PESHAWAR: An emergency meeting of the vice chancellors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa public sector universities was held at the University of Peshawar on Tuesday to discuss the proposed amendments to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act 2012.
The vice chancellors discussed the proposed amendments one by one in detail, said a statement issued after the meeting.
The participants voiced serious reservations about the ‘unilateral’ amendments proposed to the law on universities ignoring the previous recommendations of the Chancellors’ Committee and those proposed by vice chancellors.
They said the proposed changes were a clear deviation from the recommendations of the committee constituted by the universities’ chancellor and showed a clear intent of the government to take away the autonomy of universities.
The participants said depriving universities of autonomy would ultimately jeopardise the quality of education and the tremendous progress made by the institutions of higher education in the province.
They said at most places, the government was being seen as taking away the powers of the universities, which would cause damage to the good governance at the institutes of higher education.
The participants said the Chancellors Committee did not approve of the proposed amendments and was of the considered view that the move of bringing in unilateral changes would bring down the quality of education in the universities, which had been doing much better than other educational institutions.
Fear government will to deprive higher education institutions of autonomy
They said under such circumstances, free and critical thinking would not flourish, while the quality of education at universities in the terrorism-hit province would be adversely affected.
According to them, the proposed amendments to the law will be a clear deviation from the manifesto of the ruling party, which promised to strengthen the autonomy of the universities and improve the quality of higher education in the province.
Published in Dawn February 18th , 2015