PESHAWAR, May 14: The University of Peshawar (UoP) is discouraging the post-graduate colleges to start an affordable four-year bachelor degree programme as it is reluctant to give them affiliation, sources said.

The UoP itself has launched the four-year BA/BSc programme a few years ago charging Rs40,000 to Rs50,000 a year from each student. It has become a major source of income for the university, sources said.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government introduced the four-year degree programme from the last academic year in 15 postgraduate degree colleges in different districts.

The administrations of these colleges charge a meager Rs3,000 a year from each student, which is much lesser amount compared to that charged by universities.

Due to affordable expenses, the students prefer colleges to universities. Currently, around 700 students have been enrolled in the first semester of BA/BSc four-year degree programme only in 15 colleges, the sources said and added that the number would increase with in the next academic year.

The higher education department also plans to phase-wise launch the four-year degree programme in rest of the colleges across the province.

“We are expecting that thousands of students will get admission in colleges instead of universities, as both provide the same education with a big fee difference,” an official in higher education department told Dawn .

“This is the sole reason why the UoP is lingering the issue of colleges' affiliation,” he said and added that different universities, including those in Kohat, Bannu, Hazara and Mardan had granted affiliation to such colleges, but the UoP was showing reluctance despite several requests.

“From the last one year we are requesting the UoP administration for affiliation to the colleges, but to no avail,” he said.

The UoP is not happy with the nominal fee charged for the degree programme in colleges and is making all out efforts to foil the college programme to attract the students to universities, the official claimed.

He said that if the UoP didn't agree for affiliation of colleges then the higher education department would go for affiliation of other universities in Peshawar, including Islamia College University and Agriculture University.

Spokesman for the UoP Akhtar Amin said that affiliation would be given to the colleges fulfilling the criteria, including sufficient laboratories, libraries and teaching staff.

The official, however, couldn't give a reply when asked how these colleges were not fulfilling the set criteria for a BA/BSc degree programme when they had already been running MA/MSc classes.

He said that earlier it was decided that 60 per cent evaluation would be done by the UoP and 40 per cent by the respective colleges, but later colleges demanded 100 per cent evaluation right from the admission till declaration of the result. “The UoP declined this demand of colleges,” he said.

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