Daffodil International University (DIU) has asked teachers to prepare the result sheets of the current semester without taking the final examinations, in clear defiance of a recent directive of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The UGC on April 6 asked private universities to stop assigning students' grades without holding semester finals, as well as to halt enrolling new students without admission tests.
But DIU is not the only private university disregarding the UGC directive, as Brac University is also facing similar allegations.
The Brac University administration recently provided certificates to students of the current semester without taking any examinations. The students failed to complete at least 25 percent of their academic activities due to the evolving Covid-19 situation.
Brac University Vice-Chancellor Professor Vincent Chang made the decision without the consent of the academic council, according to sources in the university. The Business Standard could not reach him for comment on the matter.
Acknowledging the issue, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Mohammad Tamim, said, "We cannot comment on the matter; only the vice-chancellor can provide more details."
Prof Tamim declined to comment on the issuance of certificates without examinations.
UGC Chairman Professor Kazi Shahidullah told The Business Standard that the Brac University authorities had admitted that they provided certificates without any examinations.
However, when asked what action the UGC had taken over the matter, he declined to comment.
On condition of anonymity, a teacher of DIU said, "The university authorities asked teachers to submit the results of the current semester without any examinations. It is immoral and a violation of the UGC directive. It should be stopped."
DIU's Registrar AKM Fazlul Haque said the administration had asked the teachers to give 60 percent marks to all students. But he declined to say anything more.
Responding to a query, Fakhrul Islam, Director of the Private University Division at the UGC, said, "It is not acceptable for a university to provide certificates without taking exams. We will take drastic action if we find any irregularities."
According to sources from various private universities, it takes at least 13 weeks to complete a semester, but Brac University took classes for only nine weeks. Moreover, teachers did not take class tests and evaluate students' assignments.
Private universities enroll students in three semesters – spring (January to April), summer (May to August) and fall (September to December). Every year, about 25 percent of students enroll in the summer semester.
Rubina Akter (not her real name), a student of Computer Science and Engineering of Brac University, said, "The institution has sent me a certificate for the current semester online. We participated in some online classes.
"The university stopped taking classes after a few ones and sent the certificate to me. The university gave us average grades. I believe that I would have done better in the final examination. It would not have mattered if the exam were taken later."
"I cannot support such an initiative taken by the university," she added.
Another student of Brac, preferring to be anonymous, said, "The institution did not take classes and examinations, but it charged us fees. It is highly unethical."
Some teachers of Brac University pointed out that students, who did not perform well in class tests, usually get a chance to improve their grades in the final exams, but there would be no such option now.
"Such action by the university administration is immoral. It will raise questions among students and guardians, and at the same time it will definitely tarnish the image of the university," said a teacher, asking not to be named.
Another teacher said, "We have been directed not to fail any student in the current semester. It is just a farce."
Meanwhile, some universities, including American University, Daffodil University, Brac University, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and United International University (UIU) have decided to enroll students for the summer semester without any admission tests.
These universities will enroll students based on their Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations' results.
Professor Dr Chowdhury Mofizur Rahman, vice-chancellor of UIU, said, "We will enroll students for the summer semester on the basis of their CGPA. We have taken the decision considering the present situation."
Meanwhile, some private universities, including North South University, Brac University, East West University and University of Asia Pacific have postponed all admission tests.