ISLAMABAD: The failure to comply with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) set criteria has resulted in stoppage of admissions at four universities functioning in different parts of the country.
The information available suggests that the list of the banded universities now includes Preston Institute of Management Sciences and Technology (PIMSAT) Karachi, Imperial College of Business Studies Lahore, Global Institute Lahore and Al-Khair University Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
As per the official statement of the HEC on Wednesday, “all main campuses, their sub-campuses, branches or affiliated colleges are also not allowed to admit students at any level in any programme”.
The commission’s spokesperson, Aayesha Ikram, told Daily Times that earlier all (above said) universities had been informed in writing about the ban and they were sent reminders. “The purpose of issuing fresh advisory was to make aware all such students those who intended to get admissions in any of these institutes,” she claimed.
The spokesperson further said that the commission also issued the students/parents alerts in all national dailies as well as on its website. “Despite all this, if any student would take admission in these institutes, he/she would not be entertained by the HEC for degree attestation,” she warned.
The sources in the HEC privy to the matter said that after receiving complaints against the said universities, the HEC Review Panels visited there to examine the deficiencies.
“Universities whose report was not satisfactory were asked to fulfill the deficiencies, however these institutions have still not complied despite reminders and, therefore, it has decided to stop admitting students in all of their academic programmes”, they added.
The available information suggests that so far the HEC has banned a total of 155 substandard higher educational institutes – 102 in Punjab, 36 in Sindh, 11 in KP and three in each Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the federal capital.
The banded institutions in the capital were Islamabad Law College (ILC), Modern Institute of Informatics and Management and Islamabad Campus of Mohiuddin Islamic University, Neiran Sharif.
According to the sources, the Islamabad Law College was declared illegal because it was not recognised by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) that is mandatory requirement under the law. The ILC is affiliated with Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB). It even continued to take admission till previous year despite not having approval by the PBC. However, the examination results of law students who appeared in last session had been withheld by the IUB due to said legal deficiency.
Interestingly, in the past some of the debarred institutes used to continue accepting new admissions despite issuance of warnings by the HEC. This ultimately resulted in unrest among the students.
For instance, a number of students of Al-Khair University AJK held many protests against the HEC as the commission did not immediately attest the ‘illegal’ degrees issued by the university. The university issued degrees in different disciplines to 78,000 students. The matter of such ample number of degrees was under consideration of the HEC. The sources disclosed that the commission constituted a special committee, which is looking into the matter. “The committee will thoroughly examine all the aspects of awarded degrees, including students’ records, enrollment and awarded degrees dates, their attendances and results of all semesters,” said a senior official of the HEC wishing anonymity.
Similarly, the matter of University of Chakwal (UoC) is also hanging in the balance. The HEC banned UoC over incomplete criteria. However, as per the available documents, the commission itself had in 2007 permitted the varsity to intake admissions and issue degrees.