28pc National University graduates remain unemployed: BIDS

BIDS organised a seminar at its office in Agargaon of the capital on Sunday
Ashraful Alam

As many as 28 per cent students remain unemployed even three years after graduating from the colleges under the National University, a study by Bangladesh Institute of Development Research (BIDS) revealed.

Badrun Nessa Ahmed, a research fellow of the institution presented the research outcome in a function at the BIDS office in Agargaon of the capital on Sunday.

She said that BIDS in 2023 conducted the study on students who have passed out from colleges affiliated to the National University. The students who passed out three years ago were interviewed for the study. Apart from this, current students, teachers and officials were also interviewed as part of the research.

The research also studied the subjects of the unemployed students. It revealed that most of these students were BBA (pass) graduates.

Unemployment rate is also comparatively higher among the graduates of Political Science, Library Management, Bangla, Islamic History and Culture departments. A large number of female graduates of the NU also remain unemployed.

According to the study, 42 per cent of students who pass out from national universities are engaged in jobs, 16 per cent are self-employed and over 13 per cent work part-time.

Most of those engaged in salaried and waged works are in education-related professions. They are mainly working as teachers in various schools, colleges and coaching centres. Many who pass out from the NU are also joining lower ranked positions in the readymade garment sector. Many are also involved in the agricultural sector.

Almost two-thirds of the students in higher education in the country study in the colleges under NU. The study also tried to find out as to why a large portion of the graduates of the NU are still unable to enter the job market.

Badrun Nessa Ahmed said the stakeholders including teachers and students said that the curriculum of the NU lacks contemporary knowledge and skills and identified this as one of the reasons behind unemployment.

The graduates also lack efficiency in English language. The students of NU do not have the facilities that the students of other public and private universities enjoy. If the authorities take care of these issues, the unemployment rate among the NU graduates will decrease.  

Badrun Nessa Ahmed also highlighted some achievements in the education sector. She said the education sector has undergone massive advancement in the last two decades. Literacy rate jumped to 76 per cent from 45 per cent while unemployment also decreased. Dropout rate decreased to 13 per cent from 49 per cent. The number of technical training centres has increased to 166 from only nine.

BIDS has published different reports on socioeconomic issues throughout the day.

The afternoon session was conducted by BIDS director general economist Binayak Sen. Finance minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali was present as chief guest in the session.

Prime minister’s economic affairs adviser Moshiur Rahman, power, energy and mineral resources adviserTawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, education and cultural affairs adviser Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, among others, were present at the session.

Awami League’s electoral manifesto committee’s member Sabbir Ahmed, Brac University’s emeritus professor Manzur Ahmed and Dhaka University’s professor MM Akash also took part in the discussion.