Public universities introducing combined admission tests in 2020-21

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-02-11 20:06:59 BdST

File Photo: Students take Dhaka University admission test.

The public universities will admit students through combined tests from this year.

The Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University in Dhaka announced the decision taken in a meeting of the Bangladesh University Council, a body of the vice-chancellors, at the institution in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Different sets of question papers will be made for science, business studies and humanities streams in line with the syllabuses of Higher Secondary Certificate or HSC exams, according to the announcement.

The colleges under the National University will also follow the same procedure for admitting students to undergraduate courses.     

A proposal was made at the meeting on short, written forms of answers in the combined tests.

The candidates will be asked to submit applications online shortly after the HSC exams are done.

The admission tests will be taken within November.

Once the results are out, those on the central merit list will be able to apply for admission to the university of their choice.

All the VCs who attended the meeting favoured the central system of tests to reduce the sufferings of the students and their parents, according to the statement from the university. 

They emphasised the opinion of President Md Abdul Hamid, the ex-officio chancellor of the universities, while taking the decision, the statement said. 

One of the VCs who attended the meeting said their colleagues from the Dhaka University, BUET and Jahangirnagar University skipped the meeting.

The University Grants Commission will sit with the three VCs to finalise the central system of public university admission, added the VC, who requested anonymity.

Asked for his comments, Dhaka University VC Md Akhtaruzzaman said its Academic Council would take the final decision on the combined tests after taking opinions of people related to the matter.

He said he had recently sat with the former VCs, deans, national professors, professors emeritus, UGC professors and for UGC chairmen on the issue.

“They have firmly told me that the decision must be based on everyone’s opinion and come from the Academic Council,” he said.

Akhtaruzzaman, however, added that the idea of combined tests was “positive”.

“The fewer the number of tests, the better it is for the students. But our Dhaka University is different. All the decisions are finalised here through the Academic Council.”

Under the current system, the candidates need to travel to all the universities up and down the country for admission after passing HSC exams. They also have to take preparations differently for the admission tests of different universities.

Many, including former education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, have spoken about abolishing the system. He had initiated steps for combined tests once but could not succeed in the face of opposition from some quarters.

His successor Dipu Moni took measures last year to hold combined tests for university admission. She hoped it would be possible to introduce the new system this year.

The education minister argues that the combined tests will reduce the students’ sufferings and waste of money. She says such tests will especially benefit the female candidates.

Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University VC and the council’s President Kamal Uddin Ahamed chaired Tuesday’s meeting attended by the VCs of 28 universities.

They included Harun-or-Rashid of the National University, Shireen Akhter of the Chittagong University, M Abdus Sobhan of the Rajshahi University, Mizanur Rahman of the Jagannath University, and Farid Uddin Ahmed of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.