VCs demand continuation of MA/MSc programme in KP universities

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DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The vice-chancellors of the public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa passed a resolution in an online meeting on Friday, demanding the continuation of the conventional degree programmes of Master of Arts/Master of Science (MA/MSc) at universities across the province.

The meeting which was hosted and chaired by Gomal University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iftikhar Ahmad unanimously agreed that replacement of Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (BA/BSc) programme and its subsequent replacement with four-year BS programme had created a host of problems for the public sector universities that were already facing financial issues.

The vice-chancellors of University of Peshawar, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, University of Malakand, University Science and Technology Bannu, Women University Swabi , Pak-Austria University Nowshera, University of Swat , University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar, Kohat University of Science & Technology (KUST),University of Haripur , Secretary Higher Education Department Daud Khan, representative of Higher Education Commission(HEC) Prof Zulfiqar Gilani and Director General Muhammad Raza Chohan and other dignitaries and academicians and administrative officials of the Gomal University attended the meeting. Speaking at the meeting, Prof Iftikhar Ahmad Khan said that they would move Syndicate if their suggestions were not addressed/reviewed by the HEC.

He added that 25 per cent of the total revenue of the universities was generated from admission fees. The meeting demanded that extension should be allowed to conventional MA/MSc degree programmes till 2023. The participants of the meeting also suggested that as a special privilege regarding commencement of associate degree programmes in arts should be allowed to facilitate the students.

He said that a handful of students have access to the HEC-recommended academic programmes.

The meeting categorically said that BA/BSc and MA/MSc degree programme abolition was not in line with the United Nations Charter as well as state-slogan of ‘Education for All’.

The meeting viewed that if the HEC did not consider the issues highlighted by the meeting, it would add to the financial problems of the universities.

The vice-chancellors expressed resentment over the decisions of HEC regarding enforcement of a notification in November 2020 abolishing two-year Bachelor’s degree programmes at universities and colleges across the country in line with the National Qualification Framework .

The conventional BA/BSc and MA/MSc degree programmes were replaced with Associate Degree and four-year degree programmes.

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