Money-spinning evening courses booming at public universities

Dhaka University admits at least 2,500 regular students in the master’s programs, but their evening courses accommodate no less than 4,000 students. Altogether, these students pay around Tk66 crore in fees.Once dubbed the Oxford of the East, Dhaka University first introduced an evening course under business studies faculty aiming to develop skills of professionals back in 2001.After nearly two decades, the country’s top public universities now offers dozens of evening postgraduate, certificate, diploma, and other professional courses.

Such courses are more expensive when compared to the fees for regular courses.For instance a regular master’s student pays between Tk300 and Tk600 per semester.And about Tk8,500 annually for various university expenses.The amount is an astounding 40 times more for evening courses at any public universities .

On average a postgraduate student pays Tk5,000 admission fee, around Tk42,000 for four courses per semester, And in some cases a laboratory fee of Tk5,000. Altogether a student has to pay anything between Tk165,000 and Tk350,000 for a degree.

Dhaka University admits at least 2,500 regular students in the master’s programs. But their evening courses accommodate no less than 4,000 students. Altogether these students pay around Tk66 crore in fees.

According to DU authorities 30% of the money earned from the evening programs. And is supposed to go to the university fund while rest of the money is meant for the responsible faculties, departments, teachers, and officials.

Despite being more expensive the evening courses are on high demand among students making it a highly profitable venture for DU.

The trend of running evening courses has also gained momentum in other leading public universities. Of them, Rajshahi University (RU) has the highest number.  At least 16 departments and four institutes are running evening courses at RU, followed by Jahangirnagar University (JU) which offers the courses at its 17 departments.

RU introduced the evening programs in 2003 at its Business Administration Institute. Currently, the university has 300 teachers dealing with all the evening courses.

One has to spend from Tk47,000 to Tk200,000 to secure an evening course degree from RU. Till date, JU registered nearly 10,000 students at its different evening courses. Chittagong University provides only one evening master’s program.

But unlike the other top universities, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) does not have any evening course.

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