Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Tale of a certificate selling private varsity!

  • Md Solamain Salman
  • 27th December, 2021 10:32:12 PM
  • Print news
Tale of a certificate selling private varsity!

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*Four websites running in name of the university

*Academic activities running sans UGC approval

Certificates of higher education degrees are being sold allegedly in Dhaka and its surrounding areas from illegally-run two campuses of a university in the name of ‘The University of Comilla’.

The unapproved campuses were opened in Dhaka’s Uttara and Narayanganj in the name of the private university where they are conducting illegal activities under the nose of the administration.

The separate groups are using at least four websites in the name of ‘The University of Comilla’ to manage all activities of the unapproved campuses of the university.

The Education Ministry and University Grants Commission (UGC) are seen playing a helpless role in stopping such types of cheating with the students in the name of higher education.

Talking to the correspondent, UGC Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah said the commission is taking all possible measures as per the law to stop irregularities in the private universities.

“However, we have to rely on other government agencies to implement our recommendations. If other agencies do not take action even after giving the letter to them, we have nothing to do,” he said.

Prof Shahidullah also said it is not the job of the UGC to close down an illegal institution. It is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies, he said.

According to sources of Education Ministry and UGC, the only valid address of ‘The University of Comilla’ at present is the Polwell Carnation Building at Sector 8 in the capital’s Uttara. But the university does not exist at this address now.

The Daily Sun investigation has found that though there is no campus at the legal address, illegal campuses are being opened at two addresses in Uttara and Narayanganj and students are being admitted and their certificates are being provided in the name of the university.

One of the illegal campuses is located at Hossain Tower in Uttara. There is a certificate business in the name of the university. They are admitting students and providing certificates in over 30 programs from the campus.

The website https://theunicedubd.ac/ is used to manage the campus. As per the website, there are 42 members of the board of trustees with Kamal Mostafa and Abdullah Sheikh Mohammad Bayozid Al Hasan as executive chairman and chairman of the BoT respectively.

However, the BoT of a private university must have a maximum of 21 members as the private university act-2010.

The investigation also found that another illegal campus in the name of ‘The University of Comilla’ is being operated in Habibullah Motaleb Plaza at Bulta in Narayanganj by another group.

This group is also cheating the students by opening two separate websites and conducting certificate business from the illegal campus.The websites are https://theuniversityofcumilla.org/ and https://cuedu.org/.

After the illegal campus in Narayanganj came to the notice of UGC, they sent letters signed by UGC Director Omar Faruque to Narayanganj district administration and the superintendent of police (SP) to take action in this regard.

The UGC in the letter stated that several members of the BoT of the university were conducting educational activities illegally in violation of the law. At present, several cases are pending in the high court regarding the BoT of the university.

It said, “Besides, the university does not have any legitimate authority appointed by the chancellor. The Private University Act requires the approval of the government and the UGC to establish, transfer and operate the campus.”

The Narayanganj campus of ‘The University of Comilla’ is being operated without approval, which is a punishable offense under the law. Therefore, Narayanganj district administration and police were asked to take necessary measures to close the campus.

Two months have passed since the letter was sent but the illegal campus is still being operated smoothly.

When asked, Narayanganj ADC (ICT and Education) SM Mahfuzur Rahman said he could not remember any such letter. Moreover, he was posted to the current workplace only three months ago.

Meanwhile, the University of Comilla has another website at https://unicedu.ac/. According to the website, the activities of the university have been stopped due to unavoidable reasons at the address approved by the UGC.

The present address is given on the website in Kuril area of Dhaka as a trust office of the university. The website provides information on an 11-member board of trustees approved by the Directorate of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC).

Expressing frustration, Md Tanvir Hayder Bhuiyan, treasurer of the board of trustees, said, “A letter has been sent to UGC describing overall situation of the university.”

“We have nothing to do with the campus which is being operated illegally in Narayanganj while one of our trustees is operating a campus in Uttara illegally without the approval of the trust, which is unfortunate,” he said.

He also urged the government to take step to shut down all illegal campuses in the name of the University of Comilla.

UGC officials said The University of Comilla is one of the earliest established private universities in the country. However, due to various irregularities, the institution has lost the approval of UGC to conduct academic activities.

The government closed the university in 2006 due to violation of law, administrative and financial mismanagement and poor quality of education.

Later in 2016, the private university got the opportunity to conduct educational activities again by a high court order. But, the UGC has not yet given permission to the university to conduct academic activities due to various complexities, including address transfer, reserved funds, and teacher recruitment.

Although, there is no approval of UGC, the university has opened the illegal campuses in Dhaka and Narayanganj and certificates of higher education are being sold massively in exchange of money.