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Fake degree scam hits varsity

May 09, 2012

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ISLAMABAD, May 9: Bahria University Islamabad has been rocked by another scandal as its two foreign qualified faculty members have been caught with fake degrees.

Management of the university has terminated both and contacted Higher Education Commission (HEC) to guide the varsity to take further action against the faculty members.

On the other hand, the HEC has instructed the university to further tighten their degree verification system to avoid such embarrassing incidents in future, Dawn has learnt reliably.

According to sources, of the two faculty members, one claimed to have done his masters from a university in the United Kingdom (UK) while the other claimed to have done it from the United States (US).

They were allowed to join Bahria University in January this year and were teaching in the faculty of management and sciences. The university, however, had sent their degrees to the respective universities for verification.

Both the universities disowned the faculty members in their written response to the verification requests and letters to this end were received in the last week of April and the first week of May.

On this, the management decided to terminate both faculty members. Sources told Dawn that on Tuesday, Deputy Director Student Affairs of Bahria University Ms Sundal Mufti visited the HEC to meet the acting Executive Director (ED) Dr Nasser Ali Khan and updated him about the scam in the university.

The HEC official instructed her to take necessary action against both the faculty members and also advised that university should make its degree verification mechanism more effective and strict.

He also said that degrees of all the employees and faculty members of the university should be verified to eliminate such fake cases.

A faculty member of Bahria University requesting not to be quoted said: “Due to mismanagement, it has become a routine that after every six to eight months some issue raises its head in the university which disturbs the environment of the university.

“Recently, students of the university were disturbed over an issue of the thesis submitted by a student which later turned into a matter of religious freedom and had also affected the reputation of the university”.

A student of the university on condition of anonymity said that although the fake degree holders had left, the students were still in a state of shock.

“Moreover, the new teachers who replaced them had their own technique of imparting education and students were finding it hard to adapt”, he explained.

Rector Bahria University Vice Admiral (Retired) Shahid Iqbal while talking to Dawn confirmed that two faculty members were caught with fake degrees and had been terminated.

He said: “I have joined here three months ago and both the faculty members were appointed before my arrival.”

He further said it had been decided that a fool proof system of degree verification would be adopted by the university.

“Such persons not only become reason of embarrassment for universities but also pose the students with a serious problem by wasting their precious time.

“It has been decided that degree verification system will be upgraded and advance techniques will be used in future,” he said.

Acting ED HEC Nasser Ali Khan confirmed to Dawn that officials of Bahria University had come to him to discuss the issue. “HEC will show zero tolerance in such cases,” he assured.