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Although prominent educationists are frustrated over the fact that no Bangladeshi university could secure a position in the best 1000 universities of the world, they opined that several universities could achieve remarkable positionsif they would follow some methods properly.

Recently a London based magazine Times Higher Education published its World University Rankings-2020where no university from Bangladesh could secure a position among the top 1000 universities of the world. Country’s distinguished educationists opined for putting emphasize on research works, reduction of teachers’ affiliation in politics, ensuring transparency in teachers’ appointment and sincerity in teaching for the recovery of the past glory of Dhaka University.

They also think that if some of the methodologies are applied properly, not only the Dhaka University, several other public universities such as the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University, Chattogram University, Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh could have secured their position in the world university ranking.

Talking to Bangladesh Post, prominent educationalist Professor Emeritus Sirajul Islam Chowdhury of Dhaka University held the teachers and administrations responsible for the degradation of Dhaka University. The Professor Emeritus said university teachers are now involved in politics. They enjoy their post much more than their research activities. When post becomes more important to a teacher than that of their research works, then the possibilities of a university of going ahead isobstructed.

Asked about the causes of declining research activities by the teachers, Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury said, “Now teachers do not read their research and also do not criticise them. As a result, other teachers do not get interested or are not inspired in research works. For the same reason, the ratio in research works is declining.”

Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury also held responsible the lack of transparency in the process of teachers’ appointment. While talking to Bangladesh Post, former DU vice-chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique said, “The reason behind the gradual decline in the position of Dhaka University in global rankings is not known to me.” He said the authorities should find out the reasons and ways to improve. Asked about the system of ranking report by the London based magazine Times Higher Education, the former DU VC said the ranking by the organization is recognized worldwide.

The methodologies used by the Times Higher Education for ranking the universities are almost right, he opined. The former VC of the DU further said the University of Dhaka had obtained good position among all the universities in the world in 2016. But, he raised question about why it failed. Professor Arefin Siddique, however, is hopeful of upgradation to the University of Dhaka. But it requires efforts to recover the image of the university, he opined.

To recover the image of the university through upgradation of its quality, the former DU VC suggested for increasing research activities and emphasis on the quality of researches. He also opined for the increase of supply by the University Grants Commission and allocation by the government. “Above all, the administration of the university will have to be more sincere”, said Professor Arefin Siddique.

The Times Higher Education released its ranking report on Wednesday last featuring 1,396 universities from across 92 countries. Dhaka University even could not secure a place among the first1000 universities of the list although a total of 56 Indian and 14 Pakistani universities made it to the list. Earlier in the 2016 edition of the ranking, DU was placed between 600 and 800.

The ranking is made based on five indicators such as teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income, according to the website of Times Higher Education. DU got 16 points out of 100 in teaching, 16.6 in citations, 36.6 in international outlook, 40.8 in industry outcome and only 8.8 in research.

University of Oxford of United Kingdom topped the list for the fourth consecutive years followed by California Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, University of Chicago and Imperial College London.

As many as 60 universities from US, 28 from UK, 23 from German and 11 each from Australia and Netherlands and 7 each from Canada, China and Switzerland ware among top 200 universities. Six Indian and one Pakistani university ranked in the top 500. In the Asia University Rankings, published in May this year, no Bangladeshi institution was named among more than 350 best collegesand universities.