Performance of several varsities unsatisfactory, Senate body told

Published November 13, 2021
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been directed to ask the universities for the reasons behind their poor performance. — Online/File
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been directed to ask the universities for the reasons behind their poor performance. — Online/File

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel was on Friday informed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) that the performance of many known universities was actually unsatisfactory.

The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training met at the Parliament House with Senator Irfan Siddiqui in the chair.

The lawmakers were stunned when HEC officials revealed data on the performance of the universities.

The committee was told that Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), University of Karachi, University of Peshawar, International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), Islamia College University Peshawar, Government College University Lahore and the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) were among the 32 universities whose performance in the year 2018-19 was recorded as unsatisfactory.

“This is something shocking and alarming. Institutions which are otherwise known for their good reputation are under-performing,” the committee chairman said, asking the HEC to take steps to bring improvement in these universities.

QAU, IIUI, Karachi University, University of Peshawar and Govt College University Lahore among 32 under-performing universities, HEC says

The commission was also directed to ask the universities for the reasons behind their poor performance.

Senator Siddiqui said in many universities, fraud journals were being published to promote low quality research.

He also formed a subcommittee to be headed by Senator Rana Maqbool to review articles published by University of Peshawar, Punjab University, University of Balochistan, Karachi University and the QAU.

The subcommittee will finalise its report within two months.

Meanwhile, the committee discussed the chronic issue of non-service structure of BTech engineers.

Parliamentary Secretary Education Wajiha Qamar told the committee that the education ministry and the HEC had been working on finalisation of a policy for service structure of technologists.

A copy of the proposed policy was also shared with the members. The chairman directed the HEC to finalise the policy at the earliest.

Earlier, the committee was told by the HEC director quality assurance Nasir Shah that the annual assessment of the Quality Enhance Cells of the public-sector universities (2018-19) was conducted and 91 universities submitted their yearly progress reports. As per these reports, 32 universities fell in the category of unsatisfactory.

The HEC record, which was presented before the committee, stated that 18 other universities were yet to submit their annual reports. Out of the 32 varsities, 10 were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, nine in Punjab, two in Balochistan, five in Sindh, one in Gilgit-Baltistan and two in Azad Kashmir.

The HEC officials told the committee that the QAU, according to its yearly progress report 2018-19, was also in the unsatisfactory category as it could bag only 26.61 scores.

Whereas the University of Karachi, University of Peshawar, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Government College University Lahore, Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Sciences and Technology, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University, Quetta, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, IIUI, Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan, Hazara University, Mansehra, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, University of Malakand, Islamic College University, Peshawar, PIDE, National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore, University of Swabi, University of Swat, University of Turbat, University of Kotli, Women University Multan, Bacha Khan University, Charsadda, Khushal Khan Khattak University, Karak, Information Technology University of Punjab, Ghazi University Dera Ghazi Khan, Government Sadiq College Women University, Bahawalpur, Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahimyar Khan, University of Baltistan, Skardu, and Women University Mardan were among those whose performance was declared unsatisfactory.

The committee deferred two agenda items related to the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) and the Single National Curriculum till the next meeting.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2021

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