- Private unis need to wait until public uni admission tests are held
- Most public unis plan to hold entrance tests from April
- Brilliant students will first try for public unis, including medical colleges
- 106 private unis have 2 lakh seats for freshers
- New students usually enrol at private unis in spring semester
Private universities this year will not get the desired number of new students until the summer semester due to the delay in the announcement of the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) results caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Generally, students begin studies at private universities in the spring semester, which usually commences in January. This is because HSC results are generally published in July, when most students try to get into public universities.
Due to the shortage of seats in the public higher educational institutions, a good number of meritorious students fail to enrol there. They then study at different private universities.
As the 2020 HSC results were published in late January this year, students will first try for public universities. The public universities plan to hold admission tests from April as they want to wait for the Covid-19 situation to improve.
As a result, the private universities will have to wait till the summer semester, which usually begins in May, to get new students. The enrolment of freshers helps them get the revenues required to ensure smooth operations.
Most private universities in the country have been facing serious financial crises since March last year due to the ramifications of the pandemic.
Professor Dr Atiqul Islam, vice-chancellor of North South University, told The Business Standard that NSU might not get the desired number of students in the spring semester.
"We have to wait till the public universities finish holding their admission tests," he said.
The brilliant students coming from middle class or lower-middle income families would try for the reputed public universities and medical colleges first, and would then enrol at the private institutions, said Dr Atiqul Islam.
"Our university has faced neither a student crisis nor a financial crisis during the pandemic. But it is true that we are getting fewer revenues than in normal times," he explained.
"Moreover, it is good news for the mid-ranking and low-ranking private universities as they might get a good number of students in the summer semester due to the 100% HSC pass rate," he added.
Professor Mohammad Ali Naqi, vice-chancellor of Stamford University, said the university was preparing to admit fresh students from May and had already started an advertising campaign to attract pupils.
"We know students will try for public universities first. The admission process of public institutions will end in the last week of April. So we have to wait until then," he said.
He noted, "Basically, it is difficult to bear the operational expenses of the university until new students enrol. We will be able to operate smoothly after the enrolment of freshers."
The Deputy Director (public relations) of United International University, Abu Sadat Md Mostansirbilla, said UIU had received fewer applications in this year's spring semester compared to the same semester in previous years.
"New students usually enrol at private universities in the spring semester. But this year the spring semester will not get the expected number of students due to the delay in publishing the HSC results," he added.
There are two lakh study places for freshers at 106 private universities in the country.
Meanwhile, of the 40 public universities that are taking in students, 30 will hold a uniform admission test. The remaining 10 will hold admission tests separately.
The 10 universities are the University of Dhaka, the University of Rajshahi, the University of Chattogram, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, Bangladesh University of Textiles, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology, and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University.
Students will have to undergo rigorous scrutiny before they sit for the entrance tests at the 19 public universities that have decided to hold a uniform admission test under the cluster system.
The university authorities will carry out the screening upon completion of the primary application process. Only those selected at this stage will be allowed to participate in subsequent tests.
As part of the subsequent tests, students will have to take a 100-mark test, but the respective universities will decide whether they will include the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and HSC scores to determine the outcome of the admission tests.
"The universities can decide whether or not they will include the SSC and HSC scores to make the final decision on students' admissions. That will be at their discretion," Dr Mizanur Rahman, vice-chancellor of Jagannath University and joint convener of the cluster-based admission test system, said.