Many of the private universities in the country have been accused of acting more as business centres than true institutes of higher learning and of selling academic certificates to undeserving students in exchange of hefty amount of money. That the quality of education in many of those universities is below the recognised standard level is an old story. And nothing to say about other allegations hurled against them including financial and administrative irregularities.
Against this backdrop, the North South University – the first private university of the country – was considered a beacon of hope, especially when it was named as the top private university in Bangladesh by QS Asia University rankings in Fukuoka. The NSU students also had good access to the job market due to acceptability of its education quality. But all our hopes are dashed as we learn about a plethora of corruption allegations against NSU authorities; and these allegations are from none other than the University Grants Commission (UGC) – the custodian of the country’s higher education.The allegations found by UGC probe body range from financial and administrative irregularities to receipt of undue allowances for every sitting by each member of the Board of Trusty, visiting far off countries in the name of signing Memorandum of Understandings with foreign universities, discriminatory policy towards some of the teachers and staff members and promotion of unsuccessful students. NSU is also accused of tempering result sheets and violating the UGC grading system. This university makes poor allocation for research while spends lavishly in non-academic sectors.
Given its track record of corruption and other irregularities, the NSU is very unlikely to retain what quality of education it had so long been able to maintain over the years. It may issue academic certificates to successful or unsuccessful students but, being a corruption-ridden institution, it will surely not be able to set itself as a role model of values and ethics and instil morality into its students.
The UGC probe body has put forward a good number of recommendations to restore the lost glory of NSU. We hope the authorities concerned will make every effort to free this once famed university from irregularities and bring back a congenial academic atmosphere for the sake of its students whose parents pay a fortune for their children’s education at the NSU.