After that decision of UGC, it was naturally expected that the admission test fee would be reduced. However, at the meeting of the authorities of the universities last Monday, it was decided to increase the application fee for admission in the first year of bachelor (honors) in the coming academic year (2021-22) to Tk 1,500. Last year this fee was Tk 1,200. That means each applicant will have to pay an additional 25 per cent extra.
Among the universities outside the cluster admission test, Dhaka University, Chittagong University and Jahangirnagar University have also increased the admission fee. Rajshahi University did not increase fees. Dhaka University has set a fee of Tk 1000 this year. Last time it was Tk 650. Jahangirnagar University’s application fee has been fixed at Tk 900 while it was Tk 600. Chittagong University has also increased the application fee from Tk 650 to Tk 850.
We welcome the decision of Rajshahi University authorities not to increase fees. At the same time, we would like to raise the question that why other universities could not follow the example set by Rajshahi University? The UGC assured that if the universities bring the admission test fees to a reasonable level, they will not have to contribute 40 per cent of the revenue in the budget of the university.
However, no university other than Rajshahi University is willing to take advantage of UGC. Their priority is to fill their own pockets. The university officials did not feel the need to take into account the millions of students who would face financial loss for this. Such behaviour cannot be expected from those who are known as the conscience and the brain of the country.
Considering the suffering of the students, 22 universities have taken up integrated admission test system. This is definitely a good decision. But the fact that the financial loss of the students is not taken into consideration cannot be accepted. The cost of university administration in the admission process is very small. According to media reports, last year a university admission test fee of 80 million was embezzled by the teachers and staffs.
Admission test is part of the professional responsibilities of the university administration, teachers and employees. Therefore, admission test should never be seen as a source of income. The people concerned should keep in mind that the salaries and allowances of the teachers, officers and employees of the public universities are paid from the public taxes. Yet why do they see the student admission test as a source of additional income?
We call on the universities to reduce the admission fee.