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What is Private University

Private universities are not operated by governments though many receive public
subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and
grants. Depending on the region, private universities may be subject to
government regulation. Private universities compare to public universities
and national universities.

History

Australia

Bond University is Australia's first private university, founded in 1987. It runs


three semesters per year (correlating exactly with the Northern and Southern
Hemispheres' schedules), which allows a student to complete a six semester
degree in two years and an eight semester degree (e.g. Law) in under three years.

Since Bond University's foundation, the University of Notre Dame Australia has
also been founded as a private university, in 1989. They remain Australia's only
private universities.

Melbourne University, a public university, owned a private university called


Melbourne University Private from 1998 to 2005. The private university was not
successful, losing $A 20 000 000 over its life.

Austria

In Austria, educational institutions must be authorised by the State to legally


grant academic degrees. All state-rum universities are governed by the 2002
Austrian Universities' & University Degree Programmes' Organisation Act
(Federal Law Gazette No. 120/2002). In 1999, a federal law (Universitäts-
Akkreditierungsgesetz) was passed to allow the accreditation of private
universities. The Akkreditierungsrat (Accreditation Council, evaluates applicants
and issues recommendations to the responsible Austrian accreditation authority
(the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science & Research).

Austrian law provides that private universities in Austria must use the term
Privatuniversität (literally, "private university") in their German names, although
their formal names in other languages, e.g. in English, are not regulated. Thus,
there is the possibility of private institutions employing the term "university" as
opposed to "private university" in their advertisements in all languages except
German while still complying with Austrian law.

Accreditation of private universities started in 2001. Today, there are 12 private


universities in Austria. Most of them are small (fewer than 1000 students) and
specialise in only one or two fields of study:

The Top 50 Private Universities at a Glance

We updated and ranked this list of the top 50 values in private universities
for 2009 (how we scored the schools). Clicking on the college names
below will show you all of the ranking data. Or, see our top 50 values in
liberal arts colleges. Most of our data come from Petersons, a Nelnet
company.

1 - Cal. Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Cal.


2 - Princeton, Princeton, N.J.
3 - Yale, New Haven, Conn.
4 - Rice, Houston, Tex.
5 - Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.
6 - Duke, Durham, N.C.
7 - Columbia, New York, N.Y.
8 - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
9 - Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
10 - MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
11 - Stanford, Stanford, Cal.
12 - Brown, Providence, R.I.
13 - Emory, Atlanta, Ga.
14 - University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.
15 - Northwestern, Evanston, Ill.
16 - University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
17 - Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tenn.
18 - Cornell, Ithaca, N.Y.
19 - University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
20 - Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Md.
21 - Washington Univ. in St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.
22 - Tufts, Medford, Mass.
23 - Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
24 - Brandeis, Waltham, Mass.
25 - Wake Forest, Winston-Salem, N.C.
26 - Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
27 - Lehigh, Bethlehem, Pa.
28 - Elon University, Elon, N.C.
29 - Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.
30 - Bentley, Waltham, Mass.
31 - Trinity, San Antonio, Tex.
32 - University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.
33 - Univ. of So. California, Los Angeles, Cal.
34 - University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.
35 - Providence College, Providence, R.I.
36 - Emerson College, Boston, Mass.
37 - Clark, Worcester, Mass.
38 - Creighton, Omaha, Neb.
39 - Whitworth, Spokane, Wash.
40 - Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Pa.
41 - Butler, Indianapolis, Ind.
42 - Bradley, Peoria, Ill.
43 - Santa Clara Univ., Santa Clara, Cal.
44 - Pepperdine, Malibu, Cal.
45 - University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.
46 - Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
47 - Boston Univ., Boston, Mass.
48 - Tulane, New Orleans, La.
49 - Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio
50 - Gonzaga, Spokane, Wash.

List of Private Universities in Bangladesh


• By Super Admin

• Published 14 February 2007

Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology

American International University - Bangladesh (AIUB)


America Bangladesh University
ASA University Bangladesh (ASAUB)
Asian University of Bangladesh (AUB)
Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology
Bangladesh University
Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT)
Begum Gulchemonara Trust University
BGC Trust University Bangladesh
Brac University
Central Women's University
City University
College of Textile Technology
Comilla University
Daffodil International University (DIU)
Darul Ihsan University
Dhaka International University
East - West University
Eastern University
Gano Bishwabidyalaya
Green University of Bangladesh
IBAIS University
Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB)
International Islamic University Chittagong
International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology
(IUBAT)
Leading University
Manarat International University
Metropolitan University, Sylhet
North South University (NSU)
Northern University - Bangladesh
Premier University , Chittagong
Presidency University
Prime University
Primeasia University
Pundra University of Science and Technology
Queens University
Royal University of Dhaka
Santa Marium University of Creative Technology
South East University
Southern University
Stamford University
State University of Bangladesh
Sylhet International University
The People's University of Bangladesh
The Millenium University
The University of Asia Pacific
United International University
University of Development Alternative (UODA)
University of Information Technology & Sciences
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh
University of Science and Technology, Chittagong
University of South Asia
Uttara University
Victoria University of Bangladesh
World University of Bangladesh

This is a list of universities in Bangladesh. Universities in Bangladesh are


mainly categorized into three different types — Public (government owned and
subsidized), Private (private sector owned universities), and International
(operated and funded by international organizations such as the Organisation of
the Islamic Conference).

University of Dhaka, established in 1921, is the oldest university of the country.


Bangladeshi universities are affiliated with the University Grants Commission
(UGC), a commission created according to the Presidential Order (P.O. No 10 of
1973) of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.[1]

The list is classified by the three types universities further segmented according
to their locations. The locations are given according to divisions, the topmost
administrative unit in Bangladesh. It is notable that, out of the 6 divisions Dhaka
Division houses 58 out of a total of 87, of them 52 in Dhaka, the capital city.
Most universities focus on general studies, meaning a diverse mix of curriculum,
business studies, engineering or technology. Seven universities have specialized
curricula focused on Islamic studies (2), agricultural sciences (2), medical
sciences (1), Veterinary (1)and women's studies (1). Along with the universities
their short names, mostly acronyms, are provided as nicks.

Private universities

Establishment of private university in Bangladesh initiated after the institution of


the Private University Act 1992.[33] As of 2008, 54 such universities are
operational in five out of six division of the country. Barisal is the only division
of Bangladesh without having any private university.

[edit] Chittagong division


Following are the six private universities located in Chittagong division. All six
have main campuses in Chittagong city. One has its urban campus in Kumira,
outside the main city. Five are general purpose universities, while one is
specialized in technology.

Founded Location Specializatio Websi


University Nick
n te
Begum Gulchemonara Trust BGT Chittago
1. [34] 2002 General [31]
University U ng
Chittago
2. East Delta University[35][36] EDU 2006 General —
ng
International Islamic University, IIU Chittago
3. [37] 1995 General [32]
Chittagong C ng
Premier University, Chittago
4. [38] PU 2002 General [33]
Chittagong ng
Southern University, Chittago
5. [39] SUB 2001 General [34]
Bangladesh ng
University of Science & UST Chittago
6. [40] 1989 Technology [35]
Technology Chittagong C ng

[edit] Dhaka division

Faculty of Business & Economics, Daffodil International University


School of Business, Independent University, Bangladesh

Queens University Campus, Banani,Dhaka

Foundation Building, East West University

Department of English Language and Literature, Darul Ihsan University

American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) Banani, Dhaka


Following are the 45 private universities located in Dhaka division. All are in
Dhaka city, capital of the country and most are in Gulshan Thana, Dhanmondi
Thana and Uttara Thana. All but three are general purpose universities. Two
specializes in technology, while one specializes in women's studies.

Founded Location Specializatio Websi


University Nick
n te
Ahsanullah University of
7. AUST 1995 Dhaka Technology [36]
Science and Technology[41]
American International
8. AIUB 1994 Dhaka General [37]
University-Bangladesh[42]
Asian University of
9. AUB 1996 Dhaka General [38]
Bangladesh[43]
10 Asa University Bangladesh[44] ASAU
2006 Dhaka General [39]
. [45] B
11 Atish Dipankar University of ADUS
2004 Dhaka Technology [40]
. Science and Technology[46] T
12 Bangladesh Islami
BIU — Dhaka General [41]
. University[47]
13
Bangladesh University[48] BU 2001 Dhaka General [42]
.
14 Bangladesh University of
BUBT 2003 Dhaka Technology [43]
. Business and Technology[49]
15 BRA
BRAC University[50] 2001 Dhaka General [44]
. CU
16 Women's
Central Women's University[51] CWU 1993 Dhaka —
. Study
17
City University, Bangladesh[52] CUB 2002 Dhaka General [45]
.
18 Daffodil International
DIU 2002 Dhaka General [46]
. University[53]
19
Darul Ihsan University[54][55] DIU 1989 Dhaka General [47]
.
20 Dhaka International
DIntU 1995 Dhaka General [48]
. University[56]
21 Eastern University,
EU 2003 Dhaka General [49]
. Bangladesh[57]
22
East West University[58] EWU 1996 Dhaka General [50]
.
23
Gono Bishwabidyalay[59][60] GB 1996 Dhaka General [51]
.
24 Green University of
GUB 2002 Dhaka General [52]
. Bangladesh[61]
25
IBAIS University[62] IU 2002 Dhaka General [53]
.
26 Independent University,
IUB 1993 Dhaka General [54]
. Bangladesh[63]
International University of
27 IUBA
Business Agriculture and 1991 Dhaka General [55]
. T
Technology[64]
28 Manarat International
MIU 2001 Dhaka General [56]
. University[65]
29
Millennium University[66] MU 2003 Dhaka General —
.
30 Northern University,
NUB 2002 Dhaka General [57]
. Bangladesh[67]
31
North South University[68] NSU 1992 Dhaka General [58]
.
32 People's University of
PUB 1996 Dhaka General [59]
. Bangladesh[69][70]
33
Presidency University[71] PU 2003 Dhaka General [60]
.
34
Prime University[72][73] PU 2002 Dhaka General [61]
.
35
Primeasia University[74] PAU 2003 Dhaka General [62]
.
36
Queens University QU 1996 Dhaka General [63]
.
37
Royal University of Dhaka[75] RUD 2003 Dhaka General [64]
.
38 Shanto Mariam University of SMU
2003 Dhaka General [65]
. Creative Technology[76] CT
39 Southeast University[77] SEU 2002 Dhaka General [66]
.
40 Stamford University
SU 2002 Dhaka General [67]
. Bangladesh[78]
41 State University of
SUB 2002 Dhaka General [68]
. Bangladesh[79]
42 United International
UIU 2003 Dhaka General [69]
. University[80]
43 University of Asia Pacific
UAP 1996 Dhaka General [70]
. (Bangladesh)[81]
44 University of Development UOD
2002 Dhaka General [71]
. Alternative[82] A
45 University of Information
UITS 2003 Dhaka General [72]
. Technology and Sciences[83]
46 University of Liberal Arts
ULAB 2004 Dhaka General [73]
. Bangladesh[84]
47 University of South Asia,
USAB 2003 Dhaka General —
. Bangladesh[85]
48
Uttara University[86] UU 2004 Dhaka General [74]
.
49 Victoria University of
VUB 2003 Dhaka General [75]
. Bangladesh[87]
50 World University of
WUB 2003 Dhaka General [76]
. Bangladesh[88]

[edit] Rajshahi division

Following is the only private university located in Rajshahi division. It is a


specialized university with its campus in Bogra.

Founded Location Specializatio Websi


University Nick
n te
51 Pundra University of Science PUS
2001 Bogra Technology [77]
. and Technology[89] T

[edit] Sylhet division

Following are the three private universities located in Sylhet division. All three
has main campuses in Sylhet town.
Nic Founded Location Specializatio Websi
University
k n te
52
Leading University[90] LU 2002 Sylhet General [78]
.
53 M
Metropolitan University[91] 2003 Sylhet General [79]
. U
54 SI
Sylhet International University[92] 2001 Sylhet General [80]
. U

Universities in Bangladesh play very important role in the over all


development of the country. This is evident form the fact that the
students and teachers of the Dhaka University which was established in
the year 1921, was at the forefront of the national liberation struggle
that led to the independence of the country. Other Universities of
Bangladesh at both public sector and the private sector are also playing
important role by not only providing degrees and thus producing quality
human resources for various sectors of the economy, but also producing
enlightened citizens an thus improving the quality of life in the society
as a whole.
In order to solve the problem of accessibility of higher education the
government of Bangladesh is allowing the establishment of private
Universities in Bangladesh from 1992. However the University Grant
Commission of Bangladesh would have the power to approve or reject
the establishment of private Universities in Bangladesh. There are at
present 54 private Universities in Bangladesh.

The University Grant Commission of Bangladesh would in fact be


responsible for supervising and maintaining the quality of education in
all the public and private Universities of Bangladesh, as it is the
statutory apex body in the field of higher education in Bangladesh.
Therefore it advises the govt. to improve the quality of higher education
system in Bangladesh. It performs such other important functions like
determining the financial needs of the Universities and disbursing the
grants for their maintenance and development.

Study in bangladesh
Making education accessible to all in Bangladesh has remained a major concern
for the political leaders of the country after it became independent in the year
1971. Before getting independence, Bangladesh was part Pakistan and the
primary medium of instruction in the schools were English and Urdu. As Bangla
is the national and most widely spoken language of the country at present, Bangla
and English have become the main mediums of instruction in Bangladesh. The
education system in Bangladesh is mainly divided in three stages- primary,
secondary and higher education.

