Students seeking admission to quality universities go through various ordeals and mental pressure. The guardians also face a hassle and financial pressure. The students have to take admission tests in different universities as the number of seats in those quality universities are much less than the students who pass the Higher Secondary Certificate examinations (HSC).

Things have become much more complicated and risky at present for those seeking admission to higher education. HSC candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their average results of JSC and SSC and equivalent examinations due to coronavirus. This process is rather complex. So the persons involved with the evaluation should be utmost sincere so that no mistakes are made and no distrust arises about the evaluation.

Uncertainly over the coronavirus situation still looms. What would be the coronavirus situation during the winter or if the vaccine would be available shortly are uncertain. But the uncertainty would somewhat decrease if the authorities confirmed the process of university admission.

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Discussion over cluster admission tests in public universities have been there for a while but this system has not been implemented, save in seven agriculture universities. It was decided in principle that admission tests in public universities from 2020 would be held in three separate clusters with only four autonomous universities and BUET holding separate admission tests. But there are speculations over whether there would be any admission tests at all this year or the process of evaluation will be such as HSC examinations. This uncertainty should come to an end. And the authorities should start considering taking tests online if the coronavirus situation does not improve.

All of more than 1.3 million students are going to pass HSC this year. Are there so many seats in higher education? There may not be any crisis of seats as we have seen that seats remain vacant. But there is surely a crisis of seats in quality universities and colleges. A total of 46 public and autonomous universities and over 100 private universities will admit students. But the number of quality private universities is only 10-12. There is also a difference in quality of education in public universities. The standard of education in the colleges under National University is mostly questionable. The number of seats in those colleges is over 850,000.

The students are under immense pressure due to uncertainty over results of HSC and admission tests. We expect pragmatic steps from the education ministry, University Grants Commission, universities, education boards and education administration as a whole.

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Guardians, teachers and students should keep in mind that higher education cannot be universal. Only the fittest students should go to that stage. We talk about emphasising technical education but progress in that sector is not encouraging.

University admission tests start in September-October every year. That time has already passed. The process of admission in higher education institutes can be completed in January-February if the situation becomes normal and HSC evaluation gets completed within December. Conducting admission tests and evaluating students for higher studies is much more difficult this year. The authorities should start taking necessary and well-planned steps right away so that they do not have to hurry at the end.