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.