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KU opposes end of two-year bachelor’s degree

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KU opposes end of two-year bachelor’s degree
« on: December 13, 2020, 02:00:24 PM »
KU opposes end of two-year bachelor’s degree
Karachi:13 December:The University of Karachi (KU) has decided to reject to the Higher Education Commission's (HEC's) decision of ending two-year undergraduate programmes, replacing them with a semester-based associate degree programme, and not recognise any two-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees awarded after 2018.

Criticising the decision in a summary sent to the Sindh government's universities and boards department, the varsity has maintained that it will be continuing two-year bachelors and masters programmes and will be admitting students in the said programmes in the future.

The policy does not take into account the financial condition of universities, as well as the future of private students, the summary points out. It further elaborates that the KU has been facing an annual deficit of Rs2 billion and 27 per cent of the varsity's administrative expenses are paid using the fees collected from two-year degree programmes.

Besides, infrastructure is needed for introducing associate degree programmes at colleges and the institutions lack the staff needed for such programmes' implementation, the summary states.

Moreover, the KU has made it clear in the summary that it only exercised "academic control" over its affiliated colleges and administrative decisions such as the replacement of two-year degree programmes with associate degree programmes were taken by the director general of colleges. The change cannot be made without his approval, the summary states.

Explaining the clauses of HEC notification on the matter, the KU management stated in its summary that those who had enrolled in two-year programmes before December 31, 2018, were to be given until December 2020 to complete their BA and BSc degrees, but those who failed to complete the course in this time would be awarded the associate degree upon completion of their course. These students will then have to enroll in a four-year degree programme and study for four more semesters.

However, the summary states, these changes proposals made by the HEC are not immediately applicable and can potentially cause financial difficulties for public-sector universities.

The varsity's stance was reiterated by KU vice-chancellor (VC) Dr Khalid Iraqi during an interview he gave to The Express Tribune.

"The proposal had been presented to the KU's academic council in the past and it was rejected both times," said Dr Iraqi.

He went on to claim that the associate degree programme neither added to the academic strengths nor administrative resources of colleges and hence, he found it inapplicable at present.

"KU will continue its two-year degree programmes at its affiliated colleges and will not discontinue admissions for these programmes," the VC reaffirmed.

The KU intends to write a letter to HEC chairperson Dr Tariq Banuri on the matter, asking him to convene a meeting of the Vice-Chancellors Forum, including participation from 187 universities across the country, to discuss the issue.

Confirming this, KU's acting quality enhancement cell director Javed Akram told The Express Tribune that the letter's draft has been prepared.

According to Akram, currently, around 70,000 students, including private students, are enrolled in the two-year undergraduate and masters programmes offered by the KU.Published in The Express Tribune,
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