In order to rank all the private universities of Bangladesh, Bangla Tribune and Dhaka Tribune have jointly conducted a research. North South University (NSU) has secured the first position according to their search conducted followed by BRAC University and East West University. The research was administered by ORG-Quest Research Limited.
There are 101 private universities in Bangladesh now. The primary purpose of conducting this research was to aggregate all these universities under one ranking. However, 65 universities have been excluded amongst which, 41 educational institutions have not held any convocation yet. Again, 12 out of these 65 universities have been put on a blacklist by UGC; whereas, 8 of them have not initiated their educational activity thus far. Further, three out of these 65 universities are acknowledged as specialized ones, while one of them comprises less than 1,000 students. Hence, the ranking in question has been conducted among the remaining 36 private universities excluding the aforementioned 65 ones. The final ranking has been affected by combining the factual and perceptual data.
The entire process of this ranking has been completed in compliance with international standards. Pursuant to the integrated result of this research, North South University has secured the first place, while BRAC University, East West University, Independent University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, American International University, Daffodil International University, United International University, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh and The University of Asia Pacific have secured the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth position respectively.
The ranks have been determined by integrating the factual and perceptual scores. While determining the factual score, the total number of students, number of faculty members, number of PhD holders and monetary allotment for research have been taken into consideration. These information have directly been collected from the universities that underwent the ranking process. However, some of the data have been collected from a report prepared by University Grants Commission in 2017, as a few universities did not provide all the necessary information about their institution for conducting this research. According to the review of the factual data, BRAC University has secured the first position, while Daffodil University has secured the second, North South University the third, University of Liberal Arts the fourth and Independent University, Bangladesh is on the fifth position.
The perceptual scores have been collected from the academics (deans, head of the departments, professors, registrars) and the employers. They have given scores to their institutions on various indicators; for example, the environment of education, infrastructure of the university, quality of the faculty members, competence of the students in job sectors who have completed their education, capability of leadership, communication skills and so on. North South University aced the perceptual ranking and is followed by BRAC University, which secured the second position. Further, East West University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology and Independent University, Bangladesh have secured the third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.
BRAC University aced the list of factual score, NSU came third
The factual scores have been determined on the basis of the total number of students, the number of books contained by the university libraries, research cost, total number of PhD holders, area of the campuses, ratio between the faculty members and the students, rate of full-time faculty positions and the number of research papers that have been published.
According to the above mentioned categorization, BRAC University allocates the highest amount of money for bolstering their research sector. In fact, the university spends Tk 482.3 million every year in research; whereas, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh, which has secured the second position in this list, allocates Tk 76.6 million annually. Moreover, Independent University allots Tk 50.4 million and Daffodil International University expends Tk 43.4 million for their research sector. On the other hand, North South University, which has come fifth in terms of the factual scores, allots Tk 39.8 million of money every year for research.
Daffodil International University has secured the first position for publishing the highest number of research papers. It has published 534 papers so far. Further, East West University published 323 research papers and came second in the list. Again, North South University secured the third position for publishing 293 research papers. In addition, University of Liberal Arts and South East University have consecutively secured the fourth and fifth position for publishing 275 and 249 research papers respectively.
North South University has surpassed all the other private universities in terms of comprising the highest number of students. 20,025 students are admitted to this university at present. Daffodil International University is on the second position for having 18,290 students admitted into their various educational programs. In addition, South East University, Stamford University and American International University, Bangladesh have sequentially secured the third, fourth and fifth position for comprising 11,935; 10, 279 and 9,762 students respectively.
International Islamic University, Chattogram aced the ranks for housing the highest number of books in their university library. It contains 80,610 books. Again, American International University, Bangladesh’s library comprises of 60, 678 books, whereas, there are 55,990 books in the library of Northern University. Further, Stamford University’s library contains 53,998 books; and the library of North South University consists of 52,769 books.
PhD holding faculties play a very consequential role in ensuring a university’s quality of education and research. There are 403 PhD holding faculty members at North South University at present; whereas, there are 195 faculty members who have PhD at BRAC University. On the other hand, Independent University consists of 170 and East West University has 153 faculty members who hold the degree in question. Furthermore, 134 PhD owners comprise the list of faculty members at Daffodil International University.
The ratio between the number of students and their teachers play a significant role in ensuring the quality of education. BRAC University makes the first cut in this list, for having a ratio of 10.97:1 between the students and the faculty members. The second position is secured by the University of Development Alternative (UODA) for having a ratio of 13.86:1. Also, Green University, Bangladesh; Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology and Independent University, Bangladesh have sequentially secured the third, fourth and fifth position in this list. These three institutions have 1 faculty member for more than 14 students apiece.
