HEC shuts down MPhil, PhD programmes of 13 universities

By Talha Saqib on
March 17, 2018
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Recently, it has been reported that Higher Education Commission (HEC) has banned the MPhil and PhD programmes of 13 universities being offered through the ‘distance learning’ scheme – the form of education in which students may not always be physically present at the institute. As such, these institutes have failed to meet the basic standards set by the education commission as reported by Tribune.

“Further admissions in any of the distance education programs being offered by universities are stopped immediately till finalization of recommendation by the committee,” stated in the recent letters to the universities from the HEC Consultant of Quality Assurance Division, Muhammad Ismail.

Moreover, HEC media section reportedly told that the distance education programmes from these universities are ceased due to the noncompliance with the HEC guidelines. It further said, “In some cases, universities have not even got an approval of their own statutory bodies.”

Not just that, as per the conclusion of the expert committee after conducting physical visits and reviewing documentation, the universities in question lacked the adequate faculty. These institutes didn’t have a proper instructional mode for the integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and also, the attendance system wasn’t transparent, with the presents being marked on weekends.

Now, the universities that have been affected by this ban are:

  • International Islamic University, Islamabad
  • Virtual Campus, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad
  • University of Peshawar, Peshawar
  • Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan
  • Government College University, Faisalabad
  • University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
  • The University of Faisalabad
  • Islamia University, Bahawalpur
  • Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
  • Sukkur IBA
  • Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur
  • University of Sindh, Jamshoro
  • University of Balochistan, Quetta

As reportedly, there are about 4,000 students that have been impacted by this rule, but as per HEC guidelines they are ought to be shifted to regular discipline of the universities to avoid any further loss their studies.

It is noteworthy that currently, HEC has no consolidated policy on distance learning that ensures the quality of these programmes on the rules and regulations set for the institutions offering regular higher education.

However, the formation of a new policy regarding distance education is in process. In fact, one was recently formulated by HEC but hasn’t been approved yet due to the non-completion of the members. A policy expert committee has been formed as well that includes associates from Allama Iqbal International Open University Islamabad, and Virtual University, which provides a complete procedure for imparting knowledge and evaluate outcomes in regard to learning.

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