With all the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) students promoted automatically this year, most of the private universities say they will enroll students in under-graduation programmes based on Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and HSC test grades.
"Taking written tests for university intake is impossible this year. On the other hand, other complications will arise if we take the tests online," Stamford University Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Mohammad Ali Naqi told The Business Standard.
In an unprecedented turn of events due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the VC said they have no other options than to enroll students on the basis of their SSC and HSC grades.
He, however, said that Stamford University mulls taking at least a viva-voce of the admission aspirants.
More than 13 lakh students were supposed to sit for HSC and equivalent examinations this year. In October, the government announced suspension of the examination as the Covid-19 situation prolonged, and said the students will be evaluated based on their previous examinations.
Zamal Uddin Bhuiyan, head of admissions of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), told TBS that they usually take the freshers through intake tests. But this year they are admitting pupils based on their SSC and HSC exam grades.
Like VC Professor Mohammad Ali Naqi, Zamal also commented that taking entry tests both in-person or online is difficult this year. But they were taking interviews of the admission seekers.
International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) public relations Deputy Director Al Amin Sikder Shihab said the university will admit the students who have a total 6 points calculating the SSC and HSC grades.
In the meantime, there is no University Grants Commission (UGC) instruction on enrolling new students in private universities.
Public universities enroll 65,000 students while around 6 lakh students get admitted to the National University in under-graduation programmes every year. Meantime, 106 private universities take around 2 lakh students for the tertiary education per year.
Though the universities have to scrap holding physical tests this year, some renowned universities such as North South University, Independent University, American International University Bangladesh and United International University said they will wait and observe the situation.
They said they will try to take the tests in person. If they fail to do so, they will enroll students through at least online tests.
"We will try our best to take the in-person admission test. If we fail to do so, we will at least take an online admission test," North South University VC Professor Atiqul Islam told TBS.
Without tests, Professor Atiqul thinks it will be very difficult to short out eligible under-graduation programme students as all the HSC examinees got promoted automatically.
"Our point is ensuring the quality of student enrolment," he added.
Echoing Atiqul, United International University VC Chowdhury Mofizur Rahman told TBS that it would be tough to get talented students if the admission test was not held.
"HSC exam is crucial and it is the most valuable test for any pupil. But things turned out differently this year. We are ready to take university intake tests if the government approves," he said.