BANGLADESH: Watch for cheating universities

In a move that has its echoes in many other parts of the world, the Bangladesh government was last week planning to issue a public warning to students seeking to enrol in higher education not to take admission tests provided by "dubious branches" of some private universities.

Education officials drafting the warning told local newspapers that some "profit-mongering" private universities had caused a decline in the quality of higher education by opening and running "outer campuses in the guise of regional resource centres, study centres, coaching centres, distance learning centres or even information centres".

"As the admission season is on, we have decided to warn students and their guardians of the matter,' an Education Ministry official said. "The public notification will be sent to the University Grants Commission and the Press Information Department for further actions."

"Under the circumstances, all candidates seeking higher education and their guardians are requested not to be cheated by taking admission to any such unapproved local universities or offshore campuses whatever the name of such institutions may be", the draft warning said.

"The ministry has come to know that students who take admission to such branches or outer campuses are frequently cheated."

The statement said there were 51 private universities in Bangladesh which were run according to the Private University Act 1992, as amended in 1998.

"But most of them have lost the validity of temporary permission obtained from the government,' the draft said.

Under the act, private universities may set up campuses in any place with government approval and they may set up campuses temporarily. But they need to move to their own permanent campuses, spanning at least two hectares of land, within five years after establishment. As well, the act says that campuses must have adequate "infrastructural facilities".

New Age