‘Cluster system’ admission test at public varsities

Staff Correspondent

27 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday decided to introduce a ‘cluster system’ to enrol students to public universities after five universities opted out of the uniform admission test.

The decision was taken at a meeting held at UGC office with the vice-chancellors of different public universities. UGC Chairman Professor Kazi Shahidullah chaired the meeting.

After the meeting, the UGC chairman said, “Some 34 public universities agreed to join the cluster system admission tests from the 2020-21 academic year to enrol students at their universities.”

He hoped that the five universities—Dhaka University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University and Chittagong University — would take part in the process.

The cluster system means universities offering similar disciplines will be brought under a cluster for which a single admission test would be held for admission at the similar university.

There will be four separate clusters — one for all agricultural universities, which is already in place; one for all science and technology universities, one for engineering universities and the last one for general studies universities.

Except for general universities, each of the three clusters will have a single admission test to enrol students but the general universities will arrange three separate entry tests for students under three groups — science, humanities and commerce.

The UGC chairman said they will sit on the first week of March to work out the procedure and modalities of the cluster system admission tests.

Earlier on February 11, the UGC decided to hold a uniform or central admission test for all public universities from the next academic year of 2020-2021 to reduce sufferings of students and their guardians.

But after holding academic council meetings, the DU, RU, JU, BUET and CU announced that they would not join the uniform admission test and they will enrol students through its own admission test like before.

Amid such situation, the UGC on Wednesday called all the VCs of public universities to take a final decision in this matter. In the meeting, they backtracked from its earlier decision to introduce uniform admission test and decided for holding cluster system.

Jagannath University VC Prof Mijanur Rahman said, “All the people supported the uniform admission test but few universities told the meeting that they cannot join the uniform test as members of their academic council did not agree on it.”