One would need 5 years to complete primary education and 7 years for Secondary
education. The secondary education in Bangladesh can again be divided in 3
stages- 3 years of junior secondary, 2 years of secondary and 2 years of higher
secondary education. After completing the higher secondary education in
Bangladesh, one can pursue the graduate level education in general or other
professional courses. One needs to spend 4 yeas to earn a pass or honours
bachelor degree from a university in Bangladesh. Those with an honours degree
at the graduate level would have to spend 1 year for earning a masters degree. But
for the holders of (Pass) Bachelor degree, the masters degree course would be of
2 years duration.

Religion plays a very important role in the polity of Bangladesh and Madrasha
education with special emphasis on religious teachings is available in all three
stages of education in Bangladesh- primary, secondary and higher education.

While the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) is responsible for
management of primary education and mass literacy, the Ministry of Education
(MoE) in Bangladesh is responsible for the management of secondary, vocational
and tertiary education). While the net enrollment ratio for the year 2004 was
93.2% at the primary level, it was only 48% at the secondary level according to
the UIS global education database. The enrollment at the higher education is also
far from satisfactory.

While many of the developing countries are trying to spend 6% of their GDP in
education, expenditure in Bangladesh education was mere 2.2% of GDP in 2004.
In order to put the country in the path of progress and development, it is very
important to increase the budget expenditure in education of Bangladesh and
undertake important reforms.

