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Universities in houses

September 21, 2013

AFTER the emergence of the HEC, the concept of higher education has flourished dramatically. Teachers are getting financial benefits in the form of tenure track system, and students are able to benefit from a variety of scholarships provided by the HEC.

Prospects of higher education are quite bright. But it also seems to be turning into business. Some universities are now opening new campuses in different cities under public-private partnerships.

Most campuses have been established in houses on half a canal and offer fewer facilities. The University of Sargodha in Lahore is one example which is at Canal Road in a house. Some universities teach courses that cannot be taught at their campuses due to practical and technical issues. The University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, has now introduced MA English classes. What’s the logic of introducing a master of language course in an engineering institution?

We are living in the 21st century, where quality is emphasised. But our focus seems to be quantity of students. While we have produced a number of PhD scholars in Pakistan, interestingly the issue of plagiarism has also emerged. The purpose of the HEC was to improve the standard of higher education, but it seems that it has lost focus. Education should not turn into a business.

The need is to establish quality institutions like QAU, Islamabad. With every passing day the number of graduates is increasing, but there exists a big question mark on the quality of curriculum.