These five universities said their academic councils would make a decision on the matter soon
The University of Dhaka (DU), the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Jahangirnagar University (JU), the University of Rajshahi (RU) and the University of Chattogram (CU) have not yet made the decision to join the uniform admission test process this year.
These five universities said their academic councils would make decisions on the matter soon.
Sensing the uncertainty of the five institutions over joining the test process, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has changed the name of the test to the "Central Admission Test", which will start from this year with the participation of all other public universities.
The decision was made at a meeting chaired by UGC Chairman Professor Kazi Shahidullah at the commission on Wednesday.
After attending the meeting, Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Akhtaruzzman told The Business Standard that he placed recommendations of the university's senior teachers and some former vice-chancellors at the meeting.
"We told the UGC that we will inform them of our decision to join the uniform admission test process after finalising it at the academic council," he said.
"We would not join if the academic council does not allow it," he added.
In January this year, most Dhaka University teachers opposed taking part in the uniform test process at the university's academic council meeting. They reiterated their stance again during a meeting with the vice-chancellor on February 7.
The following day, Dhaka University Central Students' Union leaders also opposed the move in their executive meeting.
The test would harm the "uniqueness and tradition" of the DU admission test, the student body said.
Professor Farzana Islam, vice-chancellor of JU, told The Business Standard that they still have not made any decision in this regard.
"We will hold an academic council meeting on February 16. We would join the uniform admission test process if most of the academic council members support it," she said.
However, JU will administer the uniform entrance test from next year even if it fails to do so this year, said Professor Farzana.
Wishing anonymity, a senior teacher of Buet told The Business Standard that the university's academic council would not permit to join the uniform test process.
"The uniform test would definitely compromise the quality of students getting into our university. So, we cannot do this," he said.
CU and RU will also not proceed with the central test process if DU, Buet and JU do not participate as all these universities are run under the 1973 Ordinance.
The UGC chairman said, "The Central Admission Test process will start from March. Hopefully, it will be a unique one in the country."
He also sought all the vice-chancellors' cooperation to make the effort successful.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bishwabidyalaya Parishad, an association of vice-chancellors of public universities, in a meeting on Tuesday decided that all universities would have a uniform admission test for the 2020-21 academic session.
It said in a statement, "The vice-chancellors of all universities unanimously took the decision giving importance to the wish of the president and to reduce the hassles of students."
The vice-chancellors of DU, Buet, and JU did not attend the meeting held at the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.
DU Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury said, "Each university is autonomous and there are two important aspects of autonomy – appointing teachers and enrolling students.
"Both should be done as per the organisation's own decisions and universities should not adopt any system that may curtail their autonomy," he added.