Concept, issues and importance of library consortium: Problems and


prospects of university library consortium in Bangladesh.
Abstract
This is an age of information explosion. No library, however big it may be, is
able to
satisfy all the needs of its user due to various constraints. It is because of this
phenomenon that the concept of library consortium has developed. Consortium of
libraries is well known for sharing of resources all over the world. Information
explosion,
emergence of internet and particularly World Wide Web as a new medium of
information
storage make the concept more come into sight than earlier. This study aims to
explore
the concept, issues and facilities offered by the library consortium and shows how
the
library consortium is making resources available among the member libraries.
Bangladesh has plenty of libraries but the concept is still at a nascent stage in
library
arena. It is essential to have some ideal consortia models for university libraries
to adhere
for optimum utilization of their resources and services. This study also aims to
identify
the possibilities, problems of building library consortium and make viable
recommendations, suggest models for the future prospect of university library
consortium
in Bangladesh. It believes that establishment of university library consortium will
make
university libraries more productive and effective to their user community.
Keywords: University library, Resource sharing, Library consortium, Library
services,
University Library Consortium
Prologue
The emergence of the internet, particularly the World Wide Web, as a new
medium of
information storage and delivery in the 21st century. In the age of information
explosion,
the most challenging tasks for the information professionals and information
centers all
over the world is to supervise the huge information that are being produced and
developed in the world . It is impossible for a single library to monitor all the
explosion
of knowledge fields and accumulate for the users. To cope up with this situation,
the
phenomenon of consortia has become very important in the last few years.
Initially the
term used for resource sharing activities was library cooperation. Though
cooperation
theoretically could embrace almost all library activities, practically it was
confined to
inter-library loan of library documents. But due to physical distance and other
reasons
even this limited system of cooperation was not being practiced widely. However,
with
the advent of ICT and its application in library activities, new opportunities
opened up for
greater cooperation among libraries. At the global level Internet and at the
national and
local level several library networks came in vogue and databases created for
information
sharing. In recent years availability of information resources in digital or
electronic
medium has further facilitated exchange of information resources among
libraries, thus
creating favorable condition for increased resource sharing. Emergence of library
consortia is a very promising development in this direction (Chaterjee, 2002).
Consortium of libraries is well known for sharing of resources all over the world.
Several
libraries in the world have formed consortia to share their human and electronic
resources. However, Consortium now being overheard everywhere is because of
digital
form of information. It refers to co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration
between
and amongst libraries for the purpose of sharing information resources. Currently,
university libraries are purchasing materials to answer the needs of their users.
This task
is difficult for a single library. By forming a consortium among libraries, it
becomes
possible to purchase information in stabilized and reasonable prices. In
Bangladesh,
many library and information centers are making steps for building library
consortium. In
case of university library, University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh
is taking
initiatives for digital resource consortium for university libraries in Bangladesh.
Literature review
Though the idea of cooperation was in existence for many years now, library
consortium
is still at its nascent stage in many countries. Being an emerging development
where the
number of participating libraries is increasing everyday much attention is placed
on
library consortia and consequently a good number has been written about it. Most
of the
literature is on case studies determining the feasibility aspects of consortia. (Nfial
&
Darko-Ampen, 2002) traces the history of library consortium from 1960’s
through 2000
and report that in 19997, an international association of library consortium was
formed.
(Rao, 2001) repots about the status of the existing library and information
networks in
India. (Mclean, 1999) examined the characteristics underpinning resource sharing
among
university libraries in Australia on how the information revolution posses global
challenges in times of infrastructure and use of internet. They argue that Australia
lack
resource coordination at a national level, but several important initiatives are
underway.
(Ashoor, 2000) suggest few guidelines for the Arabian Gulf regions and
concludes that
libraries in the region should enter into partnership to establish consortium.
(Giordano,
2002) traces the history of information communication technologies in Italian
libraries
with reference to library networks and digital cooperation initiatives. (Fordyce,
2004)
writes an article on ‘New Zealand University Library Acquisitions consortium for
the
supply of print monograph resources’ where author discusses different
consortium related
issues. The Committee of New Zealand University Librarians Acquisitions
Consortium
(CONZULAC) was developed to gain maximum value from expenditure on print
monograph resources, to achieve operating efficiencies and to improve levels of
service.
This paper looks at the issues that arose during its development. (Rona , 1999)
writes an
article on ‘The very model of a modern library consortium’ where they discusses
at what
stage and under what circumstances does an informal consortium need to think
about
changing from an alliance of non- affiliated institutions to a formal legally
incorporated
body? This paper draws on research funded by the Western Australian Group of
University Librarians (WAGUL). It is evident from the literature that every
region or
country appears to have some unique and confined problems. However,
identification of
the factors implementing library consortium is vital in order to address the issue
suitably.
Methodology
The available literature on the topic has been studied and reviewed to examine the
consortium concept in the country. The conceptual and textual information
related to the
present study were collected both from primary and secondary sources f
information such
as books, professional journals, magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings
as well
as from unpublished sources. Relevant literature was also made browsing
different
notable websites. In some cases observation method was also applied for
collecting data
on different university libraries.
Objective of the study
The study intends to explore the university library consortium systems in
Bangaldesh. It
is specially focused on the following issues:
To be familiar with the concept, issues and identify the facilities offered by the
library
consortium in case of information availability.
Examine the existing situation of library consortium and finds the most advanced
university libraries for building University Library Consortium in Bangladesh
(ULCB).
Determine the impact of university library consortium and identify the major
constraints of building consortium in Bangladesh.
Suggests some effective measures and to provide certain future directions for
introducing University Library Consortium in Bangaldesh (ULCB). A road map
is also
discussed for implementing university library consortium.
Library consortium
Although no particular date can be cited as the beginning point of library
consortium, the
concept as a consortium as being an association or partnership has long been a
tenet of
librarianship (Kopp, 1998).The idea of consortium is not new. There were
instances of
several libraries coming together voluntarily for the mutual benefit of respective
users
just like cooperatives, it was the earliest stage of library cooperation. In the
second stage,
computerized networks come into vogue for sharing of resources. Till this period,
the
library resources were mainly in traditional printed format. The networks created
their
bibliographical databases. The users of the participating libraries could get the
required
documents from other libraries through document delivery services. With the
advent of e-
resources, the concept of consortia has been mooted mainly for acquisition of e-
journals.
As the resources that are procured today through the consortium are mainly e-
resources,
it has become possible for the users to access and download the required
materials
without even going through the elaborate process of inter-library lending. Though
library
consortia have been created with narrow purpose, these can be turned into
efficient
instruments for sharing all types of library resource.
A consortium could be described as a group of organizations who come together
to fulfill
a combined objective that usefully requires cooperation and the sharing of
resources, and
need to have a clear mutual goal in order to ensure their success. The aim should
be to
deliver “more than the sum of the individual parts”.
Before pursing specific discussion a brief consideration of the term would be
useful. The
‘Consortia’ is the plural form of ‘consortium’ but is often used in place of
singular form.
The term is delivered form the Latin word for ‘fellowship’; the meaning
emphasizes the
coming together of separate groups for a purpose. Homogenously it is used as,
‘alliance’
‘coalition’, ‘collaboration’, ‘cooperation’, ‘partnership’, etc. Consortia are
complicated
organizations. It is “an association” in the sense that s not commonly understood;
i.e. a
consortium is not a library association, although some association of libraries
engages in
consortial activity (Scepanski, 2002).
By definition a consortium is said to be “a cooperative arrangement among
groups or
institutions” or “an association or society”. Library consortium would be
organization of
libraries formed to realize the benefit and opportunities of collaborative activity.
It is a
comparative alliance of libraries to share human and information resources.
(Hirshon,
1999) defines library consortia ‘a generic term to indicate any group of libraries
that are
working together towards a common goal, whether to expand cooperation on
traditional
library services (such as collection development) or electronic information
services. It is
now used perhaps too broadly, and encompasses everything from formal legal
entitles to
information groups that come together solely to achieve better pricing for
purchasing
electronic information’.
However, the common things of all the definition is the ‘coming together of
libraries
having common interests and needs to achieve a common goal that is beyond
what an
individual library could achieve on its own.
Issues related to library consortium
Various factors to be taken for an effective functioning of a successful
consortium. The
major issues of consortia approaches are
Selecting a coordinating agency to deal on behalf of the entire group of
participants and
executing and monitoring the work.
Sources of funding to meet the subscription cost
Identifying and negotiating the potential publishers / vendors or aggregators
to provide
access under consortia purchase.
Source of funding to meet the subscription cost
Legal issues involved in contracts and usage of material within the consortia.
Identification of libraries interested in participating and agreeing on
common terms
and conditions.
Identifying the necessary infrastructure fro electronic access to resources
Issues related to backup and archival of database
Documentation and training to staff.
Last but not least, designing and launching a library consortium should be
long run
substance and robust models towards achieving the above goals.
Importance of library consortium in the information society
Access to resources is now considered more important than the collection
building. The
consortium facilities the libraries to get the benefit of wider access to
electronic resources
at affordable cost and at the best terms of licenses. A consortium, with the
collective
strength of resources of various institutions available to it, is in a better
position to
resolve the problems of managing, organizing and archiving the electronic
resources
(Bedi & Sharma, 2008).
The phenomenon of information revolution has posed several problems and
this has far
reaching implications in the society. The nation or society which possesses
more
information will lead the world. This is also true in case of individuals. The
persons have
more information will guide a group or society and they will be superior to
others. This
power of information has induced the nations and individuals to acquire and
control more
and more quantities of information. But in this race, the poor nations,
societies,
institutions or individuals will be back as compared to the others. This has
created a big
gulf in the availability and use of information. The library consortia can be
an ideal
solution in this context. Perhaps the most important advantages of library
consortia would
be their enhanced ability to serve the society by giving better library
services. The
advantages of library consortia may be summarized as following:
1. To leverage resources by sharing existing resources or collection though
virtual union
catalogue and sharing of
Collections and collaborating on collection development; each library is able
to
contribute unique titles to the consortium – avoid duplication
Electronic resources including the creation of digital collections-sharing
among
consortium members need not be just in terms of licensing products- it can
also include
sharing in the creation of digital collections.
Storage of resources – Space is an issue for many libraries
Sharing the archiving of resources
Sharing staff expertise- a consortium provides opportunities for staff
members to
develop new skills and interact with a varsity of people who would not have
had the
opportunity to meet otherwise
Sharing risk- by sharing risk, members of a consortium can undertake
projects that are
larger than one institution can safely take on its own.
This form of cooperation enables the consortia libraries to borrow books,
periodicals,
articles, and scientific journals, which are not available locally.
Electronic access enables the user initiate their own search of remote
catalogues and
make requests for information.
Sharing catalogues—to enable user’s greater access to larger collection
CD-ROM union catalogue that provides access to books, videos and
recording for
each institution.
Union List of Serials that provides access to the journal holdings of all
member
libraries.
2. To reduce the cost of library operations by obtaining a group purchased
price for
information product.
3. To bring pressure on, providers especially publishers to reduce the rate of
rise in the
cost of purchasing information.
Thus, library consortium are commonly formed to negotiate joint purchases
(e.g. of
equipment, software, books, library materials and licensed electronic
databases and
resources) and to share resources.
Growth of library consortia in the world
Libraries, especially academic libraries have long formed consortia for the
purpose of
sharing existing physical resources--principally books and journals held by
member
libraries. Library consortia, does not have any remarkable history but the
consortial
arrangements started with the concept of resource sharing since long back.
In 19990’s,
new types of library consortia began to flourish that exploited the advances
in
information technology. The global development of OCLC in USA is a prime
example.
Over time the growth of newer consortium like; Colorado’s CARL,
Georgia’s
GALILEO, Illinois’s IDAL, Maryland’s SAILOR, Missouri’s MIRACAL,
New
Zealand’s CONZUL, CAUL, MetroNet, North America’s CRL, North
Carolina’s
embryonic NCLive, Ohio’s OhioLink, Pennsylvania’s PALCI, Portland’s
PORTALS,
Texas’s TexShare, Virginia’s VIVA, Washington’s WRLC, CIC in South
Asia , CURL in
UK, CALIM in Manchester, Concord in Britain, Metroweb in NewYork etc
came into
existence in the international scenario (Wikipedia, 2007). In India, major
initiatives are
regarding consortium is J-GATE form Informatics India, IITS-BARC-TIFR
Co-
operation, TIFR Libraries Consortium, ISI Library consortia, SNDT
consortia of LISA,
STI Network, FORSA consortia, INDSET and INFLIBNET consortium
under UGC
InfoNet.
Present scenario of library consortium in Bangladesh
At present there is no library consortium in Bangladesh. In the past, UGC
had taken
many initiatives for sharing information resources of different universities
for the benefit
of the universities. Since 1980’s there have been a number of attempts by
UGC to unify
the library catalogue systems and even to arrange some form of cooperative
journal
subscription for sharing resources (Awal, 2005). However, it is yet to be
realized due to
financial constraints. In 1998, there were a networking attempt called
Bangladesh
National Scientific and Library Information Network (BANSLINK). This
project was
initiated by the Bangladesh National Scientific Technical and Documentation
Center
(BANSDOC). It ventured to connect libraries across the country by setting
up a network
with 15 libraries 6 out of Dhaka and 9 in Dhaka via dial up links. The
initiative fell apart
due to administrative reorganization at the top and subsequent lack of
appreciation
In case of university library consortium the situation is worse than other
research
organizations. Since the inception of the country in 1971, the libraries of its
higher
education institutions never got a chance to be in competitive shape. In
Bangladesh there
are 21 public university and 54 private university libraries (UGC, 2006). The
Dhaka
University is the oldest university of the country and it was established on 1
July 1921.
University libraries are facing a lot of problems and their improving scenery
is remaining
low. Some of the large public universities have sound collection and private
university
libraries are essentially empty. Most university libraries have almost no
audio-visual
collections. In case of subscription journal, Bangladesh Agricultural
University (BAU)
reportedly dropped the number of titles from 700 to 200 between1974 and
2005. In a
2005 survey, out of 17 public universities 5 and out of 39 private universities
9 responded
to have some form of E-library. In 1998, Dhaka University started Dhaka
University
Library Automation Project (DULAP) where the university uses world
prominent
software Graphical Library Automation System (GLAS). Initially, this is the
large and
first one library automation project in the country. BUET has just
completed the local
made software for their library named BUETLIB but yet to launch. None of
the public
universities, including the largest technical and research universities Open
University,
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka
University can
provide access to any electronic journals to its students or faculties. Few
private
universities provide access to limited collections namely DOAJ, AGORA,
HINARI, OUP
eGermany, EMERLAND and JSTOR (Uddin & Chowdhury, 2006). Not a
single
institution in Bangladesh could afford the institutional membership to any
major medical,
engineering, technology collections such as ACME, IEEE or Elsevier,
Academic Press
Journals and proceedings. After 1992 Private University Act, many private
universities
particularly some top ranking universities came forward and emphasized to
establish an
automated modern library in respective premises with all IT facilities i.e.
computer
network, Internet and email, etc. Out of 54 private universities, two or three
of them have
their own VSAT. However, another attempt has been taken to build e-
catalogue for
university library entitled ‘A Networked E-Union Catalog for Public
University
Libraries’.
Barriers to University Library Consortium in Bangaldesh (ULCB)
Consortia have its inherent benefits but those benefits can be maximized,
while
minimizing the negative aspects. (Helmer, 1999) express that the benefits of
the consortia
can threaten by several issues, results the failure of consortia. Sometime it
has been found
that the consortia initiatives could not materialized, especially in
Bangladesh, reasons
may be the following:
(a) Lack of awareness and understanding: University librarians especially in
Bangladesh do not fully comprehend the concept of consortia based
subscription to
electronic resources and are not very keen to go whole-heartedly for
formation of
consortia of libraries. Sometimes they do no have good understanding about
consortia benefits.
(b) Speed of decision making: Notion that, belonging to consortium the speed
of
decision making of individual libraries can slow down. Though it depends
how
centralized or decentralized the consortium is.
(c) Budget and funding: These are always thorny issues. Belonging to a
consortium
means that part of library budget will be transferred and the issue of loss of
control
raises again. Lack of initial funds of university libraries may be a barrier to
starting
university library consortium.
(d) Lack of decision making and control: There is a fear that if a library
joins a
consortium, local decision making, autonomy, and control will be adversely
affected.
(e) Technological compatibility and security: The compatibility of the
members
computing system is critical if a consortium is to achieve the maximum
benefit from
technology. Different university library uses different library software and
lbrary
tools, so it becomes difficult for the university librarian to acquaint with
different
systems. Security is also another technical issue.
(f) Fear from local identity: Most of the university libraries don’t want to
feel like they
are losing their individual identity. They think, if they enter into a
consortium they
may loss their local identity.
(g) Type of agreements: Agreements between member libraries can have
major impacts
on the consortium’s effectiveness. It has been found that some libraries did
not join
in the consortia simply because of the agreement that was not of their
choosing.
(h) Egos and attitudes: Egos and attitudes of individuals or organizations
can have a
big impact on the success or failure of a consortium. Bangladeshi university
librarian
always makes different strategy and operating models.
(i) Consortial as a legal entity: Consortia of libraries need to have a legal
entity with
permission and authority to deal with institutions like banks and other
institution for
collecting subscription amount on behalf of the participating libraries.
(j) Lack of complete automation: A consortia without sharing the resources
of the
participating libraries is limited to online subscriptions made available from
gateway
portal. Many libraries are allowed to jump into the ban wagon of consortia
without
considering its automation status. With the availability of some internet
connectivity
this will allows such libraries to access the resources of other member
libraries but
their resource remain inaccessible till complete automation is done.
(k) Lack of resource: The resources of all participating libraries needs to be
balanced to
certain extend. Without some form of parity of collection of each library
there is a
risk of one library becoming a lending library while others remain
borrowing
libraries. A participating library with very few resources is a loss to the
libraries
which have lots to offer. This is major problems in Bangladeshi university
libraries
as some of the universities have rich collection and some of have poor
collection.
(l) Absence of any culture of interlibrary lending: No university libraries in
Bangladesh started interlibrary lending activities among them.
Traditionally,
interlibrary loan facilities or any form of co-operation is functional in the
university
library in Bangladesh.
(m) Unavailability of web environment: Unavailability of web environment
among the
university libraries is one of the major problems for accessing in the
university
library consortium. Internet connectivity is still in primitive stages which
make
online consortia almost unfeasible.
(n) Lack of leadership: Excellent library leadership will begin with the
notion of
enabling every one who works in the library to grow in knowledge, ability,
and
commitment as the primary task. University libraries have lack of creative
leader and
skilled management body for removing all the barriers for introducing
university
libraries in Bangaldesh.
Bangladesh University Library Consortium (BULC) and a road map
Bangladesh like many other countries in the developing world is undergoing
a phase of
rapid expansion in higher education. University Grants Commission (UGC)
is facing an
uphill battle to keep up the existing libraries. Private universities are also
facing the same
battle. However, the silver lining is that more than ten public and private
university
libraries are now almost in sound phases in collection development and
modern facilities.
These University Libraries began to operation for consortium, subsequently
rest of the
university libraries will be added in second and third phases. There can be
no better time
to launch a federated university library consortium. A national university
library
consortium initiative will ensure the following strategies benefit immediately
(Khan,
2006).
(a) Access to latest scientific publication has reached almost none in public
universities. Universities have dwindling access to books, journals and
periodicals. This is having crippling effect on the future of national science
and
technology readiness. A university library consortium model offers only
realistic
possibility to reverse the situation. It will not only restore this access to a
respectable size and quality, but also make it comparable to that at
developed
world.
(b) Vast amount of electronic books, courseware, and multi-media content
are already
available open access. A university library consortium with ICT facilities can
make them instantly accessible to the students, faculty and researchers of
Bangladesh.
(c) For Bangladesh almost none of the institutions individually are found to
be
capable of subscribing important periodical collections such as IEEF, ACM
or
even the supposedly low cost new mode scholarly publishing (such as
SPARC or
Digital Library Science ). But, roughly, any federation with four members
breaks
even the cost-a federation with 30 members may expect about 7-5 times
reduction
in cost per institution.
(d) Some publishers are very large as organizations. Federation provides
better
negotiating positions to keep the cost under control. Increasingly the
publishers
are bundling journals as Big Deal. Individual institutions may not find all
titles in
a bundle useful but a large federation with more research diversity will
benefit
more form Big Deal.
(e) Even free access collections have restrictions such as Creative Comments
licensing. Due to the complexity of intellectual property laws and their
variations
across nations many of these collections are reluctant to enter into access
contracts with small entitles. It is easier to work out access contracts if the
universities approach as a federation.
(f) The automation of the libraries will help in improving other library
services
including better collection management, accounting and reduce floor-space
usage.
Demand and usage can be tracked more accurately with new tools.
(g) Information property is fast becoming a major commodity in the 21st
century.
Developing countries may loose squarely rights on its intellectual resources
due to
digital divide. Locally originated content and intellectual properties may
have to
be bought back.
University Library Consortium in Bangladesh, like other countries, is
expected to be
capital saving and pay-off in few years. The members may want to pool
together a part of
their current library resources. It is expected that the saving from journal
budget alone
will pay for the best part of the cost. However, international assistance
funding is also
expected to be available provided the libraries can internally organize
themselves.
A Road Map
Initiating and initiative
(a) UGC can start by convening a conference inviting all the public and
private university
library management.
(b) Invite participants from the three communities (i) professional librarians
(ii) interested
faculty researchers from library and information sciences, computer science
and
engineering and related fields, and (iii) chief operating officers. From a
steering
committee to decide the mission, membership, planning and budgeting.
(c) The next step will be to discuss the concept and collect letter of interest
and initial
commitment from interested organization. With the concept and a unified
platform of the
university library of Bangladesh under UGC leadership seek national and
international
funding. The new consortia may seek technical cooperation by partnering
with some
established consortia.
Organizing the consortium
(a) Establish key technical committees in areas including (i) software
development (ii)
standardization and interlibrary cooperation (iii) collective resource
procurement (iv)
publishing and hosting support services (v) user services and training to lead
in respective
technical areas.
(b) Initiate signing a memorandum of understanding by university library
members.
There should be some commitment such as subscription, library facilitation
to make their
libraries consortium based.
Functions and services
(a) Being immediately: Roll out the first version of the University Library
Consortium,
UGC and the members should establish an initial budget and may roll out
very basic
consortium systems.
(b) Expand access: Join large international, multi-national, regional and
trans-continental
consortium federations to further obtain leverage in gaining access to
content.
(c) Expand services: University Library has to create an editorial process
management,
publishing, hosting and permanent archiving facility to the journals and
proceeding
published by the faculty and researchers of the universities in Bangladesh.
(d) Move for unified cataloguing, classification, digitization and sharing local
content.
Establish Interlibrary Loan Programme to complement the interlibrary
catalogue sharing.
Technical issues for the University Library Consortium in Bangladesh
(ULCB)
The technical challenges of ULCB are another factor for the countries. It
would require
technical experts in information and library sciences and experts in user
areas. It also
requires permanent professional librarians and ICT engineers in central and
member
library sites. Training will be very important due to rapidly changing nature
of the
technology. Provision has to be built into the budget of the proposal.
(a) Library automation System Software: At present different university
library uses
several library software’s for running library operations. CDS/ISIS,
LIBSYS,
GLAS, BUETLB is some of the examples of university library software in
Bangladesh. A local team can build a LAS and web based access versions.
There
are several free open source library software developed by UNESCO and
other
organizations. Bangladeshi specialists have to consider for federated access
management, multi-lingual document management and other involving
issues.
Thus Bangladesh will gain strategic advantage by grooming local developer
team.
(b) Master catalogue and digitization: The driving force behind most
university
library consortium was to pool together the materials owned by their
members.
However, now the remote digitized materials are the gem attractions of
library
consortium. University libraries of Bangladesh may be encouraged to make
union
catalogue and make digitization with priority given to the collections and
unique
value. It can even join hand with international digitization initiatives.
(c) Standardization: The University Library Consortium in Bangladesh
(ULCB)
cataloguing system will require many interoperability standards. A technical
committee within the initiative should familiarize themselves with the
ongoing
issues with related international standards such as Dublin Core, IEEE LOM,
Open
Archive Initiative, TEI, APPM, AACR2, MARC, ISBD, OWL, etc, and
advice
the initiative as needed. The body should undertake leadership role in
advancing
standards related to Bengali records and make other Bengali language
constituencies.
(d) Indigenous collection: It will be a timely idea also to simultaneously
initiate a
digital publication services for scholarly publications of the local origins.
There is
currently no local digital archival and circulation system though there are
quite a
few journals and regular conferences within the country. An offer to host
local
academic journals and proceedings by ULCB is expected to be highly
appreciated. Such initiative will offer greater global visibility to local
scholars and
researchers and to their research problems and would provide important
advantages to retain the intellectual property rights of the local scholars.
Model and implementation for University Library Consortium of
Bangladesh
(ULCB)
There is not a single university library in Bangladesh that is fully automated.
Some
libraries are in the initial stages of the automation and networking process.
A few
libraries have CD-ROM access, but no initiative has been taken in action to
produce
information products on CD. Some libraries have an online connection and
are providing
external resource sharing on a limited scale. Only a few university libraries
have started
networking or resource sharing or have used the telecommunication system
for data
transfer. The following university library can be included in the first phase
of University
Library Consortium in Bangladesh. The entire scenario of the proposed
university
libraries are:
Name of the library
Collections
Internet
Software
Website
Access to
Catalogue of E-
facilities
E-journals
journals
DUL
5,00,000

