How often do you eat?: VC asks students while announcing tuition cuts | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:20 AM, June 27, 2020

How often do you eat?: VC asks students while announcing tuition cuts

In a video message shared with students over TikTok, Vice Chancellor of Basindhara University, Professor Dr Md Fatiul Islam, PhD, MSc, BEd, MFeel, RTruth, announced that tuitions for the fall semester will be slashed by 20 percent. In the video, where the monocle and moustache effect was used (with the Wu-Tang Clan's C.R.E.A.M. playing in the background), Dr Md Fatiul showed off his grasp of fractions by saying that it was only fair that a fifth of the tuition be cut as the university has only been providing a 10th of what the students have been paying for.

In a press conference later held on Zoom, the VC expressed gratitude to medical workers who are actively combatting the coronavirus. A BDT 527 stipend (per annum) was announced for the children of medical workers who have lost their lives in this crisis. According to a press release provided to the media, "Basindhara University is committed to helping families who have made the supreme sacrifice for us. Students will need to provide original copies of a birth certificate, a death certificate, an insurance report that proves the cause of death, along with a picture of the dead body to claim the stipend."

When reporters asked about the tuition fee reduction, Dr Md Fatiul said he was concerned about the financial future of the university. "This 20 percent cut is going to make it difficult for us to pay the faculty members and the staff, and to maintain the quality of education. I will have to send my daughter to study here at Basindhara University instead of the Memorial University of Newfoundland like the rest of her rich friends; we are very concerned about her," the VC said, as his daughter mistakenly walked into the frame, made a rude hand gesture, and walked away.

On the matter of what he'd say to students dissatisfied with the tuition cut, Dr Md Fatiul said, "I'd be obliged to ask these students about how often they eat. I've been told that many students who say the tuition fee is too high end up having three entire meals a day, and a snack! Maybe if they had two meals a day and got rid of the snack, they wouldn't be so poor."

 Ignoring the uncomfortable looks of the reporters, the VC continued, "I'm not sure if poor people should be getting higher education. A policy of 'trickle-down education' could be viable for Bangladesh, where so many poor people are scurrying around. If we provide education only to the rich, they can then impart that education to the people who work for them. Like my daughter, who taught the house help how to read and write. It's good that she isn't going to Newfoundland, she can keep teaching them."

The VC concluded the press conference with a stark warning to students, "Those who fail to pay the tuition fees on time will be handed over to the police, and tried under civil laws. We are running a busine… a university here, not a charity."


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