Awami League stalwart Suranjit Sengupta has slammed private university owners alleging they masterminded the student agitation for withdrawal of VAT on tuition fees for their own gains.
“Although the owners declare it as a non-profit venture during application for licence, it does not stay that way later on,” he claimed at a discussion session in Dhaka on Friday.
“Now they are making profits. You will profit, but not pay VAT, that cannot happen,” Sengupta said.
He also slammed the owners for orchestrating student movements whenever they were in trouble.
The AL Advisory Council member also urged the education ministry and University Grants Commission to keep a close watch on universities so they cannot charge students extra.
The former minister questioned the quality of the university owners themselves. “‘They think, I have a brick kiln business and will add a university to my portfolio.”
The veteran politician was also critical of the state of most private universities.
“They have opened up universities in residential buildings. Most of them do not have their own campus. It cannot be a university if it does not have a campus.”
He said running universities required ‘commitment, belief and sacrifice’.
“We want universities to have proper teachers, proper campuses. It is unacceptable that students would study in areas comparable to pigeon coops.”
The education ministry has asked private universities to report status of campuses by Sep 30.
Earlier, it had set Sep 15 as the deadline for universities to relocate to their own campuses.
Currently, a total of 83 private universities are in operation with UGC’s approval.
Of the 52 on the list who are operating for at least seven years, 17 have fully shifted to their own premises while 27 have shifted partially.
Source: Bd news24