GLAS


-
BUETL
1,34,746

BUETLIB

-
-
JUL
90,578
-
CDS/ISIS

-
-
RUL
3,00,000

CDS/ISIS

-
-
SUSTL
41,000

CDS/ISIS


-
AUBL
1,79,666

-

-
-
NSUL
26,990

NSU Library Management


-
Software
EWUL
10,666

EWU LMIS


-
IUBL
19,947

LIBRARIUM


-
SUL
5,314
-

-
-
(Source: University website, brochure of university library and visit) (Dhaka
University Library-DUL, Bangladesh University of Engineering and
Technology Library-BUETL, Jahangirnagar University Library-JUL,
Rajshahi University Library-RUJL, Shahjalal University of Science &
Technology
Library-SUSTL, Agricultural University of Bangladesh Library-AUBL,
North South University Library-NSUL, East West University Library-
EWUL,
)
Independent University of Bangladesh Library-IUBL, Satmford University
Library-SUL
There is no single best model for a library consortium. Even it is also
ambiguous, who
can become partners through consortia. (Allen & Hirshon, 1998) suggests
three potential
partners (information providers, service providers & libraries) are wishing
to participate
in a consortium. Initially, library consortia were most prominent in the
academic sector.
This feature of library consortia is changing. Basically consortia models are
grouped into
two; proposed models and observed models. In the perspective of
Bangladesh, as
consortium is in not existence, it will be more effective to apply here
proposed models.
Considering the size and volume of efforts to be required to implement the
whole
initiative. It will help to understand the potential requirements, processes
and above all
the costs involved in undertaking the proposal in real situation. Below
framework can be
helpful at the implementation level
1. Development of information infrastructure
Identification & evaluation of existing infrastructure within the university
library
Assessment of extra requirements of the participating libraries
Installation of hardware and software
Establishment of the network
Establishment of human resources
System analysis and design
Creation of databases
Data conversion, customization, routine maintenance, promotional activities,
etc.
2. Formation of the consortia
The caption & call for “sharing resources, sharing risk, sharing success”
Identification and evaluation infrastructure requirements
Identification and evaluation for electronic resources subscription,
digitization, tools
and so on.
Establishment of integrated model to enable single web based interface,
online access.
Cost effectiveness, copyright issues, right management, services and benefits
to be
offered.
Training and workshop, quality improvement, etc.
University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC) will act a coordinating
agency to
implement the programme. UGC will engage all universities to draw, design,
and prepare
a work plan for implementation of the ULCB. However, administration of
the programme
will be run by the UGC. Three phases implementation plan may be made for
the
university library consortium.
Phase I. Consortium may be launched immediately by the advanced ten
university
libraries, which are connected with internet and having basic IT facilities.
Phase II. Participants of phase I consortium may take part in dialogue for
sharing
experiences gained in phase I. On the basis of the concerned issues and less
advanced
ICT facility based university libraries may be included in phase II. Less
advanced means
that parts of the processes of the library will be carried out by the
application of modern
ICT facilities.
Phase III. Phase I & II plan may be implemented in phase III with all IT
facilities and
ensure dissemination of information through the consortium with reduced
cost but
maximum benefit. Keep an eye on the programme, review it and take steps
for further
improvement if required.
However, if the above operations and proposal is being implemented, the
following
things can imagine in the perspective of ULCB which are shown in a figure;
Figure 1: Involve & evolve of University Library Consortium in Bangladesh
(ULCB)
Present Situation
Not optimal, lack of strategy, inequality, un-
coordinated, unstructured, lack of IT
infrastructure, lack of resources, budgetary
constraints, light at the end of the tunnel, etc.
Desired Situation
Formulation of a strategy, optimal access to
information, sufficient financial support,
availability of resources, infrastructural
facilities, shared risk etc.
Extreme Situation
Enormous resources, adequate quality,
sufficient infrastructure, sufficient budget,
minimum risk, easiest access, utmost
satisfaction etc.
This above figure shows that how the university library consortium will
make the present
position more convenient, user friendly and fruitful for the future university
libraries in
Bangladesh.
Major recommendations
ULCB consortium initiatives have vital importance and are being
recommended to
consider the following activities with an immediate effect.
There is need to evaluate the existing network infrastructure available in the
I.
university libraries in Bangladesh and to identify the gaps that exists therein,
for providing adequate number of internet enabled PC’s and a secure
internet
connectivity with higher bandwidth among the consortium library.
There is need to evaluate strengths and weakness of the existing information
II.
resources, systems and services available in the university libraries , for
providing much required impetus in order to formation of the consortia.
There is need to identify the maximum electronic resources options available
III.
for accessing in a consortia mode, desire for the university libraries, and to
identify the possibilities of electronic content creation in a co-operative
manner among the university libraries.
There is a need to induct and motivate the library peoples that the
technology
IV.
driven co-operative arrangements of electronic resources could accomplish
the
library services far more than they can individually. It is also necessary to
organize the training for existing library personnel in turn with the new
environment and regular flashing of messages, like sharing resources means
sharing success.
It is also recommended that the active consideration of the ULCB could
bring
V.
a reasonable solution before the crisis threatens to the university libraries of
Bangladesh, in the age of 21st century. It is also recommended for the
formation of an apex body that would functions as central node for
coordinating activities of the consortium.
It is important to recommend that the budgetary requirements for major
VI.
technical up-gradations and consortia based activities may be provided to
each
university libraries from the external funds, as advocated by the consortium
focal point.
Conclusion
The possibilities of ICTs, digital information, electronic document delivery,
library
consortia, web based resources, etc. have helped to provide better services to
the users.
But wide disparity in the availability and use of academic information still
prevails
among different universities in Bangaldesh. This justifies the establishment
of University
Library Consortium which automatically will bring economy, efficiency and
equality in
information availability and use.
Bangladesh being a developing country should form a body among the
university
libraries to catch the new opportunity to make proper university library
consortium in the
present time. The ULCB initiave is expected to trigger remarkable
development of he
university libraries in Bangladesh. Proposed consortium would bring a
special attention
to its members for its systematic approach and will ensure a sustainable
growth of the
university libraries.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------
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Page 1
Jurnal Pendidik dan Pendidikan, Jil. 24, 17–32, 2009
17
QUALITY EDUCATION MANAGEMENT AT PRIVATE
UNIVERSITIES IN BANGLADESH: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
Mohammad A. Ashraf and Yusnidah Ibrahim
College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia,
06010, UUM Sintok, Kedah
E-mail: mashraf@monisys.ca, yibrahim@uum.edu.my
Mohd. H. R. Joarder
School of Business, United International University,
80-8A Dhanmandi R/A, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
E-mail: joarder@uiu.ac.bd
Abstract: An exploratory survey was conducted to analyse the consumers’
(students’)
evaluation of private higher education sectors in Bangladesh with particular
reference to
the quality as well as the cost of education. The sample was taken on a random
basis from
about ten private universities in the Dhaka metropolitan area. The respondents
(students)
were asked to evaluate the quality and the cost of education at private
universities in
Bangladesh. Respondents ranked the attributes according to a number of
itemised seven-
point scale ratings bounded at each end by one of two bipolar adjectives. The
results of
this study show that faculty credentials, the academic calendar, campus facilities,
research
facilities and cost of education are associated with quality education, and that the
consumers feel most of the private universities in Bangladesh provide quality
education at
unreasonably higher costs.
Keywords: quality management, cost of education, satisfaction, private
universities
Abstrak: Satu kajian penerokaan telah dijalankan untuk menganalisa penilaian
pelajar ke
atas sektor pengajian tinggi swasta di Bangladesh terutamanya dari aspek kualiti
dan kos
pendidikan. Sampel kajian diambil secara rawak dalam kalangan pelajar daripada
10
universiti swasta yang beroperasi dalam bandar metropolitan Dhaka. Responden
(pelajar)
telah diminta menjawab untuk menjawab soalan berkaitan kualiti dan kos
pengajian di
universiti swasta di Bangladesh berasaskan skala likert tujuh titik. Hasil kajian
ini
menunjukkan bahawa kredibiliti fakulti, kalendar akademik, kelengkapan kampus
dan
kos pendidikan mempunyai hubungan dengan kualiti pendidikan, dan pelajar
merasakan
bahawa kebanyakan universiti swasta di Bangladesh menawarkan pendidikan
berkualiti
pada kos tinggi yang tidak berpatutan.
Kata kunci: pengurusan kualiti, kos pendidikan, kepuasan, universiti swasta
INTRODUCTION
Since that enactment of the Private Universities Act of 1992, Bangladesh has
seen a tremendous growth in the number of private educational platforms over
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Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
18
the recent years, mainly through the emergence of a large number of universities
in the private sector. Yet, this growth also has a downside to it, as rapid
expansion entails a risk of compromise on quality and expenses. However, the
combined effect is a vibrant education sector with a healthy rivalry among the
competing institutions. Undoubtedly, the main beneficiary is the student
community, which gains access to a wider platform of selection with the
comparative cost advantage of domestic study over studying abroad. Thus,
society and the nation are the ultimate gainers (Chowdhury, 2004).
Surprisingly, about 95% of these universities are located in Dhaka’s
metropolitan
areas. While in the year 2000 there were only 17 of these universities, today the
number has reached 53 (Kabir, 2006). Obviously, this growth rate seems
unhealthy in consideration of the per capita income of the country and also in
terms of quality assurance in higher education, as education at these universities
is much more expensive than at the public universities of Bangladesh. One very
familiar feature of these universities is the way they follow the American method
of education rather than the British model. They offer four-year bachelor degree
programs with credit-based courses. This system has also created popular appeal
in Bangladesh. Still, regulators and consumers have concerns about service
quality, design and costs (Haque, 2004). As of today, there is nobody to regulate
private universities and to assure the quality of education other than through the
weak supervision of the University Grant Commission (UGC). Since private
universities receive no funding from the UGC, there is little that the UGC can do
except report some facts for the government (Alam et al., 2007). The issue is,
therefore, an important variable for higher educational private institutes that
aspire to that degree of excellence. This study is, thus, an attempt to examine the
opinion or satisfaction level of the clientele or consumers (students) regarding the
quality and cost of education in the private sector in Bangladesh.
WHAT ARE QUALITY AND QUALITY IN EDUCATION?
Whenever quality in education is mentioned, it may be vital to establish what is
understood by the term “quality,” because different professionals such as
educators, researchers and politicians perceive this term differently. The term
“quality” is derived from the Latin word “qualitas,” which means the degree of
excellence of a thing (Oxford Dictionary, 2003). Coombs (1985: 105) defines the
word quality as:
qualitative dimensions mean more than the quality of education as
customarily defined and judged by student learning achievements, in
terms of traditional curriculum and standards. Quality... also pertains
to the relevance of what is taught and learned—to how well it fits the
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Quality Education Management
19
present and future needs of the particular learners in question, given
their particular circumstances and prospects. It also refers to
significant changes in the educational system itself, in the nature of
its inputs; its objectives, curricula and educational technologies; and
its socioeconomic, cultural and political environment.
In terms of quality in education, the World Bank (1995: 46) puts forth the
following concept:
Quality in education is difficult to define and measure. An adequate
definition must include student outcomes. Most educators would also
include in the definition the nature of the educational experiences
that help to produce thus outcomes—the learning environment.
Murgatroyd and Morgan (1994: 45–46) offer two different definitions of quality.
One is related to quality assurance, and the other is from consumers’ points of
view, which are as follows:
Quality assurance refers to the determination of standards,
appropriate methods and quality requirements by an expert body,
accompanied by a process of inspection or evaluation that examines
the extent to which practice meets these standards; and
consumer-driven quality refers to a notion of quality in which those
who are to receive a product or service make explicit their
expectations for this product or service and quality is defined in
terms of meeting or exceeding the expectations of customers.
Murgatroyd and Morgan (1994) argue that the concept of quality includes a
customer-driven perspective that is a derivative of economic theories. In fact,
service quality has now become an important dimension for education providers,
as with any other business organisations. Hence, customer evaluations of the
quality of education should be an integral part of overall quality management in
any of the organisations (Haque, 2004).
Quality, and in particular quality assessment and assurance procedures, have
received a great deal of attention in higher education all over the world in recent
years. “Quality of education” has been described by Rowley (1996: 12), from the
original source by Gordon and Partington (1993) as follows:
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Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
20
The success with which an institution provides educational
environments which enable students effectively to achieve
worthwhile learning goals including appropriate academic standards.
Thus, the quality issue in private universities in particular is of special interest in
the contexts of Bangladesh and other developing countries in the world.
GROWTH PATTERNS OF PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN BANGLADESH
The spectacular growth and expansion of the private universities in Bangladesh
is
depicted in Figure 1. The first private university, namely the North South
University (NSU), was approved by the government of Bangladesh (GoB) on
5 November 1992 (Alam et al., 2007). The government in power at that time
(1991–1996) showed a favourable stance towards opening the door to more
private universities in Bangladesh. Figure 2 shows that during the period of
1991–1996, sixteen private universities (mostly in metropolitan Dhaka, with
only
two in Chittagong) were opened. During 1996–2001, the government was not
favourably disposed toward the concept of private sector of education. Data
show
that only four new universities were added to the list during 1996–2001. After
2001, the private university concept got a significant boost again. Figure 1 shows
data taken from UCG that in a 6 to 7 years period, the total number of private
universities has gone up to 56 (UGC, 2008).
LITERATURE REVIEW
There are a large number of reports and theoretical works on quality from the
perspective of quality assurance and quality improvement. In many of them,
research scholars have identified different views on the issue of quality education
and its determining factors. However, a very limited amount of empirical work is
available on this particular issue in the case of Bangladeshi private higher
educational organisations. Andaleeb (2003) analysed seven issues crucial for
effectively fostering higher education in Bangladesh, namely, teaching quality,
method, content, peer quality, direct facilities, indirect facilities and political
climate.
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Quality Education Management
21
Source: Field Study by the authors (2009)
Figure 1: Growth of private universities in Bangladesh, 1992–2008
Sabur (2004) compared private and public educations on the basis of quality
assurance. He discussed several points of debate rather than prescribing any
solutions to problems regarding the quality of education associated with the two
