Despite the recent increase in the number of private universities in Bangladesh, state regulation of educational institutions is still strong. This is one reason why universities in Bangladesh have seen an increase in competition and the development of managerial self-governance. Furthermore, the current political trend is showing a rise in the state’s influence on educational institutions. Therefore, the government must take steps to reduce its influence and allow universities to play a more autonomous role.
The decision-making power in the higher education sector in Bangladesh is largely centralized. The Ministry of Education controls all public and private universities jointly. The president or the prime minister is the chancellor of each university. The selection process of the vice chancellor is different for public and private universities. The selection process is influenced by the political party in power. The government’s role is limited, while the vice chancellor is chosen by faculty members.
The first private university in Bangladesh was North South University in 1992, following the Private University Act-92. Since then, the number of private universities has increased exponentially. The University Grants Commission of Bangladesh lists 79 and 84 private universities in Bangladesh. Mismanagement and poor coordination have led to confusion between the government and private universities. However, the growth of students is phenomenal. In fact, 60% of private universities have a business purpose.