Fifty-nine percent students of Dhaka University and 77 percent students of Rajshahi University are facing discrimination, bullying and verbal or physical abuse at their respective dormitories, according to a study published yesterday by the DU Centre for Genocide Studies (CGS).
The students, during interviews, also expressed dissatisfaction over existing teaching methods, facilities in libraries and residential halls, and security on campus, according to the study.
Dr Delwar Hossain, a professor at the university's International Relations department, presented the study titled “Tertiary Education in Bangladesh: What Do Students Think?” at the two-day “2nd assembly -- Future of Higher Education” at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate building in DU. In collaboration with Bangladesh unit of German political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), CGS organised it.
Prof Delwar said they had interviewed 1,000 students from these two public universities and two private universities -- Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) and Stamford University Bangladesh.
He said that 34 percent students of IUB and 47 percent of Stamford, who are living in hostels, are also facing discrimination.
“Unfortunately authorities of the universities are failing to allocate seats under their supervision and to ensure sufficient facilities for those students,” he claimed, referring to the students' opinions.
Founding Director of the East Asia Study Center Prof Delwar said 37 percent students of DU, 29 percent of RU, 46 percent of IUB and 50 percent of Stamford expressed frustrations with university life.
He said 75 percent students of DU, 68 percent of RU, 63 percent of IUB and 49 percent of Stamford had claimed that they feel bored in class. He urged university teachers to be more practical instead of using traditional methods during lectures, so that students can enjoy the learning experience.
Prof Delwar said that 39 percent of DU students are not going to library due to seating crisis while 11 percent are not going due to lack of required books.
“46 percent students of DU, 40 percent of RU, 30 percent of IUB and 8 percent of Stamford even expressed dissatisfaction over the existing admission system [mainly MCQ based],” he said.
Prof Delwar said 51 percent of DU students and 42 percent of RU students had expressed that the existing syllabus of their respective departments would not help them secure jobs. He also said that a good number of students are going to the library only to read some guide books on job preparation.
He urged the government to take proper initiatives to improve the existing education system which still remains “a legacy of the British colonial era”.
“Our education system is divided into three mediums: Madrasa, English and Bangla, but the state should take initiatives to minimise the gap among them,” he said.
A total of 17 research papers were presented on the first day. The inauguration ceremony was held in the morning. With CGS Director Dr Imtiaz Ahmed in the chair, the ceremony was also addressed, among others, by FES representative Tina Marie Blohm, CGS Conference Coordinator Farhana Razzak, and DU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman.