News Desk: Thirteen unauthorised branch campuses of different foreign universities are operating in Bangladesh defying the law, a University Grants Commission (UGC) probe has found.
It said these institutions are making money in the name of providing different foreign degrees, including MPhil and PhD, and have been established without permission from the UGC or the education ministry.
The 13 institutions in Dhaka are Newcastle Law Academy in Moghbazar, Newcastle Law Academy West in Dhanmondi, Cambridge Business & Law Academy in Dhanmondi, British School of Law in Baridhara, London College of Legal Studies (North) in Banani, London College of Legal Studies (South) in Kalabagan, Bhuiyan Academy in Sobhanbag, Daffodil International Academy in Panthapath, Lincolns Higher Education Management in Malibagh, London School of Commerce Dhaka in Banani, EduCan International in Banani, Kingston Institute of Management & Technology in Niketan, and Dhaka Centre for Law and Economics in Ramna.
Talking to The Business Post, UGC acting chairman Prof Dil Afroza Begum said there are no approved branch campuses of foreign universities in Bangladesh.
“However, we came to know that a study centre [Monash College (Australia) study centre Bangladesh] is operating in Dhaka by taking approval from the education ministry,” she said.
Monash College (Australia) study centre Bangladesh does not have the UGC approval.
The probe was recently carried out by a six-member team headed by UGC Member Prof Biswajit Chanda to identify unauthorised branch campuses of foreign universities in Bangladesh. The investigation report contained 10 recommendations for taking legal action against the unapproved institutions.
The report said the branch campuses India and $439 million from South Korea.
Industry insiders said they planned to earn over $1.5 billion through Russian market. But due to the war, this market has shrunk.
However, they expected that if the present situation would come back to normalcy and thought they would able to earn big amount of currency through this market.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Faruque Hassan told The Business Post, “Our plan is to make Asian market like that of EU. We are working on it. Already our export to Japan, India and Korea has gradually increased.”
“Although Russia was our emerging market, we missed to increase export there due to the war. The Middle-East market is also our priority market,” he added.
To achieve the goal, jute and jute goods, leather and leather goods and home textile sector performed excellently.
Most of the leather and jute goods have been exported to non-traditional market.
M Shahadat Hossain Sohel, Chairman of Bangladesh Terry Towel and Linen Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told The Business Post, “If we are able to export again to Russia, the sector will be able to earn billions of dollars.”
However, Esrat Jahan Chowdhury, Director of the Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association, said, “The Indian government imposed some barriers to Bangladesh jute goods such as anti-dumping duty. If the government is able to remove the barrier, the export performance will increase more.”
She further said, “Singapore, Malaysia and Middle-East would be our big market for diversification of goods.”
Economist and experts said regional market should be first priority for the government. But to continue it after LDC graduation, there will be no other alternatives to signing FTA and PTA.
MA Razzak said, “The government should start process of signing FTA and PTA from now.”
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said, “We have to diversify our product basket in the regional market. It will help increase our export earnings and make us stronger.”