Surprisingly, some of the reputed universities could not make it to the list of best five universities, in terms of having the highest of number of full-time faculty positions. International University of Business Agriculture and Technology have aced the list for having the rate of 96.41% in terms of faculty members, among which, 306 of them are holding the full-time faculty positions, whereas 11 of them are serving as adjunct faculty members. Again, Bangladesh University of Business and Technology have secured the second position having the rate of 90.33% teachers (300 full-timers, 29 part-timers). In American International University the rate is 89.26% (363 full-timers, 39 part-timers). University of Development Alternative, have secured the fourth position, as they have 82.75% of full-time faculty positions. There are 255 full-time faculty members and 44 adjunct faculties in this university. Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology has secured the fifth position, as their rate of full-timer faculties is 81.12% (482 full-timers, 91 part-timers).
NSU aces the perceptual score
The perceptual data have been collected from the academics and the employers.
1. Survey on the Perspective of the Faculty Members: Deans, heads of the departments, registrars and senior faculty members participated in this survey. Here, the academics were asked to give score to various private universities, in terms of multifarious criteria such as, workplace and education environment, infrastructure-classroom, libraries, laboratories and other facilities, efficiency of the teachers, quality of the students and quality of the students who have passed. According to the scores provided by them, the top five universities are – North South University, BRAC University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Independent University and East West University.
On the basis of 6 different criteria, the academics chose 5 universities that are listed below:
Criteria for the condition of workplace and education: 1. North South University, 2. Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, 3. BRAC University, 4. Independent University, 5. East West University.
Criteria for overall reputation: 1. North South University, 2. BRAC University, 3. Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, 4. East West University, 5. Independent University.
Criteria for the efficiency of the faculty members: 1. North South University, 2. BRAC University, 3. Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, 4. Independent University, 5. East West University.
North South University surpasses the other private universities in terms of infrastructural excellence. Again, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, East West University and Independent University secured the second, third and fourth positions respectively. On the other hand, BRAC University secured the fifth position in this list.
Furthermore, North South University, BRAC University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, East West University, Independent University and American International University, Bangladesh have sequentially secured the first, second, third, fourth and fifth positions for producing the highest number of qualified students. On the other hand, North South University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, BRAC University, East West University, Independent University and American International University Bangladesh respectively aced another list, which shows the quality of the admitted students in various private universities.
Survey on the Perception of the Employers:
Multiple human resource management officers, who employ students that graduate from various private universities, participated in this survey. These employers gave scores to the private universities on 6 different criteria, which are – reputation of a university in terms of educating its students, performance of the students in the working sector, capability of the graduate students for taking initiative, communication skill, teamwork skill, ability to solve problems. According to the employers given scores, North South University, BRAC University, East West University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology and Independent University made it to the top five.
Visible Changes in the Ranking of 2019 Compared to the One of 2017
According to this year’s ranking, North South University has aced the list by surpassing BRAC University, which secured the first position in the ranking of 2017. Even though, North South University did not manage to secure the first position in terms of factual score, they aced the list of perceptual score.
Moreover, the difference between the final score of North South University and BRAC University is quite meager. BRAC University came first in terms of factual score, although their score is not very high compared to that of North South University. However, BRAC University secured the first position by surpassing the other universities with a remarkable score difference from the others that made it to the top 10 in the ranking of 2017. East West University has bumped up to the third position from the seventh position, which they secured in the previous ranking. East West University’s upsurge in rank owes to their improvement in factual score. The rest of the universities that secured their places in the apex of this year’s ranking are – Independent University of Bangladesh, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, American International University Bangladesh, Daffodil International University, United International University, University of Liberal Arts of Bangladesh and Asia Pacific University. These institutions managed to remain among the top 10 private universities in the ranking of 2017 as well.
Most of the universities that have made it to the top 10 list scored above 60 points out of 100; whereas, scoring 56.47 points was enough to enter the top 10 list in the previous ranking. Universities that have secured the other 10 positions among the top 20, scored between 50 to 59 points. Among which, Daffodil University has bumped three ranks up, while United International University bumped one step down. However, International Islamic University of Chattogram secured the 11th position in this year’s ranking.
On the other hand, Green University surged eight steps up in this year’s ranking, compared to that of the previous one. Again, South East University and Bangladesh University of Business and Technology have gone seven and six steps up respectively. Among the other universities, Stamford University and Manarat International University have surged a few steps ahead. On the contrary, Eastern University, University of Development Alternative and Northern University have gone down a few ranks.
The university ranking project has been administered by an advising committee, which comprised of Dr Ahmed Abdullah Jamal, Professor at the Department of History in Dhaka University; Dr Azmeri Khan, Professor at the Institute of Statistical Research and Training in Dhaka University; Manzurul Haque, Chairman and Managing Director of ORG-Quest; Zafar Sobhan, Editor of Dhaka Tribune; Zulfiqer Russell, Editor of Bangla Tribune; Sharifuzzaman Pintu; Head of the Reporters at Prothom Alo; Sayeed Ahmed, Chief Executive at the Institute of Informatics and Development.