Bangladesh Higher Education
On the grounds of Jahangirnagar University
The institutions of the tertiary education sector in Bangladesh include tertiary colleges and universities as well as a large number of technical institutes and training centers that offer special courses for further education or complete training. The University Grants Commission of Bangladesh lists a total of 153 universities for all of Bangladesh on its website. Of these, 46 universities are state universities and 107 are private universities. For this area of education, however, “private” can also mean that the state pays the teachers’ salaries. Eleven universities from both categories have made the world rankings for higher education by the British company Quacquarelli Symondslet set up. They appear as follows on the list of participating educational institutions in Asia in 2021. The state Dhaka University in 134th place, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 199th place, the private North South University in 288th place, between the ranks 271 -280 the private BRAC University, between ranks 351-400 the private Independent University, between ranks 551-600 the state Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, the private Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology and the American International University-Bangladesh. The vast majority of the Bangladeshi universities have been founded since the 1990’s. In 1994 there were no other universities apart from six state universities. The founding of the youngest state universities reveal, among other things, the government’s focus on education, but also a previous lack of educational institutions in certain scientific areas and regions of the country – since 2017, five universities have been established with a focus on the so-called “STEM” subjects In the fields of natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as two universities with a focus on information technology and aerospace technology and four universities with a focus on human medicine.
Overall, the tertiary education sector in Bangladesh, a country located in southern Asia according to petwithsupplies, faces various challenges and problems, which of course are embedded in the country’s social, political or economic structures and developments. Some of them are as follows. (1) The didactic methods are often cited as the greatest of the problems. Memorization of content as the dominant didactic method is not able to promote independent, critical thinking and other social skills. However, these skills are increasingly sought after by employers. At the same time, the student-teacher ratio appears comparatively unfavorable in many subjects in order to promote such skills – for the entire education system, an average of 30 pupils / students were enrolled in 2018 stated per teacher / lecturer; at state universities it was an average of 40 students in 2019 per lecturer, at private universities with 27 students per lecturer. (2) The equipment at universities is often outdated or does not meet the requirements required by the size of the teaching group. A lack of adequate technical equipment, for example, simply prevents efficient, all-round class participation in large lecture halls. (3) Problems of this kind, resulting from financial restrictions, sometimes have an impact on the courses offered. Many institutions prefer, for example, to offer the less costly humanities or economics subjects rather than subjects that are considered more important in the current economic situation. (4) In some areas there is a lack of adequately qualified lecturers. Of these, the universities State universities in particular, outside the capital, were hardest hit. At other institutions, in particular private institutions in the tertiary education sector, the Selection of teachers sometimes according to non-transparent criteria – some institutions chose their teachers according to their political attitudes. (5) One of the reasons for many of the above problems is that research activities at universities are restricted. In addition, universities and industry rarely cooperate with each other. This, too, is perhaps the result of the lack of staff or funds to design and support such collaborations. (6) Higher education reaches fewer women. The same applies to people from poor families. These problems have different consequences for graduates from institutions of the tertiary education sector. The percentage of unemployment among young people (those between the ages of 15-24) is sometimes reported to be highest among university graduates. In 2019, it was over in the case of National University graduates 38%. Nevertheless, the demand for university graduates is increasing due to educational inflation / “credential inflation”. In Bangladesh, this mainly refers to the process by which higher educational qualifications are increasingly required for professions for which no university or comparable qualification was previously required – without the professional field significantly changing. Another consequence is that Bangladeshi universities do not or not completely meet the criteria specified by quality tests, so that they appear at the bottom of world rankings (see above). However, the employment opportunities of graduates in the international labor markets may depend on the placement of the universities.