The Dhaka University authorities yesterday decided to hold admission tests in divisional cities.
They also decided not to hold any online admission exams for academic year 2020-21. And the test marks have been slashed to 100 from 200.
The decisions came at a Deans’ Committee meeting, presided over by DU Vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman.
Speaking to The Daily Star, DU Pro-VC (education) Prof ASM Maksud Kamal said, “We have decided not to go for online admission tests and to take hold division-wise tests. In this case, we will set up the exam centres and conduct the tests after talking to the university authorities concerned in divisions across the country.”
He further said the minimum criteria for applying in different units will remain the same and they will fix the dates after Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam results are published.
Usually, the university takes the Secondary School Certificate and HSC grade point averages into account alongside admission tests.
Of the 100, 20 marks will come from SSC and HSC results, and the remaining 80 will be based on the admission test itself.
The decisions will be finalised after approval from the university’s academic council.
Prof Sadeka Halim, dean of the social sciences faculty, told The Daily Star the distribution of the 80 marks has not been decided yet but the authorities will stress more on the written part of the exam.
Earlier on October 17, a virtual meeting of the Bangladesh Bishwabidyalaya Parishad, an association of public university vice-chancellors, decided in principle that admission tests for freshmen would be held.
They, however, then said the date and the method of the exams would be announced later.
It is certain that no students will be admitted to a university without tests, Prof Rostom Ali, VC of Pabna University of Science and Technology, told this newspaper after the meeting.
While students generally opt for public universities when it comes to higher education, the number of seats is much lower than that of admission seekers.
Of the 46 public universities, excluding National University, Open University and medical universities, 39 have the capacity of enrolling around 65,000 first-year students.
This year, confusion surrounding the admission tests emerged after the government decided to award grades to HSC candidates and those of equivalent exams without holding the public exams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of the exams, candidates’ evaluation would be based on their results in the Junior School Certificate, SSC and equivalent tests.
HSC and equivalent exams were cancelled out of fear that they would increase the risk of coronavirus transmission. More than 13.65 lakh students were expected to sit for the exams.
The government postponed the exams following the closure of all educational institutions on March 17. They are to stay closed until at least October 30.
Usually, admission tests at public universities are held a month after the HSC results are published.
Till last year, 32 of the 39 public universities held separate admission tests, and the remaining seven agricultural universities held a uniform admission test.