HSC-passed students from different educational institutions on Saturday protested against authorities' decision to change rules with regards to switching of departments in the cluster-system admission test.
Demanding reinstatement of the previous rules, more than a hundred students marched from the Raju memorial sculpture to the National Press Club, under a banner that read 'Bivag Poriborton Chai Oikko.'
Expressing indignation at the new rules, Naimur Rahman, one of the protesters and a student of BFF Shaheen College, said, 'I have been preparing to change my university major for the last year and a half. My family wants me to study Law in university, as do I. But if the government suddenly changes the rules without prior notice, my dreams and life will both be shattered.'
"I haven't even gotten admitted anywhere else in the hope of getting admitted into a public university," he added.
Another protester Sajib Rahman, a student of Rajshahi College who used to study science, was also frustrated by the new rules.
"Almost three lakh students prepared for Bangla, English and General Knowledge - included in the syllabus for the university admission test – mentally conditioning themselves to take on a different major than what they had studied in college," he said.
"Now if they discard this syllabus and take the test in the syllabus of each individual department, we won't be able to pass, let alone receive admission. We're not prepared for this," he added.
A meeting on 1 December between UGC and vice-chancellors of different universities decided to take cluster admission tests in 19 general and science & technology universities.
It also decided that these universities will hold three separate admission tests for students of the science, arts, and commerce departments. The opportunity to change majors will be under the jurisdiction of a separate unit.
Students will be given scores, and universities will admit them on the basis of these scores, the number of available seats and their individual preferences.