The Accreditation Committee of Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) has decided the fate of several new and existing private universities in the province with regards to various programs, degrees and faculties.
According to documents available with Academia Magazine, the meeting of the PHEC Accreditation Committee was held on December 19, 2019 led by Accreditation Committee Chairperson Dr Khalid Aftab and attended by Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Fazal Ahmed Khalid, the Higher Education Department secretary, National College of Arts former principal Naazish Ata-Ullah, Islamia University of Bahawalpur Vice Chancellor Dr Athar Mahboob, LUMS Lahore SDBS Adjunct faculty Mian Khalid Rehman, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Deputy Director (R) Saira Jabeen and Higher Education Department Deputy Secretary (Univ) Ali Ahmed.
On the agenda was were several of the programs run by, as well as the facilities, at University of Central Punjab (UCP) sub campuses in Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot and Gujranwala, Faculty of Law at UMT, University of Lahore Gujrat Campus, UCL School of Management Sciences, Ghazi Institute of Engineering in DG Khan, Salar International University and ORBIT Institute of Management and Technology.
The committee decided to take strict against universities who were not fulfilling mentioned criteria. It was also decided that private universities that were illegally running degree programs should be taken to task, recommending a fine of Rs 5 million per program per year on private sector higher education institutes (HEI’s) that were conducting un-approved degree programs.
The committee took serious notice of un-approved programs being offered by provincially chartered institutions, however members expressed concern over the fate of already enrolled students in these un-approved programs.
PHEC committee suggested that though a legal action must be initiated against the private HEI’s under relevant laws, regularization of the proposed programs might be considered keeping in view public interest with regards to enrolled students.
According to documents, the committee also approved issuance of NOC to seven private universities to start various degree programs and ordered halting degree programs of two private universities, besides placing a bar on new admissions in sub campuses of five private universities.
The board rejected the award of charter to seven new universities. However, one private university was given permission to work with a changed name. The board rejected charter requests from UCL School of Management Sciences, Ghazi Institute of Engineering, DG Khan, Salar International University, Pakistan International University, Lahore, Faisalabad University of Science and Technology and ORBIT Institute of Management and Technology.
Furthermore, the board asked administration of Rashid Latif Medical University to appear before PHEC with authentic and updated record with regard to hiring of faculty in its faculty of Social Sciences.
The law degree program at UMT was given conditional permission subject to an NOC from Pakistan Bar Council.
The committee approved addition of Department of Electrical Engineering with BSc Electrical Engineering as per approved intake of Pakistan Engineering Council in Faculty of Engineering and Technology at Minhaj University, Lahore.
The meeting also placed a ban on new admissions in sub campuses of UCP at Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Multan. But, it did allow the varsity to continue educating already enrolled students.