Govt orders cluster admission tests for 32 public univs

Bangladesh government on Saturday asked 32 public universities to hold cluster-based admission tests for the current 2022-23 academic session.

A circular issued by the education ministry on Saturday night, referring to the wish of the president and the universities’ chancellor Md Abdul Hamid, also asked all public universities to take necessary steps to come under a unified admission test system from 2023-24 session.

The circular added that the University Grants Commission was given responsibilities to hold the admission test under cluster system in this academic year and the unified admission test in the next year.

Currently, 32 public universities are conducting admission tests in three clusters – one for 22 general and science and technology universities, another for seven agricultural universities, and the other for three engineering universities.

Most recently, on April 12, the authorities of Islamic University in Kushtia decided to hold its admission test for the current 2022-23 academic session under its own management, leaving the cluster admission process, citing that this system failed to meet its target of reducing hassles and sufferings of the admission seekers and their guardians.

Before this, on April 6, the authorities of Jagannath University decided to form four committees to hold the admission test for the current academic session under its own management citing huge sufferings of admission seekers and the lengthy admission process in the cluster system.

UGC member professor Muhammed Alamgir told New Age on Saturday night that the Jagannath University and the Islamic University did not issue any circular or inform UGC anything regarding their decisions.

‘As the president wishes to hold admission test this year for all the 32 public universities under the system, we will talk with the authorities of these two universities tomorrow (Sunday),’ he said, adding, ‘I hope there will not be any crisis further.’

Five major public universities — Dhaka University, Chittagong University, Rajshahi University, Jahangirnagar University and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology — decided not to join the cluster system.

Seven agricultural universities held admission tests under the cluster system for the first time in the 2019-20 academic year.

In the 2020-21 and 2021-22 sessions, the universities under all three clusters held admission tests under the unified system.

The education ministry on February 27, meanwhile, made a decision to introduce a unified admission test system to all public universities from the next academic session (2023-24).

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