Noting that running of evening courses tarnishes the features and reputation of public universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has ordered the closure of such courses at all the public universities.
It came up with the order in a letter sent to all the public universities containing a 13-point directive on Wednesday about properly following the rules and regulations in the higher educational institutions.
The directives came just two days after President Abdul Hamid had said commercial courses are turning public universities into business institutions disrupting the campus atmosphere.
The other directives include taking UGC’s approval before opening any new department, faculty, programme or institute; taking approval before opening new position or repealing any old one; following rules and university law during appointment, promotion and upgradation of teachers, officials and staff; ensuring security in halls, offices and campus for them; taking and implementing awareness programmes against sexual harassment, ragging, terrorism, drugs and militancy, and starting academic activities, taking exams and publishing results as per the schedule.
While speaking at the 52nd convocation of Dhaka University on Monday, the President said commercial courses are turning public universities into business institutions disrupting the campus atmosphere. “Thousands of graduates are being produced every year with these commercial courses. A particular class of teachers is making profits [from these courses] … and turning the universities into business institutions.”
President Hamid, also the Chancellor of the university, noted that there was a question about how much students are benefiting from these degrees even though a section of teachers is benefiting.
“This is disturbing the education atmosphere at the universities. Many public universities assume the character of private universities at night … This is unacceptable,” he said.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) is going to provide US$ 540 million as concessional loans for the development of human resources in Bangladesh’s tertiary education sector.
"ADB will give $100 million for improving computer and software engineering, $150 million for advanced agriculture, $190 million for Digital University development and $100 million for innovations in garment and textile sector," said Sungsup Ra, Director, Human and Social Development Division of ADB.
A six-member ADB delegation, led by Sungsup Ra, met University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof Dr Kazi Shahidullah at the UGC meeting room on Tuesday in this regard, said a UGC press release.
Sungsup Ra said UGC's supervision role is very much important in handling these projects. "For this, Development Project Proposal (DPP) needs to be finalised soon. A strong leadership and necessary support from UGC are essential to push the ADB initiatives," he added.
The UGC chairman said successful implementation of the projects will play a significant role in the human resources development, employment generation and ICT capacity-building of universities.
He said tertiary education is rapidly expanding in the country. "All the projects (ADB) are encouraging. Those will certainly develop quality of education at the tertiary level and enhance the capacity-building."
UGC members Prof Dr Dil Afroza Begum, Prof Dr Md Sazzad Hossain and Prof Dr Muhammed Alamgir Hossain, and divisional heads of UGC were also present at the meeting.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) suspended eight students for different terms for their involvement in various incidents of ragging at its Titumir Hall.
The Board of Residence and Discipline of Buet took the decision based on a report submitted by a committee formed to investigate the recent ragging at Titumir Hall, according to a press release issued by Buet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the university authorities also expelled six other students from the hall for different periods over the same issue and warned them to remain alert so that such incidents do not recur in the future.
The Buet authorities on Monday issued a notice outlining different types of punishment for students to be found involved in ragging or any organisational politics.
The notice says its students will be expelled if they are found involved in ragging leading to death, serious body harm, any form of disability, permanent mental imbalance or trauma, or disruption of academic life of a fellow student.
In such a situation, the notice says, the university law officer will file a case following due process.
The university categorised the offences along with penalties in the face of massive protests by the Buet students after the murder of fellow student Abrar Fahad.
Abrar, a second-year student of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, was beaten to death reportedly by Chhatra League men inside the university's Sher-e-Bangla Hall on October 7.
On October 11, Buet Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Saiful Islam announced a ban on all kinds of organisational student politics on the campus.
Academic activities at Jahangirnagar University (JU) will resume on Sunday after a closure for a month in the face of student protests demanding the removal of its vice-chancellor.
University authorities took the decision at a syndicate meeting held at the Academic Building on Wednesday afternoon.
The residential halls of the university will open at 10am on Thursday, said acting Registrar Rahima Kaniz.
The university was closed sine die on November 5 as the students laid a siege to the residence of their Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Farzana Islam on November 4 evening demanding her removal on corruption charges.
However, the agitation also continued sporadically during this period, said campus sources.
Students started the protests in August, demanding a judicial inquiry into the reported involvement of the vice-chancellor in corruption and mismanagement of the Tk 1,445 crore campus development project.
It was alleged that the VC managed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) JU unit leaders with Tk 1.6 crore from the development fund.
Calling off their movement, students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) on Wednesday announced to return to classes as their three-point demand, including the expulsion of the killers of Abrar Fahad, was met.
“The university authorities have accepted our three-point demand within the stipulated time and so, we’re ending our movement,” Mahmudur Rahman Sayem, a 15th batch student of Buet’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) department, said at a press conference on the campus.
The Buet students had been on a movement for two months after their fellow Abrar was murdered by some leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League at Sher-e-Bangla Hall.
On October 15, the Buet students withdrew their campus protests as the university authorities accepted most of their demands. But they announced to boycott all the academic activities until the killers were expelled from the university and law enforcers submit the charge-sheet in the Abrar Fahad murder case.
On November 21, the Buet authorities expelled 26 of its students, mostly leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), over the killing of Abrar Fahad.
Earlier on November 13, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) pressed charges against 25 people in the Buet student killing case.
In a written statement, Sayem said the Buet authorities issued a notice on Monday night announcing permanent expulsion as maximum punishment for ragging and student politics on the campus.
Through this, all three demands of the students were fulfilled, he said, adding that there is a plan to make a commitment at the university’s Code of Conduct before enrolling new students.
“We want that the trial proceedings of the Abrar Fahad murder case run fairly and expeditiously. We hope that the court will take the matter with utmost importance and fulfill the expectations of the entire nation," Sayem added.
Abrar, a second-year student of Electrical and Electronic Engineering department, was beaten to death by a group of Chattra League men at the university’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall on the intervening night of October 6 and October 7.