different platforms. Spanbauer (1992) discussed the need for educational
institutions to institute quality policies. Lamanga (2002) highlighted three
different aspects involved in measuring quality education in private universities
in Bangladesh: the quality of teaching and research, responsiveness to the
demands of the labour market, and equity. Dhali (1999) emphasised techniques
related to student evaluation procedures, which he classifies as either formative
or summative.
In Lamanga’s (2006) report on quality assurance in tertiary education in the case
of Bangladesh, he recommended several initiatives that can ultimately ensure a
quality education system for the higher learning institutions in the country.
Aminuzzaman (2007) noted that most departments of universities do not have a
long-term national vision, but that such a vision is crucial to quality education.
Page 6
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
22
According to Aminuzzaman (2007):
Quality education in universities will be achieved through changing
the method of teaching and learning as well as assessment methods,
renewing the curriculum continually, updating and upgrading
professional knowledge and skills and improving the broader
educational, administrative and resource environments.
Actually, the student/lecturer interface is important in determining quality, and it
is appropriate to seek to monitor this quality through appropriate quality
assurance processes. Though this is a superficial approach, the real challenge is
the enhancement of quality. Different institutions have started to investigate
approaches to quality enhancement (Rowley, 1996). For instance, Hart and
Shoolbred (1993) cited Wolverhampton University as seeking registration under
BS 5750 and a number of other universities as taking the TQM path, including
Aston, South Bank, Robert Gordons and Wolverhampton. Other contributions
that describe initiatives in this area include Marchese (1991), Ewell (1991) and
Cornesky (1991). A paper by the Further Education Unit (1991) offers six criteria
for a quality model: (1) it seeks to improve the quality of teaching and learning
strategies, (2) it is flexible, (3) it harnesses the commitment of all staff, (4) the
learner should be involved, (5) there must be enhanced working relationships
associated with all functions of the organisation, and (6) requirements can be
measured and progress can be demonstrated.
Hart and Shoolbred (1993) seek to emphasise the relationship between quality
and culture; it is relevant to mention that quality management is after all related
to how people act, and that this element of action is manifested in an
organisation’s work atmosphere and culture. If further and higher education
institutions are proceeding to make serious moves towards effective quality
assurance, they need to be aware of how much the culture may have to change.
This may be highly uncomfortable for senior management and for the entire
workforce of the institution.
With respect to the cost of private university education, Kotler (2003) is right to
mention that cost is a foregoing measure or an exchange price or sacrifice made
to secure a benefit. Hence, the cost of education, according to Kotler, means the
sacrifice made or price paid by the beneficiaries (students) so that they can
achieve the specific objective of learning.
Previous findings have reported mostly results that are based on purely
theoretical considerations. Given the circumstances, the present study takes the
initiative to conduct an empirical investigation based on a new approach that
evaluates the quality as well as the cost of education in the private sector of
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Quality Education Management
23
Bangladesh. The findings from this study are valuable in guiding professionals
and policy-makers to further formulate effective educational policy in this
country.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The main source of data used was a field-level survey conducted during the
spring session of 2007 at some selected private universities in Dhaka. Those
universities have all been in existence for at least ten years. A structured
questionnaire was used in the survey. The respondents (students) were asked to
what degree the quality and costs of education services offered by the private
universities corresponded to their expectations with respect to the 36 variables
related to the seven dimensions of the quality-cost perception difference model.
The items were applied to a seven-point “Likert type” scale (Likert, 1932). For
this measurement, a score of 1 on the scale indicates strong disagreement and a
score of 7 indicates strong agreement. The questionnaire was pre-tested on
students, and finally, data were collected from 360 students. Among them, 200
students were in Bachelor programs and 160 were in graduate programs. The
students were interviewed face to face through personal visits by the authors to
the university campuses. The respondents said which score best indicated how
they would describe the attributes being rated.
A reliability test was conducted to verify the internal consistency of the variables
obtained in the sample. For this test, the Cronbach’s alpha was used; the alpha
value is 0.8982, which is much higher than the minimum acceptable level
suggested by Nunnally (1978). Several statistical analytical techniques such as
Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression Analysis, and Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) were used to measure the level of quality education offered by the
private educational institutions in Bangladesh.
In order to measure the cost of education, the weighted average method was
applied. The scale was converted 7 to +3, 6 to +2, 5 to +1, 4 to 0, 3 to –1, 2 to –2;
and 1 to –3. The computed weighted average value for the particular variable
would indicate the particular level of significance. As per this method, a higher
value is assigned for greater weight.
Conceptual Framework
This study investigated the factors affecting quality education in the private
universities in Bangladesh. In total, six independent determinants related to both
human resources and organisational factors have been identified that are likely to
Page 8
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
24
affect the quality of higher education offered to the students of Bangladesh. The
independent factors are faculty credentials, classroom facilities, the academic
calendar, campus facilities, research facilities and the cost of education.
Faculty credentials are important in assuring high-quality education. By and
large, the faculty’s main function is to equip students with the pragmatic
knowledge that is most necessary for and suitable in the current and emerging
new age of science and technology. In fulfilling this function, educational entities
must inevitably hire and retain talented teachers. For this reason, Hensel (1991)
emphasises talented faculty members and maintained that the well-being of the
university depends on its ability to recruit and retain a talented faculty. The well-
being of any nation as a whole depends on the ability to develop a happy,
emotionally healthy, and productive next generation. According to Bowen and
Schuster (1986: 3), “The excellence of higher education is a function of the kind
of people it is able to enlist and retain on its faculties.” Thus, all these scholarly
qualities of the faculties need to be ensured in order to secure quality of education
in the universities.
Higher education is by its nature a developmental environment (Rowley, 1996).
Classroom facilities are important because they are part of the whole atmosphere
of learning, which includes elements such as modern teaching aids as well as neat
and clean space that is adequate in terms of class size and temperature
environment. In Bangladesh, most of the private universities are established via
rental, and classroom space is alarmingly inadequate. This factor is, thus,
important in evaluating the satisfaction level of the students. The academic
calendar is another factor that is extremely important in the context of the private
universities of Bangladesh. In most cases, the semester is irregular and there is
no
tight schedule, which affect the students in terms of the proper planning of their
studies, which in turn negatively affects the quality of their education.
As mentioned earlier, almost all private universities (with few exceptions) are
founded on rented space and buildings; campus facilities such as academically
suitable building infrastructure, extensive library facilities, dormitory facilities,
canteen facility, sports and recreational facilities, computer laboratories with high
speed internet access and transport systems are extremely limited. This factor
influences the overall learning of the students, which affects the quality of their
education. In a similar fashion, research facilities are also underdeveloped. Most
of the universities do not have research bureaus, and publication facilities are
also
limited, as indicated by the fact that only four or five journals are published
among more than 50 private universities in Bangladesh. Due to the lack
of adequate reference materials in the libraries, the teachers and the students
Page 9
Jurnal Pendidik dan Pendidikan, Jil. 24, 17–32, 2009
25
Figure 2. Conceptual framework for quality education at private universities in
Bangladesh
face enormous problems (Alam et al., 2007). Clearly the variable of campus
facilities has an important impact on the overall quality of education in these
higher learning centres of Bangladesh.
The cost of education in private universities in Bangladesh is also an important
concern where, about 42% to 45% of households live under the absolute poverty
line (Alam et al., 2007). Only rich parents can consider paying the high fees and
other costs of studies for their children. In exchange for high tuition fees and
other costs, the students that come from affluent families expect to receive high-
quality education from these private universities. However, the private
universities in fact spend most of their funds on renting for the campus buildings
(Alam et al., 2007) instead of on high salaries to attract the highly qualified
faculty members. As a result, there exist serious questions about the quality of the
education offered at these universities.
Conceptual Framework
Independent Variables
Dependent Variable
Faculty Credentials
Classroom Facilities
Academic Calendar
Campus Facilities
Research Facilities
Cost Education
Quality Education
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Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
26
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATIONS
A principal component factor analysis was conducted on the 36 variables related
to quality and cost of education. This analysis yielded a 7-factor solution that
explained 53% of the variance as represented in Table 1. The factor analysis
shows that faculty credentials, campus facilities and research facilities are
important to students in their judgments regarding quality education. Thus,
focusing on these factors would enable universities to achieve quality in private
education.
The first factor, faculty credentials, which account for the most variance
(24.56%), consists of five control variables. The five variables contained in this
key factor are: faculty’s academic background, teaching experience, updated
course content, communication skills and fair treatments to students. The factor
loading points for these variables are considerably higher than 60. Hence, policy-
makers at private universities should be more concerned about these variables if
they wish to increase education quality in higher education programs.
The second most important factor is classroom facilities, which explains 7.02%
of the variation in students’ evaluations of education quality. This factor includes
learning atmosphere, modern teaching aids, air-conditioned rooms, spacious
rooms, and neat and clean rooms. The factor loading points for these variables are
also higher than 60 except for the element “air-conditioned room.” Thus, the
classroom facilities are significant in explaining the quality of education at the
private universities.
The third most important factor is the academic calendar. Variables included in
this component are maintaining strict schedules, make-up class provisions, an
automated registration process, and the timely completion of registration. The
factor loading points are also substantially higher, which shows the simply
significant level of student judgment important for determining quality education.
The fourth most important factor is campus facilities, which accounts for 4.54%
of the variance and broadly covers well-equipped and modern independent
campus facilities. The specific variables are modern campus buildings, transport,
dormitory facilities, dining facilities, recreation and gym facilities, high-speed
Internet access, an extensive library, and computer lab facilities.
The factors of research facilities and cost of education are also important, as each
one explains variation of close to 4%. Thus, the results show that the private
universities as a whole should be more careful with regard to the identified
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Quality Education Management
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Table 1. Principal factor analysis: Students’ evaluation on quality education
Factor Name
Variables
Factor
loading
% of
variance
explained
Cronbach’s
reliability
coefficient
Faculty
credentials
1. Faculty’s academic background
2. Teaching experience
3. Updated course content
4. Communication skills
5. Fair treatments to students
.67
.61
.60
.65
.60
24.567
.7412
Classroom
facilities
1. Learning atmosphere
2. Modern teaching aids
3. Air-conditioned room
4. Spacious room
5. Neat and clean room
.72
.66
.48
.65
.63
7.023
.8138
Academic
calendar
1. Maintaining strict schedules
2. Make-up class provisions
3. Automated registration process
4. Timely completion of registration
.50
.69
.63
.63
6.072
.5140
Campus
facility
1. Modern campus building
2. Transport
3. Dormitory facilities
4. Dining facilities
5. Recreation and gym facilities
6. High-speed Internet access
7. Extensive library
8. Computer lab facilities
.68
.55
.59
.74
.67
.61
.63
.60
4.545
.7610
Research
facility
1. Support students’ research
2. Support faculty’s research
3. Existence of research centre
4. Publication facilities
.66
.67
.56
.58
3.956
.7153
Cost of
education
1. High tuition fees
2. Financial aid for poor students
3. Scholarships provided
4. On-campus job facilities
5. Cost of study materials
.70
.57
.62
.65
.62
3.854
.4725
Quality
education
1. Nationwide recognition for
providing excellent education
2. High-paid graduates on job market
3. Foreign university affiliation
4. Students’ pride
5. Faculty’s availability to help
students
.64
.71
.60
.57
.58
3.521
.7438
Cumulative % of variance explained = 53%
Page 12
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
28
factors, using which they can achieve a higher quality of education; in effect, this
will help to push up the overall performance and productivity of the universities.
The most important point to note here is that the independent factor of quality
education is ranked in the lowest echelon based on the students’ judgments. It
explains the smallest amount of variation and the factor loadings are also poor. In
this regard, the administration has a significant role to play in order to upgrade
the overall quality of education offered by the private universities in
Bangladesh.
A step-wise regression technique was then employed. Quality education and six
orthogonal component factors were taken as dependent and independent
variables, respectively. The results are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Results of step-wise regression
Variables
Betas
Computed t
Significance
Faculty credentials (FC)
.39
9.11
.000***
Academic calendar (AC)
.09
2.33
.020*
Campus facilities (CF)
.23
5.19
.000***
Research facilities (RF)
.14
3.20
.001**
Cost of education (COE)
.13
3.26
.001**
*** p < .001; **p < .01; * p < .05
Only significant variables are shown in the table, along with their respective
regression coefficients (βs) and computed students’ t statistics and their
respective significance levels. The results of the regression analyses revealed that
out of six control variables, five—faculty credentials (FC), academic calendar
(AC), campus facilities (CF), research facilities (RF) and cost of education (COE)
had statistically significant effects on the rating of attitudes towards the
educational quality of the concerned universities of this study. These results are
also consistent with the results found in the factor analyses, because the findings
also showed that factors such as FC and CF exhibit the highest significance levels
that equivalently correspond to the factor analysis results. Thus, in order to enrich
quality education in the private universities of Bangladesh, all five of these
variables need to be considered.
FC and CF were found to be statistically significant and positively related to
quality education. The results show that both factors are the most important
components of quality education. Similarly, factors such as research facilities and
the cost of education exhibited significant results. This statistical outcome
indicates that these variables deserve more attention in the attempt to improve the
quality of education at private universities. Though the significance level of the
academic calendar is comparatively less than that of other factors, it also has to
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Quality Education Management
29
Table 3. ANOVA for regression
Sources of variation
Sum of square Degrees of freedom Mean square
Computed F
Regression
200.752
5
40.150
79.586***
Residual
178.589
354
.504
Total
379.341
359
