No Bangladeshi univ in Asian rankings

Mohiuddin Alamgir

No university in Bangladesh found a place among the top 100 institutions in Asia in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings for three years in a row.
The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2015, prepared based on the same criteria as the World University Rankings, powered by Thomson Reuters, was launched at the APAC Research Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Thursday.
The ranking judges world class universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
Both the public and private universities in Bangladesh have been failing to get a satisfactory place in the international university rankings at least for the last five years which experts say is an ominous pointer to falling standard of educational at the institutions in recent years.
No Bangladeshi university was among the top 500 institutions around the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as the Shanghai Rankings, in 2014, 2013 and 2012.
Shanghai Rankings is prepared by the Centre for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Ranking Consultancy scrutinising more than 1,200 universities every year and ranks top 500.
To rank world universities, Academic Ranking of World Universities adopts six objective indicators, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Field Medals, the number of highly cited researchers, the number of articles published in journals of nature and science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance.
According to July 2013 edition of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which take into account the number of electronic publications on the internet, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology ranked 2,400, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology ranked 2,709, BRAC University ranked 2,712 and Dhaka University ranked 3,222.
In the Webometrics Ranking of Asia Pacific Universities, no Bangladeshi university ranked among the top 500. Among the top 100 South Asian universities, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology ranked 31st, BUET 42nd, BRAC University 43rd and Dhaka University 63rd.
Low standard of research work and publications, poor library and laboratory facilities, lack of motivation and interest among teachers and students and a politicised teacher recruitment process are the main reasons for the situation, educationalists said.
Former University Grants Commission chairmen Nazrul Islam said that quality of education at the universities had not improved in comparison to foreign universities.
He observed that the lack of quality research and a few number of quality journals published by the universities coupled with politicised teacher recruitment was largely responsible for the situation.
Many universities lack good governance and always face unrest that hampers academic activities, he said.
‘Most of the vice-chancellors of the universities remain busy in safeguarding their chair and have no time to oversee the other things,’ Nazrul said.
Another former UGC chairman AK Azad Chowdhury, also former Dhaka University vice-chancellor, said that the quality of education at the universities was improving but ‘foreign universities’ were progressing faster making it difficult for Bangladeshi universities to keep pace with them,’ he said.
Azad Chowdhury said that the country’s universities did not post all their details on the internet. Had they done it, at least three or four universities would have good rankings.
He said that budgetary allocation for higher education was less than the requirement constraining research and other activities at the universities.
Universities should make research visible and digitise publications as soon as possible, he added.
University Grants Commission chairman MA Mannan said different rankings followed different criteria, without seeing the criteria it would not be wise to make any comments.
There are 121 public and private universities in Bangladesh.

2 Comments

  1. Abul Shamsuddin says:

    Lame excuses from the UGC chairman. VC,s of all public universities are appointed purely on political consideration not on academic excellence. Teachers are involved heavily in partisan politics, no research or quality academic activities are done by the academic staff.

  2. PlainSpeaker says:

    What an intelligent reasoning of a Vice-Chancellor! “Foreign universities’ were progressing faster making it difficult for Bangladeshi universities to keep pace with them”.

    The fact is, our universities are ran by ill-educated, incompetent and highly corrupt people appointed on political ground and where students roam in the campus with knives, daggers and guns. How we can expect these universities competing with the rest of the world?

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