Many reputed private universities of the country are still operating under temporary arrangement, defying University Grants Commission’s repeated warnings to shift to permanent campuses.
UGC authorities said the period of temporary permit granted to them will end on December 31 this year and then it can suspend new enrolment at these universities and take legal actions against them.
Fresh student enrolment and all other activities of those private universities will be suspended if they fail to move to their permanent campuses within December 31, UGC member Professor Dr Biswajit Chanda said.
The commission gave the deadline as 12 years have passed after granting temporary permits to 23 private universities and most of them failed to take any significant steps to shift to their campuses or build the infrastructures necessary for it, he said.
The private universities are: Brac University, University of Liberal Arts (ULAB), Daffodil International University, Stamford University, State University of Bangladesh, The People's University of Bangladesh, Dhaka International University, Manarat International University, Bangladesh University, University of Development Alternative (UODA), Southeast University, Northern University Bangladesh, Green University of Bangladesh, Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, The Millennium University, Presidency University, University of South Asia, Uttara University, Victoria University of Bangladesh, Prime Asia University, Royal University of Dhaka, Asha University of Bangladesh and City University.
Some of these universities moved partially but most have been operating from outer campuses for years, saying that construction work is yet to be completed, according to UGC.
When UGC contacted them, some of the private university authorities said they are going to seek extension while some said they are trying to follow the deadline.
According to section 7(2) of Bangladesh Private University Act (2010), these private universities were granted temporary permit to operate which was valid for seven years.
After that, the institutions can apply for renewal of the temporary permit if they fail to fulfil the conditions mentioned in section 9 within the period of the temporary permission. The government may renew the permission for a period not exceeding five years, subject to necessary enquiry.
Earlier, the UGC sent letters to the universities which did not move to permanent campuses after the temporary permit expired.
The commission later decided to set the time for the universities to respond till December 31.
Prof Bishwajit said, “Of the 23 universities, many have claimed they are in the middle of moving and will have relocated by the deadline. We are assuming one or two universities will seek extension of time for five to six months for construction of infrastructure as they have started a discussion regarding this with the UGC.”
But other than that, those who will fail completely to take any step regarding this, will not be allowed to admit more students in their education programmes in the coming year, he said.
“No private university will be spared if they disobey UGC’s directives and compromise the quality of education,” the UGC member added.
According to UGC, from January 1, 2023 these 23 universities will be considered illegal if they do not fulfil one of the conditions of temporary permit which is shifting to permanent campuses within the fixed period.
Hence, the commission will take further steps against them under section 35 (7) of Bangladesh Private University Act, 2010.
So far, the government has given permission to 108 private universities in the country. Of these, 99 are currently operational.