R2 = 53%; *** p < .001
be addressed with an equivalent degree of focus for one to attain a higher level of
education.
The result of the R2 value underneath the ANOVA table indicates that 53% of the
variation in the dependent variable can be explained by variations in the
independent variables, i.e., 47% is due to something else not included in the
model. The significance of the F value indicates that there has been a 0% chance
that the Adjusted R2 value is zero. These outcomes imply the robustness of the
study.
Table 4 presents the cost of education on a scale using the weighted average
method. The weighted average value of tuition fees is 1.12, which is the highest
value in the table. This outcome indicates that the students see the tuition fee as
an important factor in their education and learning process; students report that
tuition is charged at a high rate by the private universities. At the same time,
students also report that the number of scholarships is high, but these
scholarships are offered for a limited number of top students, so this effort is not
sufficient to offset the tuition fees and reduce the costs of overall private
education in Bangladesh. This evidence is also supported by the lower weighted
average values of financial aid for poor students as well as the values of on-
campus job facilities. Moreover, the variable “cost of education” is found to be
statistically significant, which implies that this variable is an important factor
influencing the learning process of the students in the private universities in
Bangladesh.
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Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
30
Table 4. Cost of education on a scale using the weighted average method
Strongly
Agree
+3
Moderately
Agree
+2
Simply
Agree
+1
Neutral
0
Simply
Disagree
–1
Moder-
ately
Disagree
–2
Strongly
Disagree
–3
Weighted
Average
Scores
1. Tuition fees
are high
107
79
53
47
40
15
19
1.12
2. Financial aid
for poor
students
68
77
84
58
31
7
35
.81
3. Large number
of scholarships
84
96
82
48
20
15
15
1.19
4. On-campus job
facilities
53
59
90
62
38
12
46
.46
5. Study
materials are
expensive
46
66
87
58
56
23
24
.50
Source: (Field Survey, 2007)
CONCLUSION
Private education in Bangladesh is getting more competitive with the
remarkable
increase in the number of academic institutions in the country. The ineluctable
forces of globalization in this new millennium make this growth path more
complex and challenging. Despite the relentless and continuous effort of private
educational institutions, quality has not yet achieved at the desired level. The cost
of private education is another dimension to consider, as it is unaffordable in
Bangladesh, and more effort needs to be made if costs are to be lowered.
However, the system is proceeding gradually towards greater improvement.
Nevertheless, all the problems considered here should be addressed more
rigorously to ensure the quality of education in Bangladesh reaches the desired
level. This study has shed the light on the dimensions perceived by students as
associated with the quality of education. These dimensions are faculty
credentials, the academic calendar, campus facilities, research facilities and the
cost of education. The study also concludes that, in general, the cost of education
in private universities in Bangladesh is somewhat expensive due to the
imbalance
between increasing tuition fees and an increasing amount of financial aid and
scholarships.
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Quality Education Management
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of quality of education offered by the institutions. BSS diss., University of
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Bangladesh.
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Spanbauer, S. J. (1992). A quality system for education. Milwaukee, WI: ASQC
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Page 1
Jurnal Pendidik dan Pendidikan, Jil. 24, 17–32, 2009
17
QUALITY EDUCATION MANAGEMENT AT PRIVATE
UNIVERSITIES IN BANGLADESH: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
Mohammad A. Ashraf and Yusnidah Ibrahim
College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia,
06010, UUM Sintok, Kedah
E-mail: mashraf@monisys.ca, yibrahim@uum.edu.my
Mohd. H. R. Joarder
School of Business, United International University,
80-8A Dhanmandi R/A, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
E-mail: joarder@uiu.ac.bd
Abstract: An exploratory survey was conducted to analyse the consumers’
(students’)
evaluation of private higher education sectors in Bangladesh with particular
reference to
the quality as well as the cost of education. The sample was taken on a random
basis from
about ten private universities in the Dhaka metropolitan area. The respondents
(students)
were asked to evaluate the quality and the cost of education at private
universities in
Bangladesh. Respondents ranked the attributes according to a number of
itemised seven-
point scale ratings bounded at each end by one of two bipolar adjectives. The
results of
this study show that faculty credentials, the academic calendar, campus facilities,
research
facilities and cost of education are associated with quality education, and that the
consumers feel most of the private universities in Bangladesh provide quality
education at
unreasonably higher costs.
Keywords: quality management, cost of education, satisfaction, private
universities
Abstrak: Satu kajian penerokaan telah dijalankan untuk menganalisa penilaian
pelajar ke
atas sektor pengajian tinggi swasta di Bangladesh terutamanya dari aspek kualiti
dan kos
pendidikan. Sampel kajian diambil secara rawak dalam kalangan pelajar daripada
10
universiti swasta yang beroperasi dalam bandar metropolitan Dhaka. Responden
(pelajar)
telah diminta menjawab untuk menjawab soalan berkaitan kualiti dan kos
pengajian di
universiti swasta di Bangladesh berasaskan skala likert tujuh titik. Hasil kajian
ini
menunjukkan bahawa kredibiliti fakulti, kalendar akademik, kelengkapan kampus
dan
kos pendidikan mempunyai hubungan dengan kualiti pendidikan, dan pelajar
merasakan
bahawa kebanyakan universiti swasta di Bangladesh menawarkan pendidikan
berkualiti
pada kos tinggi yang tidak berpatutan.
Kata kunci: pengurusan kualiti, kos pendidikan, kepuasan, universiti swasta
INTRODUCTION
Since that enactment of the Private Universities Act of 1992, Bangladesh has
seen a tremendous growth in the number of private educational platforms over
Page 2
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
18
the recent years, mainly through the emergence of a large number of universities
in the private sector. Yet, this growth also has a downside to it, as rapid
expansion entails a risk of compromise on quality and expenses. However, the
combined effect is a vibrant education sector with a healthy rivalry among the
competing institutions. Undoubtedly, the main beneficiary is the student
community, which gains access to a wider platform of selection with the
comparative cost advantage of domestic study over studying abroad. Thus,
society and the nation are the ultimate gainers (Chowdhury, 2004).
Surprisingly, about 95% of these universities are located in Dhaka’s
metropolitan
areas. While in the year 2000 there were only 17 of these universities, today the
number has reached 53 (Kabir, 2006). Obviously, this growth rate seems
unhealthy in consideration of the per capita income of the country and also in
terms of quality assurance in higher education, as education at these universities
is much more expensive than at the public universities of Bangladesh. One very
familiar feature of these universities is the way they follow the American method
of education rather than the British model. They offer four-year bachelor degree
programs with credit-based courses. This system has also created popular appeal
in Bangladesh. Still, regulators and consumers have concerns about service
quality, design and costs (Haque, 2004). As of today, there is nobody to regulate
private universities and to assure the quality of education other than through the
weak supervision of the University Grant Commission (UGC). Since private
universities receive no funding from the UGC, there is little that the UGC can do
except report some facts for the government (Alam et al., 2007). The issue is,
therefore, an important variable for higher educational private institutes that
aspire to that degree of excellence. This study is, thus, an attempt to examine the
opinion or satisfaction level of the clientele or consumers (students) regarding the
quality and cost of education in the private sector in Bangladesh.
WHAT ARE QUALITY AND QUALITY IN EDUCATION?
Whenever quality in education is mentioned, it may be vital to establish what is
understood by the term “quality,” because different professionals such as
educators, researchers and politicians perceive this term differently. The term
“quality” is derived from the Latin word “qualitas,” which means the degree of
excellence of a thing (Oxford Dictionary, 2003). Coombs (1985: 105) defines the
word quality as:
qualitative dimensions mean more than the quality of education as
customarily defined and judged by student learning achievements, in
terms of traditional curriculum and standards. Quality... also pertains
to the relevance of what is taught and learned—to how well it fits the
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Quality Education Management
19
present and future needs of the particular learners in question, given
their particular circumstances and prospects. It also refers to
significant changes in the educational system itself, in the nature of
its inputs; its objectives, curricula and educational technologies; and
its socioeconomic, cultural and political environment.
In terms of quality in education, the World Bank (1995: 46) puts forth the
following concept:
Quality in education is difficult to define and measure. An adequate
definition must include student outcomes. Most educators would also
include in the definition the nature of the educational experiences
that help to produce thus outcomes—the learning environment.
Murgatroyd and Morgan (1994: 45–46) offer two different definitions of quality.
One is related to quality assurance, and the other is from consumers’ points of
view, which are as follows:
Quality assurance refers to the determination of standards,
appropriate methods and quality requirements by an expert body,
accompanied by a process of inspection or evaluation that examines
the extent to which practice meets these standards; and
consumer-driven quality refers to a notion of quality in which those
who are to receive a product or service make explicit their
expectations for this product or service and quality is defined in
terms of meeting or exceeding the expectations of customers.
Murgatroyd and Morgan (1994) argue that the concept of quality includes a
customer-driven perspective that is a derivative of economic theories. In fact,
service quality has now become an important dimension for education providers,
as with any other business organisations. Hence, customer evaluations of the
quality of education should be an integral part of overall quality management in
any of the organisations (Haque, 2004).
Quality, and in particular quality assessment and assurance procedures, have
received a great deal of attention in higher education all over the world in recent
years. “Quality of education” has been described by Rowley (1996: 12), from the
original source by Gordon and Partington (1993) as follows:
Page 4
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
20
The success with which an institution provides educational
environments which enable students effectively to achieve
worthwhile learning goals including appropriate academic standards.
Thus, the quality issue in private universities in particular is of special interest in
the contexts of Bangladesh and other developing countries in the world.
GROWTH PATTERNS OF PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN BANGLADESH
The spectacular growth and expansion of the private universities in Bangladesh
is
depicted in Figure 1. The first private university, namely the North South
University (NSU), was approved by the government of Bangladesh (GoB) on
5 November 1992 (Alam et al., 2007). The government in power at that time
(1991–1996) showed a favourable stance towards opening the door to more
private universities in Bangladesh. Figure 2 shows that during the period of
1991–1996, sixteen private universities (mostly in metropolitan Dhaka, with
only
two in Chittagong) were opened. During 1996–2001, the government was not
favourably disposed toward the concept of private sector of education. Data
show
that only four new universities were added to the list during 1996–2001. After
2001, the private university concept got a significant boost again. Figure 1 shows
data taken from UCG that in a 6 to 7 years period, the total number of private
universities has gone up to 56 (UGC, 2008).
LITERATURE REVIEW
There are a large number of reports and theoretical works on quality from the
perspective of quality assurance and quality improvement. In many of them,
research scholars have identified different views on the issue of quality education
and its determining factors. However, a very limited amount of empirical work is
available on this particular issue in the case of Bangladeshi private higher
educational organisations. Andaleeb (2003) analysed seven issues crucial for
effectively fostering higher education in Bangladesh, namely, teaching quality,
method, content, peer quality, direct facilities, indirect facilities and political
climate.
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Quality Education Management
21
Source: Field Study by the authors (2009)
Figure 1: Growth of private universities in Bangladesh, 1992–2008
Sabur (2004) compared private and public educations on the basis of quality
assurance. He discussed several points of debate rather than prescribing any
solutions to problems regarding the quality of education associated with the two
different platforms. Spanbauer (1992) discussed the need for educational
institutions to institute quality policies. Lamanga (2002) highlighted three
different aspects involved in measuring quality education in private universities
in Bangladesh: the quality of teaching and research, responsiveness to the
demands of the labour market, and equity. Dhali (1999) emphasised techniques
related to student evaluation procedures, which he classifies as either formative
or summative.
In Lamanga’s (2006) report on quality assurance in tertiary education in the case
of Bangladesh, he recommended several initiatives that can ultimately ensure a
quality education system for the higher learning institutions in the country.
Aminuzzaman (2007) noted that most departments of universities do not have a
long-term national vision, but that such a vision is crucial to quality education.
Page 6
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
22
According to Aminuzzaman (2007):
Quality education in universities will be achieved through changing
the method of teaching and learning as well as assessment methods,
renewing the curriculum continually, updating and upgrading
professional knowledge and skills and improving the broader
educational, administrative and resource environments.
Actually, the student/lecturer interface is important in determining quality, and it
is appropriate to seek to monitor this quality through appropriate quality
assurance processes. Though this is a superficial approach, the real challenge is
the enhancement of quality. Different institutions have started to investigate
approaches to quality enhancement (Rowley, 1996). For instance, Hart and
Shoolbred (1993) cited Wolverhampton University as seeking registration under
BS 5750 and a number of other universities as taking the TQM path, including
Aston, South Bank, Robert Gordons and Wolverhampton. Other contributions
that describe initiatives in this area include Marchese (1991), Ewell (1991) and
Cornesky (1991). A paper by the Further Education Unit (1991) offers six criteria
for a quality model: (1) it seeks to improve the quality of teaching and learning
strategies, (2) it is flexible, (3) it harnesses the commitment of all staff, (4) the
learner should be involved, (5) there must be enhanced working relationships
associated with all functions of the organisation, and (6) requirements can be
measured and progress can be demonstrated.
Hart and Shoolbred (1993) seek to emphasise the relationship between quality
and culture; it is relevant to mention that quality management is after all related
to how people act, and that this element of action is manifested in an
organisation’s work atmosphere and culture. If further and higher education
institutions are proceeding to make serious moves towards effective quality
assurance, they need to be aware of how much the culture may have to change.
This may be highly uncomfortable for senior management and for the entire
workforce of the institution.
With respect to the cost of private university education, Kotler (2003) is right to
mention that cost is a foregoing measure or an exchange price or sacrifice made
to secure a benefit. Hence, the cost of education, according to Kotler, means the
sacrifice made or price paid by the beneficiaries (students) so that they can
achieve the specific objective of learning.
Previous findings have reported mostly results that are based on purely
theoretical considerations. Given the circumstances, the present study takes the
initiative to conduct an empirical investigation based on a new approach that
evaluates the quality as well as the cost of education in the private sector of
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Quality Education Management
23
Bangladesh. The findings from this study are valuable in guiding professionals
and policy-makers to further formulate effective educational policy in this
