Islamabad: ‘4-year degree programme in phases’

“There is no plan to execute the four-year degree programme abruptly. The transition will be brought about in a phased manner initially through degree colleges to be identified and developed by the provincial governments.”

This was stated by Professor Dr. Sohail Naqvi, executive director, Higher Education Commission (HEC) while presiding over the 8th meeting of the Steering Committee of Provincial Education secretaries held at HEC Regional Centre, Karachi recently.

The Committee, constituted in 2003 to ensure cooperation between the HEC and the provincial education departments, deliberates on issues of mutual interest and evolving better strategies for their resolution.

Dr. Naqvi informed the members that four-year programme has already been running successfully for all the professional degree courses like agricultural sciences, animal husbandry, architecture and town planning, city and regional planning, engineering and medical and pharmaceutical sciences etc.

He said that following the HEC initiative, almost all the universities have switched over to this new scheme of study for their BS degrees in Computer Sciences and IT, Basic and Natural Sciences, Management Sciences and Social Sciences.

“The model system for adoption of four-year bachelors through selected degree college, to be finalised by government of the Punjab, will be provided to other Provinces”, he said.

The committee appreciated the idea of monitoring the collaborative degrees between local and foreign institutions and desired that inspection of such institutions be made after regular intervals to keep vigilance over standards of education.

The concept of collaborative degrees is aimed at providing local students a foreign degree at relatively cheaper rates without actually going abroad.

The local partner institutions are required to follow curricula, scheme of studies, assessment and evaluation processes of the foreign university.

The committee was informed of the progress made regarding fulfilment of the cabinet criteria for private universities/degree awarding institutions.

The members appreciated the commission’s efforts and agreed on pressing sponsors of private universities/institutions to satisfy the parameters of Cabinet Criteria.

Source: The News, 26/7/2008

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