The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is all set to launch a two-year associate degree programme by next year to maximize employment prospects for students. This decision has been taken to improve the overall quality of learning, along with inculcating knowledge and the much needed skill-set in graduates required in the marketplace, said HEC Executive Director Lt Gen (retd) Muhammad Asghar.
Talking to APP on Wednesday, he said two years degree program was being launched for those higher education institutions that were not allowed to initiate four years BS Program. The associate degree programme will offer skill-based courses and would ensure employment prospects for students after completion of the programme, he assured.
He said instead of two-year BA/BSc, universities will now be able to offer an associate degree through recognized campuses or constituent colleges in market-driven subjects, after necessary approval from HEC, targeting students with 12 years of schooling. Students holding associate degrees will also be able to re-enter the education system by getting admission in the fifth semester of a BS programme after fulfilling additional entry requirements, ED HEC informed.
Asghar said HEC was all set to launch numerous initiatives to further improve the quality of public sector universities which includes reviewing and revising the higher education rules and policy guidelines. HEC will be remodelling different research and development initiatives to address the local, national and international challenges faced by the country’s education sector, he added.
It is worth mentioning here that in accordance to the decision taken by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in 2016, the old two-year BA/BSc degrees (equivalent to 14 years of education) and MA/MSc degrees will no longer be offered by Pakistani universities after Academic Year 2018 and 2020, respectively. However, holders of BA/BSc degrees will be allowed to take admission in the third year (fifth semester) of BS (four-year degree) programme after successful completion of 15-18 credit hours of bridging courses as prescribed by HEC and the admitting University.