country.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The main source of data used was a field-level survey conducted during the
spring session of 2007 at some selected private universities in Dhaka. Those
universities have all been in existence for at least ten years. A structured
questionnaire was used in the survey. The respondents (students) were asked to
what degree the quality and costs of education services offered by the private
universities corresponded to their expectations with respect to the 36 variables
related to the seven dimensions of the quality-cost perception difference model.
The items were applied to a seven-point “Likert type” scale (Likert, 1932). For
this measurement, a score of 1 on the scale indicates strong disagreement and a
score of 7 indicates strong agreement. The questionnaire was pre-tested on
students, and finally, data were collected from 360 students. Among them, 200
students were in Bachelor programs and 160 were in graduate programs. The
students were interviewed face to face through personal visits by the authors to
the university campuses. The respondents said which score best indicated how
they would describe the attributes being rated.
A reliability test was conducted to verify the internal consistency of the variables
obtained in the sample. For this test, the Cronbach’s alpha was used; the alpha
value is 0.8982, which is much higher than the minimum acceptable level
suggested by Nunnally (1978). Several statistical analytical techniques such as
Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression Analysis, and Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) were used to measure the level of quality education offered by the
private educational institutions in Bangladesh.
In order to measure the cost of education, the weighted average method was
applied. The scale was converted 7 to +3, 6 to +2, 5 to +1, 4 to 0, 3 to –1, 2 to –2;
and 1 to –3. The computed weighted average value for the particular variable
would indicate the particular level of significance. As per this method, a higher
value is assigned for greater weight.
Conceptual Framework
This study investigated the factors affecting quality education in the private
universities in Bangladesh. In total, six independent determinants related to both
human resources and organisational factors have been identified that are likely to
Page 8
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
24
affect the quality of higher education offered to the students of Bangladesh. The
independent factors are faculty credentials, classroom facilities, the academic
calendar, campus facilities, research facilities and the cost of education.
Faculty credentials are important in assuring high-quality education. By and
large, the faculty’s main function is to equip students with the pragmatic
knowledge that is most necessary for and suitable in the current and emerging
new age of science and technology. In fulfilling this function, educational entities
must inevitably hire and retain talented teachers. For this reason, Hensel (1991)
emphasises talented faculty members and maintained that the well-being of the
university depends on its ability to recruit and retain a talented faculty. The well-
being of any nation as a whole depends on the ability to develop a happy,
emotionally healthy, and productive next generation. According to Bowen and
Schuster (1986: 3), “The excellence of higher education is a function of the kind
of people it is able to enlist and retain on its faculties.” Thus, all these scholarly
qualities of the faculties need to be ensured in order to secure quality of education
in the universities.
Higher education is by its nature a developmental environment (Rowley, 1996).
Classroom facilities are important because they are part of the whole atmosphere
of learning, which includes elements such as modern teaching aids as well as neat
and clean space that is adequate in terms of class size and temperature
environment. In Bangladesh, most of the private universities are established via
rental, and classroom space is alarmingly inadequate. This factor is, thus,
important in evaluating the satisfaction level of the students. The academic
calendar is another factor that is extremely important in the context of the private
universities of Bangladesh. In most cases, the semester is irregular and there is
no
tight schedule, which affect the students in terms of the proper planning of their
studies, which in turn negatively affects the quality of their education.
As mentioned earlier, almost all private universities (with few exceptions) are
founded on rented space and buildings; campus facilities such as academically
suitable building infrastructure, extensive library facilities, dormitory facilities,
canteen facility, sports and recreational facilities, computer laboratories with high
speed internet access and transport systems are extremely limited. This factor
influences the overall learning of the students, which affects the quality of their
education. In a similar fashion, research facilities are also underdeveloped. Most
of the universities do not have research bureaus, and publication facilities are
also
limited, as indicated by the fact that only four or five journals are published
among more than 50 private universities in Bangladesh. Due to the lack
of adequate reference materials in the libraries, the teachers and the students
Page 9
Jurnal Pendidik dan Pendidikan, Jil. 24, 17–32, 2009
25
Figure 2. Conceptual framework for quality education at private universities in
Bangladesh
face enormous problems (Alam et al., 2007). Clearly the variable of campus
facilities has an important impact on the overall quality of education in these
higher learning centres of Bangladesh.
The cost of education in private universities in Bangladesh is also an important
concern where, about 42% to 45% of households live under the absolute poverty
line (Alam et al., 2007). Only rich parents can consider paying the high fees and
other costs of studies for their children. In exchange for high tuition fees and
other costs, the students that come from affluent families expect to receive high-
quality education from these private universities. However, the private
universities in fact spend most of their funds on renting for the campus buildings
(Alam et al., 2007) instead of on high salaries to attract the highly qualified
faculty members. As a result, there exist serious questions about the quality of the
education offered at these universities.
Conceptual Framework
Independent Variables
Dependent Variable
Faculty Credentials
Classroom Facilities
Academic Calendar
Campus Facilities
Research Facilities
Cost Education
Quality Education
Page 10
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
26
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATIONS
A principal component factor analysis was conducted on the 36 variables related
to quality and cost of education. This analysis yielded a 7-factor solution that
explained 53% of the variance as represented in Table 1. The factor analysis
shows that faculty credentials, campus facilities and research facilities are
important to students in their judgments regarding quality education. Thus,
focusing on these factors would enable universities to achieve quality in private
education.
The first factor, faculty credentials, which account for the most variance
(24.56%), consists of five control variables. The five variables contained in this
key factor are: faculty’s academic background, teaching experience, updated
course content, communication skills and fair treatments to students. The factor
loading points for these variables are considerably higher than 60. Hence, policy-
makers at private universities should be more concerned about these variables if
they wish to increase education quality in higher education programs.
The second most important factor is classroom facilities, which explains 7.02%
of the variation in students’ evaluations of education quality. This factor includes
learning atmosphere, modern teaching aids, air-conditioned rooms, spacious
rooms, and neat and clean rooms. The factor loading points for these variables are
also higher than 60 except for the element “air-conditioned room.” Thus, the
classroom facilities are significant in explaining the quality of education at the
private universities.
The third most important factor is the academic calendar. Variables included in
this component are maintaining strict schedules, make-up class provisions, an
automated registration process, and the timely completion of registration. The
factor loading points are also substantially higher, which shows the simply
significant level of student judgment important for determining quality education.
The fourth most important factor is campus facilities, which accounts for 4.54%
of the variance and broadly covers well-equipped and modern independent
campus facilities. The specific variables are modern campus buildings, transport,
dormitory facilities, dining facilities, recreation and gym facilities, high-speed
Internet access, an extensive library, and computer lab facilities.
The factors of research facilities and cost of education are also important, as each
one explains variation of close to 4%. Thus, the results show that the private
universities as a whole should be more careful with regard to the identified
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Quality Education Management
27
Table 1. Principal factor analysis: Students’ evaluation on quality education
Factor Name
Variables
Factor
loading
% of
variance
explained
Cronbach’s
reliability
coefficient
Faculty
credentials
1. Faculty’s academic background
2. Teaching experience
3. Updated course content
4. Communication skills
5. Fair treatments to students
.67
.61
.60
.65
.60
24.567
.7412
Classroom
facilities
1. Learning atmosphere
2. Modern teaching aids
3. Air-conditioned room
4. Spacious room
5. Neat and clean room
.72
.66
.48
.65
.63
7.023
.8138
Academic
calendar
1. Maintaining strict schedules
2. Make-up class provisions
3. Automated registration process
4. Timely completion of registration
.50
.69
.63
.63
6.072
.5140
Campus
facility
1. Modern campus building
2. Transport
3. Dormitory facilities
4. Dining facilities
5. Recreation and gym facilities
6. High-speed Internet access
7. Extensive library
8. Computer lab facilities
.68
.55
.59
.74
.67
.61
.63
.60
4.545
.7610
Research
facility
1. Support students’ research
2. Support faculty’s research
3. Existence of research centre
4. Publication facilities
.66
.67
.56
.58
3.956
.7153
Cost of
education
1. High tuition fees
2. Financial aid for poor students
3. Scholarships provided
4. On-campus job facilities
5. Cost of study materials
.70
.57
.62
.65
.62
3.854
.4725
Quality
education
1. Nationwide recognition for
providing excellent education
2. High-paid graduates on job market
3. Foreign university affiliation
4. Students’ pride
5. Faculty’s availability to help
students
.64
.71
.60
.57
.58
3.521
.7438
Cumulative % of variance explained = 53%
Page 12
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
28
factors, using which they can achieve a higher quality of education; in effect, this
will help to push up the overall performance and productivity of the universities.
The most important point to note here is that the independent factor of quality
education is ranked in the lowest echelon based on the students’ judgments. It
explains the smallest amount of variation and the factor loadings are also poor. In
this regard, the administration has a significant role to play in order to upgrade
the overall quality of education offered by the private universities in
Bangladesh.
A step-wise regression technique was then employed. Quality education and six
orthogonal component factors were taken as dependent and independent
variables, respectively. The results are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Results of step-wise regression
Variables
Betas
Computed t
Significance
Faculty credentials (FC)
.39
9.11
.000***
Academic calendar (AC)
.09
2.33
.020*
Campus facilities (CF)
.23
5.19
.000***
Research facilities (RF)
.14
3.20
.001**
Cost of education (COE)
.13
3.26
.001**
*** p < .001; **p < .01; * p < .05
Only significant variables are shown in the table, along with their respective
regression coefficients (βs) and computed students’ t statistics and their
respective significance levels. The results of the regression analyses revealed that
out of six control variables, five—faculty credentials (FC), academic calendar
(AC), campus facilities (CF), research facilities (RF) and cost of education (COE)
had statistically significant effects on the rating of attitudes towards the
educational quality of the concerned universities of this study. These results are
also consistent with the results found in the factor analyses, because the findings
also showed that factors such as FC and CF exhibit the highest significance levels
that equivalently correspond to the factor analysis results. Thus, in order to enrich
quality education in the private universities of Bangladesh, all five of these
variables need to be considered.
FC and CF were found to be statistically significant and positively related to
quality education. The results show that both factors are the most important
components of quality education. Similarly, factors such as research facilities and
the cost of education exhibited significant results. This statistical outcome
indicates that these variables deserve more attention in the attempt to improve the
quality of education at private universities. Though the significance level of the
academic calendar is comparatively less than that of other factors, it also has to
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Quality Education Management
29
Table 3. ANOVA for regression
Sources of variation
Sum of square Degrees of freedom Mean square
Computed F
Regression
200.752
5
40.150
79.586***
Residual
178.589
354
.504
Total
379.341
359
R2 = 53%; *** p < .001
be addressed with an equivalent degree of focus for one to attain a higher level of
education.
The result of the R2 value underneath the ANOVA table indicates that 53% of the
variation in the dependent variable can be explained by variations in the
independent variables, i.e., 47% is due to something else not included in the
model. The significance of the F value indicates that there has been a 0% chance
that the Adjusted R2 value is zero. These outcomes imply the robustness of the
study.
Table 4 presents the cost of education on a scale using the weighted average
method. The weighted average value of tuition fees is 1.12, which is the highest
value in the table. This outcome indicates that the students see the tuition fee as
an important factor in their education and learning process; students report that
tuition is charged at a high rate by the private universities. At the same time,
students also report that the number of scholarships is high, but these
scholarships are offered for a limited number of top students, so this effort is not
sufficient to offset the tuition fees and reduce the costs of overall private
education in Bangladesh. This evidence is also supported by the lower weighted
average values of financial aid for poor students as well as the values of on-
campus job facilities. Moreover, the variable “cost of education” is found to be
statistically significant, which implies that this variable is an important factor
influencing the learning process of the students in the private universities in
Bangladesh.
Page 14
Mohammad A. Ashraf et al.
30
Table 4. Cost of education on a scale using the weighted average method
Strongly
Agree
+3
Moderately
Agree
+2
Simply
Agree
+1
Neutral
0
Simply
Disagree
–1
Moder-
ately
Disagree
–2
Strongly
Disagree
–3
Weighted
Average
Scores
1. Tuition fees
are high
107
79
53
47
40
15
19
1.12
2. Financial aid
for poor
students
68
77
84
58
31
7
35
.81
3. Large number
of scholarships
84
96
82
48
20
15
15
1.19
4. On-campus job
facilities
53
59
90
62
38
12
46
.46
5. Study
materials are
expensive
46
66
87
58
56
23
24
.50
Source: (Field Survey, 2007)
CONCLUSION
Private education in Bangladesh is getting more competitive with the
remarkable
increase in the number of academic institutions in the country. The ineluctable
forces of globalization in this new millennium make this growth path more
complex and challenging. Despite the relentless and continuous effort of private
educational institutions, quality has not yet achieved at the desired level. The cost
of private education is another dimension to consider, as it is unaffordable in
Bangladesh, and more effort needs to be made if costs are to be lowered.
However, the system is proceeding gradually towards greater improvement.
Nevertheless, all the problems considered here should be addressed more
rigorously to ensure the quality of education in Bangladesh reaches the desired
level. This study has shed the light on the dimensions perceived by students as
associated with the quality of education. These dimensions are faculty
credentials, the academic calendar, campus facilities, research facilities and the
cost of education. The study also concludes that, in general, the cost of education
in private universities in Bangladesh is somewhat expensive due to the
imbalance
between increasing tuition fees and an increasing amount of financial aid and
scholarships.
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Quality Education Management
31
REFERENCES
Alam, M., Haque, M. S. and Siddiqui, S. F. (2007). Private higher education in
Bangladesh. Research papers. Paris: International Institute for Education
Planning.
Aminuzzaman, S. (2007). Overview of quality assurance in the context of
Bangladesh.
Paper presented in a workshop organised by American International University
Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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BANGLADESH: Private universities meet demand


