Most public universities in the country are planning to stop fresh enrollment in their evening courses in compliance with the directive of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in this regard.
Already, two universities -- Jagannath University (JnU) and Cumilla University (CoU) -- on Thursday announced that they will not enroll any new student in such courses.
The authorities of these two universities said they will not admit any fresher but those who have already enrolled in different courses will be able to complete their courses.
Besides, the authorities of Dhaka university (DU), Jahangirnagar University (JU), Rajshahi University (RU) are also going to take steps to stop running these courses.
The DU first approved evening master's degree courses under its Business Faculty in October 2001 when Prof Dr AK Azad Chowdhury was the Vice Chancellor, and it has witnessed an exponential growth over the past 18 years.
Talking to UNB, former DU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique said the main reason behind introducing such courses was to spread higher education among professionals to enrich their practical knowledge and skills for their workplaces.
“But, now these courses are being used for the personal benefits of a section of teachers. Questionable admission process and inappropriate answer-script evaluation are producing low-quality graduates,” he said.
Even some students were admitted to these courses without any entry test that can never be acceptable, he said adding, “Now, I hope, the university authorities will follow the UGC directive and take necessary steps.”
Currently, the DU has a total of 80 evening courses under 41 departments and institutions. Among them, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) has 18 courses while Faculty of Business Studies (FBS) 16 under nine departments and Social Welfare and Research Institute 6.
DU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman said earlier they formed a five-member committee, led by Dean of the Faculty of Sciences Prof Dr Tofail Ahmed Chowdhury, over running evening courses in May this year.
“They’re still working on it and will submit a report soon. We’ll take steps based on their recommendations,” he said.
The DU VC said, “Prior to the 52nd convocation of Dhaka University, President Abdul Hamid, also the Chancellor of the university, discussed the issue when I met him in 2018. We must follow the UGC directive.”
Following the Dhaka University, the Rajshahi University also introduced the evening programmes in 2003 at its Business Administration Institute. Now, at least 16 departments and four RU institutes are running evening courses.
Evening courses are also there under 17 departments of Jahangirnagar University (JU).
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday ordered the closure of such courses at all the public universities citing that running such courses tarnish their image and reputation.
The UGC passed the directive in a letter issued to all the public universities containing a 13-point directive, asking them to properly follow the rules and regulations in the higher educational institutions.
The directives came just two days after President Abdul Hamid had said commercially-run evening courses are turning public universities into business institutions disrupting the campus atmosphere.
While speaking at the 52nd convocation of the Dhaka University on December 9, the President said. “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.”