Our private university system now does not need more taxation
Although global rankings frequently come under criticism for their less-than-perfect methodology, they are, nevertheless, crucial to spurring universities on to improve themselves -- in teaching, in research, in innovation. Getting a good place in one of these rankings can also boost the profile of a university, attracting the best and brightest students, who in turn reinforce the quality of the education, thus creating a virtuous cycle. Simply, competition produces quality.
The public university system in Bangladesh, for a long time, has languished. Stuck in its own bubble, burdened by student politics, bureaucracy, and session jams, they have failed to reach higher levels of academic excellence over the years. Dhaka University, the pride of this nation, and often known by the moniker “Oxford of the East,” in reality has changed and improved only at a glacial pace. Research publications are sluggish, and there are numerous complaints about unethical practices such as plagiarism. Perhaps this would not have happened if Dhaka University had taken global rankings a bit more seriously.
Now, private universities are excelling in many ways, and are moving forward with cutting-edge education. They have best adapted to the pandemic, and no doubt, as we move into the future, the private universities will take the lead, with public universities following, and not the other way around.
Our private university system now does not need more taxation, or more UGC regulation -- quite the opposite. To maintain quality of research and education, they should be allowed to focus on their work, and invest in continuous improvement, rather than being needlessly bogged down.
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