Mahdin Mahboob
25 January 2009
Issue: 0060

The system of private universities is a relatively new concept in


Bangladesh. Because of the ever-growing demand for education
at the university level, and the fact that existing public
universities could not meet the need, the government passed a
Private Universities Act in 1992. Starting with a handful, the
number of private universities has grown rapidly and stands at
54 to date, compared with 21 public universities.

Part of the reason is that Bangladesh has one of the fastest-


growing populations in the world, increasing from 45 million in
1971 to more than 145 million today. But private universities
are also popular because the public institutions could not offer
enough places in courses of high demand so students opted for
lesser-known universities rather than study a subject which
might not have good job prospects.

The private universities have capitalised on this situation by


limiting what they offer to a few disciplines such as business,
computer science, engineering, medicine and so on which are
very much in demand in the job market.
A University Grants Commission report says the standard of
education in most of the public universities is not up to the
mark. The reasons include student politics, irregular and
interrupted classes and examinations, unsatisfactory teacher-
student ratios and so forth. In contrast, most of these problems
are non-existent in the private universities.

Prior to their introduction, most students were not able to enrol


in the esteemed public universities and had few options left to
them. Some went abroad to study, the majority going to India
and a few to the US, UK and Australia.

Eventually, Bangladesh began to suffer from the loss of huge


amounts of hard-earned foreign currency, and also the loss of
many of its then highly qualified citizens - the brain-drain factor.

So the private universities have directly helped in saving foreign


currency as well as reducing the brain drain. Many scholarships
are also available for students with brilliant academic results
although they are also popular with those who face financial
constraints. Critics say more need-based scholarships should be
available to create opportunities for a higher number of
deserving candidates.

Although some of the universities have come under fire for


failing to deliver what they had promised, it has to be
remembered that Bangladesh's whole system of higher
education is still in its development stage.

In the US, as well as in many other countries around the world,


private universities and colleges are as good as the public ones,
if not better at times. MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and
Dartmouth are all private institutions. In Bangladesh, many
private universities are also excellent education institutions.

Campus

The University Campus (UC) is an organization which works for the


development of education and youth of Bangladesh. It started functioning
in 1984 with the joint efforts of teachers, students and intellectuals who
were committed to develop qualitative education in Bangladesh. Since
then it has been publishing "The University Campus", a news-magazine
on education and youth development. For the last 20 years, it is the only
regular newspaper exclusively on education and youth development in
Bangladesh.

UC is devoted to motivate qualitative and modern education by identifying


relevant problems and possible solution. At the same time, it helps the
students directly to develop their educational and cultural quality. It also
nourishes patriotism among the people, specially the young generation.
Different activities of UC are meant to help building up cultured and well-
educated people who will work for the development of Bangladesh. UC
works as a bridge among students, policy-makers and employers. It
organizes open dialogue on various education & society-related
controversial issues where the policy-makers and different stakeholders
freely exchange views to reach a meaningful solution.

As UC is committed to build up an enlightened nation, it has taken up a


widespread social awareness program. Under this program it prints and
distributes posters, stickers, desk slips, leaflets, calendar etc. containing
valuable messages throughout the country. UC also takes special disaster
management program to help the distressed people of the country. In
addition to full-time regular jobs, UC offers part-time jobs in journalism,
specially for the students, so that they can earn their study-cost as well as
can learn how to make report on a topic thereby becoming self-reliant &
self developed. UC has multipurpose-training program to train the young
generation on various practical skills.
The system of private universities is a relatively new concept in Bangladesh. Due
to the ever-growing demand of educational institutions at the university level and
the fact that the existing public universities could not meet the need, the
Government of Bangladesh passed the Private Universities Act in 1992. Starting
off with a handful, the number of private universities has grown rapidly and
stands at 54 to date, compared to the 21 universities in the public sector.

Part of the reason of course is the fact that we have one of the fastest-growing
populations in the world, considering the growth of our population from 45
million in 1971 to the current 145 million in a span of just 35 years.

There are various reasons why private universities have become so popular in
Bangladesh. Among the various factors that govern a person in choosing an
institution for higher study, the most dominant one is the availability of the
desired major or program. The fact that the number of seats in the esteemed
public universities in a given program (say BBA) is very limited, students these
days tend to opt for a lesser known institution rather than study some subject
which apparently does not have any prospect in the long run. Private Universities
have capitalized on this situation by limiting the studies to a few disciplines
(BBA, MBA, Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, etc.), which are very
much in demand in the job market.

According to a University Grants Commission report, the standard of education


in most of the public universities is not up to the mark due to reasons including
student politics, irregular and interrupted classes and examinations, unsatisfactory
teacher-student ratio, etc. On the other hand, all these problems are completely
non-existent in the private universities of Bangladesh.

Prior to the introduction of private universities, students not being able to get a
’seat’ in the esteemed public universities had very few options left to them. Some
of them went abroad to study the majority of them going to India and few to
USA, UK, Australia, etc. Eventually, our country had to suffer from losing huge
amounts of hard-earned foreign currency and also the brain-drain factor to a large
extent.

The private universities have directly helped in saving foreign currency as well as
brain drain. Large amounts of scholarships are also available for students with
brilliant academic results.
However, private universities still remain to be popular amongst the students with
financial constraints. More need-based scholarships should be given to the
students to give opportunities to a higher number of deserving candidates.

Although much has been said about how some of these universities have failed to
deliver what they had promised, it must also be remembered that the whole
system is still in its development stage. In the United States, as well as in many
other countries of the world, private universities and colleges are as good as the
public ones, if not better at times. MIT, Harvard, Yale Princeton and Dartmouth
are all private institutions!

It can thus be summed up that private universities are doing a great job. Many of
them are functioning excellent as a matter of fact, and they require our support to
turn out to be model educational institutions.

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Open-ended Dialogue with UGC Chair

It was Monday 26 May 2008. The venue was the office of The
Daily Star. Star Campus, a weekly publication of The Daily Star,
arranged a new and innovative concept for a policy maker to
talk and share views with direct beneficiaries. University
students from both institutions public and private were waiting
eagerly. They were waiting to share their views with the chief
executive of the overseeing body of all universities in
Bangladesh, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission
(UGC), Prof. Nazrul Islam. It was a rare and wonderful
opportunity for all who were present that afternoon in the
Conference Room of The Daily Star.

Professor Nazrul Islam came at 4:15pm. In spite of the


incessant rain outside, the room was almost full by then.
Shahnoor Wahid, on behalf of The Daily Star introduced the
distinguished guest with the floor. From the moment go, the talk
was informal. This feature describes the talk session between
the Professor and the students.

Professor Islam started with an introduction on what the UGC is


and what its responsibilities include. The UGC was established in
1973. It is the statutory apex body for higher education in
Bangladesh. It oversees 29 public universities; around 1800
colleges under the National University; the Bangladesh Open
University; and 51 private universities. The UGC is responsible
for supervising, maintaining, promoting and co-ordinating
university education. The body further oversees the standard
and quality of university education. The UGC determines
standards of quality of the teachers and also the minimum grade
a university applicant has to have for admission in private
universities. UGC is also responsible for distributing government
funds to universities in the public sector.

The final responsibility of the UGC is to create an environment


where universities in Bangladesh will be a centre for both quality
education and a seat of knowledge creation and extension. This
principal objective of the UGC started the debate between the
Professor and the students.

The problem with university education in Bangladesh probably


lies in the classic dilemma of quantity and quality control.
University education is viewed as a social good. Not going into
the finesse of definitions, a social good is simply a good that a
society desires. Historically, social goods have been provided by
the society, i.e., the State. Until 1992, this has been the
scenario in Bangladesh with university education.

In spite of all our efforts, only 4 percent of the university going


population (18-25 years) is currently enrolled in a university in
Bangladesh. This figure is 13 percent for India and Pakistan and
as high as 40 percent for Thailand. Even then, Bangladesh
struggles with those who do enroll. In absolute figures, the
public universities accommodate approximately 1,50,000
students; the National University another 800,000; and the
Open University another 250,000. All the private universities
accommodate around 1,30,000 students.

In spite of funds from the Government, public universities lack


adequate funding and adequate infrastructure (physical and
non-physical). Remuneration of teachers is low compared to
their alternative in the private sector. Not receiving “efficiency
wage”, teachers in the public sector are sometimes forced to
look for part-time employment in the private sector. Professor
Islam stressed on a mechanism to attract quality teachers in the
public sector and create a secure environment. Students from
public universities stressed on a mechanism whereby there is a
limit to involvement of public sector teachers in the private
sector.

Public universities have limited access and limited scope to raise


finance outside funds generated from the Government.

Tuition fees in the public sector aren't rationalised by markets.


Public universities, being a “social good”, are also obliged to
provide transport; housing to students, faculty and staff; and
other facilities besides education. It is true social goods like
education usually generate positive external benefits for the
society. It's also true such services aren't free and sooner or
later will stress the coffer. Further dilemmas arise because
increasing fees isn't socially or politically acceptable at times.
Professor Islam stressed that the time has probably come that
we debate on ways to find how public universities can achieve
some kind of financial autonomy. Any policy, however, has to be
somewhere in between a market and a social solution. The
debate pointed to donations from generous citizens and alumni.
This is a practice observed in even the richest universities in the
world, Oxford, and Cambridge just to name a few.

Private universities face a different set of problems. Since


private universities have to raise funds from own sources, they
tend to emphasise subjects that have more of a market value
than only a social value. They also tend to locate predominantly
in Dhaka and/or where more affluent families live. Tuition fees
can burden the budgets of the parents. High tuition fees can also
totally discourage genuine meritorious students from the
thought of applying for admission in a good private university.
Professor Islam stressed that private universities should try to
charge fees that are more socially acceptable. The UGC can
come forward in debating ways to do so.

Although tuition fees in the public sector are extremely low,


maintenance allowance can put burden on students and their
families. Professor Islam stressed that both public and private
universities should fund the full education of the truly
meritorious students as much as possible so the truly
meritorious need not worry about tuition fees and maintenance.
Everybody appreciated this.

The discussion then went towards the grading policy. The


grading policy differs between public and private universities and
across public and private universities. It even varies within the
same university and sometimes within the same department of
a university. This sends mixed signals to the job market.
Professor Islam mentioned that the UGC is trying to move
towards a common grading policy for all universities in
Bangladesh. Although the market has its own mechanism of
finding which 'product' from which university or department
'could' be better in the job market, Professor Islam stressed on
finding a method to rank universities and also departments and
programmes of universities. We can learn from the experience
of many countries where ranking exists.

A common grading policy took the discussion towards a common


admission test. Public university students raised this issue.
Students came up with the argument that if medical colleges in
Bangladesh can have a common admission test, why not all
public universities too? This would save time, money and hassle
on students and their families. Professor Islam noted this as
'food for thought'.

The inevitable problem with public universities soon surfaced


session jam and politicisation of the university administration.
Professor Islam made one thing very clearall citizens have the
right to express their political views, whether they are students
or the teachers. Nevertheless, having said so, an institutional
arrangement has to be reached where such political expression
doesn't hamper academic activities of universities anywhere in
Bangladesh. Things can't and won't change overnight, but
Professor Islam assured that the UGC and the government are
concerned about the issue just as much as are most teachers,
students and guardians.

The talk then slowly focussed on quality of education. Although


the UGC is an overseer of the quality of university education in
Bangladesh, it's ultimately the universities themselves who have
to address the issue.

This can be done through university associations and other


formal platforms through periodic reviews. The civil society,
other bodies and especially the media can also play positive
roles. The government can also play its role towards both public
and private universities. The UGC is exploring ways on how
private universities can also receive funds from the Government.
It's also high time we all think about providing e-library facilities
in all universities with access to the Internet. Bangladesh can no
longer afford the luxury of remaining immune from technological
advantages that the Internet can offer.

A university is not only a seat of teaching, but also a centre for


knowledge creation and knowledge extension. This is where both
public and private universities have to come forward together.
There are many good academics in public and private
universities who are publishing in international journals and
doing wonderful researches without patronage from their own
universities. There are also wonderful teachers in public and
private universities who are teaching for the love of the
profession without caring much for any personal benefit. While
mentioning this, Professor Islam stressed we have to have the
heart to at least acknowledge these great minds, if not anything
else. A light of hope came when the Professor mentioned the
UGC is thinking on how to address this issue.

Universities in Bangladesh have the potential to specialise and


expand graduate teaching through research. With guidance and
assistance from the State or generous citizens and other
philanthropic institutions, it is possible for universities in
Bangladesh to expand their MPhil and PhD programmes. With
some initiative it's very much possible for universities to develop
link programmes with universities outside Bangladesh. This can
address the brain drain problem and also save resources that
would have been spent elsewhere.

The American economist Alchian once said, a society that


proceeds is a society that allows scope for trial and error.
Although Alchian never specified what 'trial and error' means, a
civilised society proceeds through trial and error by debating.
Through debates come new ideas. Through new ideas the time
comes to realise old concepts have to make room for the new if
the society wants to proceed forward. A debate becomes
productive when institutions and their beneficiaries sit together
as friends to exchange views and learn from each other.

The dialogue at the Daily Star that day was unique. Public and
private university students met with one common goal to
discuss how to improve university education in Bangladesh. The
dialogue became a blue moon because they interacted directly
with Professor Nazrul Islam. The Professor set an example for
our policy makers. Good things can come out through dialogue
and debate with direct beneficiaries of a service. After just three
hours on the dot, Shahnoor Wahid wrapped up the fruitful
interactive session. He thanked the distinguished guest on
behalf of The Daly Star for taking time out of his busy schedule.
He also thanked the students for braving the inclement weather
to be here that afternoon.

The audience had nothing to offer but appreciation and a big


round of applause. Those who were present in that room that
day will tell, the applause came from the hearts of the future
generation of Bangladesh that was inspired by a person from the
previous generation. Everybody left the room to get back into
the rain, but everybody left with 'food for thought' from the
wonderful dialogue. Even the Professor!