Almost two-thirds of the students at the country’s public universities are struggling to continue with their higher education due to severe accommodation crisis.
The public universities seriously lack residential facilities and as a result, majority of the students at these educational institutions are compelled to reside in messes or rented houses.
A draft report 2016 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) shows that only 37 percent students on average get residential facilities at the public institutions for higher studies.
According to the report, there is a total of 2,64,084 students at the public universities except National University, Open University and Islamic Arabic University, and only 96,494 of them are getting residential facilities, the report says.
It shows 1,67,590 students remain outside the campuses for lack of seats at university dormitories.
The students from low-income families are facing problem in giving proper attention to their study as they have to bear additional cost for living outside the campuses.
Students at different public universities told the daily sun that they find it difficult to continue their studies as their expenses increase 2-3 times for living in rented houses.
Prof Dr Mijanur Rahman, Vice-chancellor of Jagannath University, told the daily sun that a large number of students from low-income families, study at public universities.
“These students suffer a huge financial burden if they fail to get seats at university dormitories,” he added.
“All the universities, particularly those located in the capital, should ensure residential facilities for the sake of good academic atmosphere,” Prof Mijanur said.
The UGC report containing overall situation of the country’s higher educational institutions will be placed to President Abdul Hamid, also Chancellor of the universities, within few days, sources concerned said.
According to the report, 90,462 students enjoyed residential facilities at the country’s public universities in 2015 while the number increased by 6,032 in 2016.
There is no dormitory at some public universities.
Jagannath University, which turned into a university in 2005, has a total of 19,088 students, but there is no hall of residence for the students at this institution.
The students, especially female ones from remote districts, who get admitted to this institution, face difficulty in carrying on studies for not getting residential facilities.
JnU Vice-chancellor Prof Mijanur Rahman told the daily sun that the students studying at this university are the worst sufferers due to lack of halls of residence.
He said, “Construction work of 1000-seat dormitory for female students is going on. A master plan has also been taken to build a modern campus with all facilities on a land of 200 acres in Keraniganj.”
The number of students at Dhaka University is 32,251 and the university has a capacity to provide residential facilities for 23,337 students at 19 halls and two hostels.
Islamic University has a total of 13248 students. Of them, 1,632 male and 1,098 female are getting residential facilities.
Prof Harun-ur-Rashid Askari, Vice-chancellor of Islamic University, said that all the public universities should ensure accommodation facilities for all the students.
Mentioning that 75 percent students of IU are not getting residential facilities, Prof Harun said, “Higher education has not reached at the expected level due to accommodation crisis”.
The number of students at Rajshahi University is 36,606. But only 5,073 male and 3,438 female students are enjoying residential facilities at this public institution.
Only 420 students out of 4,206 at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University are getting residential facility while only 1200 out of 2025 students are getting residential facility at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University.
There is a total of 4,306 students at Noakhali Science and Technology University. But, only 433 male and 607 female students are getting accommodation facilities at the institution.
The number of students at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University is 3,409. Of the total students, only 277 are getting residential facilities at the university.
Educationist Prof Mohit Ul Alam said that there is no alternative to ensuring residential facilities at a university. “Without residing on the campus, a student can get proper education.”