I refer to your recent editorial "High educational charge at pvt universities" (June 07, 2016). The Financial Express (FE) is a newspaper that espouses the importance of a competitive market economy. Therefore, I was dismayed by your support for the government's interference in the setting of private university fees. Private institutions should be free to set their fees - that's what private means. A government that has no financial stake, direct or indirect, has no business fixing our fees.
The editorial makes sweeping generations about the poor quality education dispensed at private universities. The quality of education is low across the board, from primary to tertiary level. Why single out private universities? There is little quality difference between the average private and the average public university. That is why parents are voting with their wallets and sending their children to study in private universities in ever greater numbers. Excluding National University students, 63 per cent of university students are currently studying in private universities (from 0 per cent in 1992). This will probably increase to 75 per cent in five years' time. Graduates from private universities are getting jobs. The smarter ones are competing with the best from public universities. Many are moving on to higher studies in renowned global universities.
As someone who has been with Dhaka University for 22 years and a private university for 10 years, I can attest to the improvement in quality taking place in private universities. I hope FE will focus on the positive trends in private universities!
Professor Imran Rahman
Vice Chancellor University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB).