The past few days have seen a confusion building over the fate of admissions in some degree programmes offered by 18 private universities in Punjab. However, Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani has stepped in to put the controversy to rest.
In a statement to the national media on Tuesday, Gillani said prospective, currently enrolled and graduate students associated with the universities named by the department need not worry about the fate of their educational credentials.
Government not terminating admissions in any university
On Friday, the Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) had issued a notification asking 18 private universities to stop offering admissions in various programmes over lack of necessary approvals. The decision had drew a severe backlash from a number of universities named, with administrations reacting strongly to the alleged maligning of their accredited programmes.
University officials have been of the view that PHED asked university heads in a meeting on September 14 to address shortcomings in some of the programmes they were offering at the earliest. However, the issue of barring admissions in the very courses was never considered, a senior representative of a university named in the notification told The Academia.
Fortunately, Gillani’s intervention has provided some direction to apprehensive students, parents and graduates of the said programmes.
In his statement, the minister said the government was not terminating fresh admissions or cancelling existing enrolments in the programmes mentioned in the notice, adding that the department also had no plans to cancel the degrees awarded to graduates of these courses. Gillani said all students enrolled in the programmes would be awarded degrees upon successful completion of the course. The minister said no university was asked to cancel admissions if it were proceeding according to set laws. He said the government wanted universities that had not yet registered some disciplines with the authorities concerned to get the registration completed within four to six weeks.
On the other hand, university administration maintain that a majority of programmes mentioned in the notice have approval from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, while requests for registration of several other programmes are pending with authorities.
Minister Gillani also directed PHED officials to work in close coordination with the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) and HEC to expedite work on pending requests for registration. He assured that students and parents did not need to worry about the matter, as it was a result of a misunderstanding that had been resolved.