Fairness and transparency in university admission policy: Are the public universities in Bangladesh making a shift?
An editorial piece
Submitted by Raihan Mahmood Kadery MARIHE-2 Beijing Normal University
Submitted to Prof. Lauren lla Misiazek Faculty of Education Beijing Normal University
Fairness and transparency in university admission has recently become a burning issue in civil society, higher education community and even parliament in Bangladesh. Public universities in Bangladesh have been highly criticized for admitting students in different social sciences and arts departments who are not motivated enough to continue in those departments and later drop out ...view middle of the document...
Students, who get better subjects in other prestigious public universities, drop out themselves from their earlier admissions and move to the new one.
Another reason is that all the public universities allow students to participate in admission tests for the second time in the next academic year, if they are not satisfied with their performance in the first time. This policy encourages the students to get admitted into any subject they get in the first time, and later taking preparation throughout the whole year for their desired subjects in the next university admission tests. Once they get the better subjects, they leave the current one; and universities can never fill up the gaps.
The current admission system is furthermore criticised for its creation of inequality in competition. Students, who participate second time in the university admission tests, can prepare themselves throughout the year and then compete with the fresh high school leavers in the test who can take preparation for only 2-3 months; and thus creates inequality in the competition.
As a consecutive action to minimise this dropout and inequality in competition, and making the admission policy more transparent and fair, two of the most prestigious public universities in Bangladesh (University of Dhaka and Jahangirnagar University) have very recently declared that only the fresh high school leavers can attend their university admission tests (Jahangirnagar University, 2014; University of Dhaka, 2014). This decision has been made in order to protect the students leaving their existing study programmes after one academic year, and resolving the inequality in competition among the students in terms of preparation time.
However, this decision may also not be convincing as fair to everyone as it does not allow the students to get into university who could not continue their academic education just after finishing high school and, thus discourages the continuing education and lifelong learning. Moreover, the whole decision making process also lacks transparency as the universities have circulated this decision just one month before their tests which stops many students to participate in the admission tests after taking one year of preparation for the tests.
Furthermore, students, who did not even register for other universities’ admission tests except these two most prestigious universities, either have to wait one more year to participate in the admission tests of other public universities or go to the private universities. The decision, therefore, encourages establishment of private universities and thus privatization of higher education which is in fact one of the policy priorities of current government of Bangladesh. However, high tuition fees of private universities are hardly affordable for most of the students in Bangladesh considering its socio-economic context. The decision, as a consequence, may destroy higher education career of...