President Abdul Hamid yesterday asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to play an active role to ensure accountability at all universities as well as the quality of education.
The president made the call at the UGC Gold Medal awarding ceremony at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.
“Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took the breakthrough decision of establishing the commission to promote higher education across the country. The number of public and private universities in the country has now reached 150, with more than 39 lakh students enrolled there. Considering the number of students at the university level, Bangladesh has now achieved fourth place in the world after China, India and Indonesia,” said the president. “This is a huge achievement.”
Praising the government's initiatives, he said, “The field of higher education in the country is now broader than previous times. I think this was achieved due to the time-befitting education policy with far-reaching plans and implementation of these on time,” said the president.
“However, we have to put more emphasis on not only in numbers but also on higher education so that our students can progress successfully in the global competition and ensure their place,” he said.
Hamid said the role of the private universities for increasing the sphere of higher education is praiseworthy. “But commercialisation in the name of education will not be accepted,” he said.
Some thirty-five academics received the UGC Gold Medal for their research works and publications.
Among them, 18 teachers were given the award for the year 2016, and 17 for 2017. Each of them received Tk 50,000 for their books and Tk 30,000 for their articles as honorarium, along with a certificate and a gold medal.
UGC Chairman Prof Abdul Mannan presided over the ceremony with its member Prof Dr Dil Afroza Begum delivering the welcome address.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid was present as the special guest.
Last month, the UGC changed the name of the UGC Award to UGC Gold Medal.