STUDENTS of private universities in Bangladesh will face severe difficulties if the government continues to push for a two-semester system in the country's higher learning. Generally, students of private universities belong to families of modest background whereby they cannot afford to experience any academic delay or an abrupt increase in the university's tuition fees. To deal with the heavy university expenses, they usually engage themselves in temporary jobs or part-time tutoring. Arguably, the two-semester policy will lead to an increase in university drop-out rates as the new system is capable of prolonging academic duration of students.
Moreover, University Grants Commission (UGC) was supposed to discuss the feasibility and affordability of a two-semester system with the stakeholders of such policy - the authorities and students of private universities and other institutions of higher learning. Undoubtedly, the existing 3-semester or trimester system is relatively suitable for those students in respect of tuition fees. Plus, the trimester is compatible with international standards of higher education. Under the two-semester system, students are required to earn more credits than they can actually afford - highly irrational for their educational emancipation!
Nabil Azam Dewan