Role of private universities
The private universities have made significant contributions to higher education in Bangladesh. Regrettably, there exists lot of misconception about these. The suspicion is principally on two grounds. Firstly, of late a causal relationship with militancy is being attributed to private universities by some segments of the public and the administration. Admittedly, a number of militants involved in the latest atrocities did come from some leading private universities of the country, but not all the militants came from there. Militancy and extremism are national issues and there are many reasons for young educated people from well-to-do backgrounds going astray. Linking the two exclusively will be an unfair generalisation. Of course the law enforcing agencies are well within their rights act on specific intelligence with regard to any private university as they would with regard to any other educational institution.
The other ground for suspicion is that these universities are for the children of the rich and elites alone. The fact is thousands of students coming from the middle class study in these universities because our public education system cannot accommodate them all. For the most part, many private universities have risen to become internationally recognised institutions of higher learning and they are centres of knowledge. This sector complements public universities in imparting higher education to thousands of students who would, otherwise, not get access to higher education.
We need to take a step back from coming to hasty conclusions about private university education and recognise the vital role they play in helping building tomorrow's leaders in all sectors of national life. Terrorism is a national issue and narrowing it down to private university education is a gross oversimplification that must be avoided.