Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and University of Chittagong have already decided not to join the integrated admission test of the public universities.

Three other universities run in accordance with the ordinance of 1973 may not join the uniform admission test initiated by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The universities are: University of Dhaka, Jahangirnagar University and Rajshahi University.

Their academic councils will take final decisions in this regard.

If the five universities do not join the integrated admission test, UGC said, the uniform admission test will be held from the upcoming academic sessions with the rest of the universities.

UGC member (public university) professor Dil Afroza Begum told Prothom Alo that they earlier thought that BUET would not join the integrated admission test. Four autonomous universities may not join too.

“We will organise the uniform admission test with the rest of the universities,” she said.

The final decision would be taken at a meeting scheduled to be held on 26 February.

There are around 60,000 seats for first year honours courses in all the public universities of Bangladesh. Millions of students vie against these seats every year.

After the cluster system admission test at seven agriculture universities, UGC initiated a move to launch a central admission test of public universities for the first year students to lessen their financial expenditures and mental sufferings.

The decision of the integrated admission test instead of the cluster system was taken suddenly, and it raises debates and dissent opinions.

Stakeholders said it was a good decision to take cluster system admission test among same kinds of universities. Currently, such admission tests take place in medical colleges.

Cluster system admission test was taken in seven agriculture universities last year.

A new debate has emerged as to how far the integrated admission test system would be acceptable.

Under the central admission test system, three separate examinations will be taken on arts, science and business studies.

An admission seeker will be given a score through this admission test.

As per their respective conditions, the universities will admit the students based on their scores.

Vice chancellors of Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University and Chattogram University told UGC that they would take decision on their academic council meetings.

UGC, however, said it would have to be informed by 26 February.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.