Rajshahi University, one of the famous higher educational institutions in the country established during Pakistan regime, has been spending more on treatment purpose than research.
The university is neglecting research works, one of the two major activities of higher education, but the astonishing thing is that it has increased allocation for treatment cost of students, teachers and staff in the last few years.
Data available from the University Grants Commission (UGC) reveals that the annual expense of research at the varsity was Tk 20 lakh in 2015, Tk 20 lakh in 2014, Tk 9.37 lakh in 2013 and Tk 7.70 lakh in 2011.
But the cost of treatment of teachers, students and staff at RU was Tk 44.90 lakh in 2015, Tk 15.29 lakh in 2014 and Tk 124.99 lakh in 2011.
Analysing expenses of 12 years of the RU between 1995 and 2015, it has been found that the varsity, which have a total of 34,165 students and 1,230 teachers, spend only 0.25 percent of its annual expenses on research.
Educationist Prof AK Azad Chowdhury, also the former chairman of UGC, told daily sun that a university should spend at least 5 to 10 percent of budget on research for generating new knowledge.
“Research is an important part of higher education. The aim of higher education will not be achieved if universities operate neglecting research activities,” he said.
Azad Chowdhury called upon the government to allocate more fund to public universities for the sake of increasing research works and improving quality of overall education.
Prof Muhammad Mizanuddin, former vice-chancellor of Rajshahi University, said the scenario of research is poor at his varsity due to scarcity of fund and unwillingness of teachers to conduct research works.
“But, we started promoting teachers to conduct research works from last year.Research allocation was also increased last year and it will further increase in the coming years,” he said.
Mizanuddin said they have requested the education ministry and UGC to increase research allocation for RU to promote teachers to conduct more quality research.
Believe it or not, the RU decreased research allocation in the last couple of years than the allocations in 2005 and 2006.
Statistics available from UGC reveals that the annual expense of the institution was Tk 156.41 crore in 2015, Tk 154.87 crore in 2014, Tk 124.31 crore in 2013 and 124.95 crore in 2011.
On an average, the research spending at RU was only 0.12 percent in 2015, 0.13 percent in 2014, 0.075 percent in 2013 and 0.061 percent in 2011.
Statistics reveal that the annual expense of the RU was Tk 91.24 crore in 2007, Tk 81.76 crore in 2006, Tk 63.97 crore in 2005, Tk 69.21 crore in 2003 and Tk 52.93 crore in 2001.
But, the research spending of varsity was only Tk 3.51 lakh in 2007, Tk 53.51 lakh in 2006, Tk 57 lakh in 2005, Tk 12.57 lakh in 2003 and Tk 9.14 lakh in 2001.
It means that the research spending at RU was only 0.038 percent in 2007, 0.65 percent in 2006, 0.89 percent in 2005, 0.18 percent in 2003 and 0.17 percent in 2001.
Available data also shows that the annual allocation by the government to RU for development works, research and miscellaneous activities was Tk 27.57 crore in 1995, Tk 33.92 crore in 1998 and 39.06 crore in 1999.
But, the research expense at the varsity was only Tk 1.69 lakh in 1995, Tk 11.23 lakh in 1998 and Tk 13.26 lakh in 1999.
It means that the research spending at RU was only 0.06 percent in 1995, 0.33 percent in 1998 and 0.33 percent in 1999.