Islamabad: Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has decided to end 2-year bachelors and master’s degree programmes after the academic session 2018 and 2020 respectively.
Via an official letter, Higher Education Commission informs all degree awarding institutes in Pakistan that there will be no admissions in the regular BA and BSc degrees after the academic session 2018 and in MA and MSc after academic session 2020.
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The letter states that the varsities are utilizing the abbreviations BS and BSc (Hons) for degrees awarded after 14 years of education and that MS, MPhil and MSc (Hons) is being utilized for degrees awarded after 18 years of education, which is creating confusion for companies, both national as well as international.
The letter furthermore says that the commission had set up a committee of experts from different universities to work on the possibility of phasing out BA and BSc level programmes, to formulate a mechanism for accommodating the aspirants who already had BA and BSc degrees into a four year BS program and that the committee had examined BA and BSc programmes in different universities.
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“The committee planned a bridging semester as a foundation to cover the academic deficiency of the aspirants who will be entering in to 5th semester of the BS programme,” the letter states.
It says all the degree awarding educational institutes are advised to comply with along with the HEC’s endorsement of the committee’s recommendations.
In a question asked by the media person that if this step will create hurdles for the aspirants as getting a four year bachelor’s degree might not be possible for everyone, HEC representative Ayesha Ikram said that this step had been taken to improve the quality of education.
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Another official of Higher Education commission said that the letter was sent only to remind the varsities of the decision and that the deadline for this might be extended for a year or more.
Criticism on HEC’s Decision
On the other hand, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has criticized the decision of Higher Education Commission decision to abolish the 2-year BA / BSc and MA / MSc degree programmess from the academic years 2018 and 2020 respectively.
In a joint statement, the central president of FAPUASA Dr. Hamayoun Khan, and Central Secretary Dr. Mahboob Hussain have said that this decision will affect large number of regular as well as private candidates.
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They said keeping in view the ground realities some departments, particularly the social sciences disciplines, have returned back to the annual system from the semester system. Under such situations the recent decision of the commission will affect the social sciences in a negative way.
They said that the FAPUASA - one of the main backers was not asked on this important matter.