats.”

He also recommended setting up more universities to fulfill the demand of the students, but the universities must be established outside the capital city.

UGC chairman AK Azad Chowdhury said the number of seats in good universities is insufficient in proportion with the pass rate in the HSC examinations.

The number of seats in public universities is increasing by 10 percent every year, the UGC chairman said adding that the 37 public universities and the upcoming universities should keep the pace with the present era and amplify their seats for the increased number of students.

“I’ll discuss with the higher authorities how to increase the number of seats in the public universities as those cannot increase the number of seats in popular subjects,” he added.

Asked about the barriers to increasing the number of seats in popular subjects which have better market demand, he attributed it to infrastructural problem and lack of budget.

This year, some 70,602 students passed the HSC with GPA-5, but the number of seats for the 1st year honours admission to Dhaka University (DU), Rajshahi University (RU), Chittagong University (CU), Jahangirnagar University (JU) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) are 6,600, 3,851, 4,533, 2,235 and 991 respectively.

According to DU officials, the departments at the university which have a greater demand can accommodate a limited number of students compared to the demand.

DU’s Mass Communication and Journalism Department has only 66 seats, while Economics, Finance, Management, International Business, Marketing, Pharmacy and English Departments can accommodated only 128, 195, 195, 88, 195, 65 and 150 students respectively every year.

Contacted, DU vice chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique said, “We want to increase seats but we can’t do it for enough space and infrastructural problem. The overall number of seats in the university will be increased as we’re going to open three new departments next year.”

Sought comments over the seat crisis in top public universities, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said public universities are gradually increasing the number of seats to fulfill the expectation of students.

Asked whether there public universities are being allocated inadequate funds for increasing the number of seats, the minister said there has been no financial problem to increase seats in the public universities as the government is giving full support to them every year.

About 8.98 lakh students passed the HSC exam this year, but the capacity of higher education institutions, including public universities, private universities and colleges under the public universities, National University and Bangladesh Open University, now stands at only 7,38,264.

Medical colleges, dental colleges, marine academies in the country offer 10,823 seats for the admission aspirant.