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VCs protest changes to acts

LAHORE, Dec 1: Vice chancellors of the public-sector universities in Punjab held a meeting at the Punjab University on Saturday and expressed their concern over the Punjab government’s act of bringing ‘controversial’ amendments to the Acts of public universities.

PU VC Mujahid Kamran presided over the meeting which discussed the recent amendments to the Acts of all public-sector universities in the province. They noted that the amendments had been made without consulting them. The government earlier had assured the VCs that they would be taken on board.

The VCs were of the view that the amendments were aimed at curtailing their powers besides affecting the autonomy of the varsities.

“The vice chancellors noted that these amendments aimed at undermining the chief minister’s vision and policies to promote merit and enhance the autonomy and sanctity of the universities in accordance with international standards and practices,” says a press released issued by the Punjab University.

They decided to call on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to apprise him of the “adverse consequences” of these amendments with regard to the autonomy, smooth functioning, and the academic and research culture of the universities.

They also discussed the overall issues of academics, governance and research in the universities. They noted that the varsities had shown ‘tremendous’ progress in the last decade and appreciated the role of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in supporting a culture of research and development.

They deplored that the HEC’s autonomy was being undermined and it would result in a setback to the progress of the universities in Pakistan.