A meeting of the Punjab University (PU) Academic Council chaired by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi has approved the recommendation to allow deserving candidates to continue their higher education as private students in associate degrees (ADP) and master’s (MA / MSc) programs.
Previously, the candidates belonging to the middle class and doing jobs to run their families were barred from obtaining higher education as private candidates under the new undergraduate policy, of which the vice chancellor took notice and decided to place the matter before the Academic Council.
The meeting was attended by deans of faculties, heads of departments and professors of the university. The meeting decided that this year private candidates would be able to take admission in associate degree and masters’ programs. The meeting decided that from the next year, the nomenclature of BS 5th semester after associate degree/fourteen years of education will also be replaced with the masters’ program.
In his address, PU VC Dr Asghar Zaidi said that thousands of private candidates would benefit from the decisions made in the meeting. He said that the vast majority of private candidates consisted of poor or middle-class students. He said that the decision would give opportunity to those students to continue their education at graduate and masters level. He said that the deserving students were facing serious problems as the doors of higher education were closed under the new undergraduate policy.
He said that the PU administration would not compromise on the standards of education. He said that the affiliated colleges lack the required capacity to adopt the semester system. He said that the teachers and students in the affiliated colleges were also facing serious problems in implementing the semester system. He said that he himself had also informed the Higher Education Commission about the concerns of the students in this regard.
Prof Zaidi told the meeting that the HEC had also started reviewing the undergraduate policy. He said that the sources of income of PU were drying up. He said that a big university like PU was also facing severe financial difficulties. He said that steps were being taken to get PU out of the financial crisis. He said that if the sources of income were not increased, students would face difficulties in provision of subsidy and concession in fee for the deserving students would also become difficult. He said that a special committee would be formed for the fee waiver of students.
He said that the best possible facilities would be provided to students at hostels. He said that positive reforms would be introduced in the hostel system. He said that the hostels would be cleared of non-student elements in any case. He said that the hostel dues would be collected from the students by the department concerned. He said that the academic council would be run according to the rules and regulations.
On this occasion, the Vice-Chancellor sent back several agenda items as they were not discussed at the relevant forums earlier. In the meeting, apart from approving several delayed educational programs, changes in the syllabus of various educational programs were also approved according to the modern requirements. The teachers in the Academic Council thanked the VC for giving ample liberty to express their opinion. They also appreciated the vice chancellor for taking several initiatives for the welfare of Punjab University, teachers, employees and students. The meeting also decided to provide the same facilities to the employees being used by the teaching staff regarding MPhil and PhD studies.
In the meeting, the Chairman of the Department of History and Pakistan Studies Prof Dr Mahboob Hussain was nominated as an expert member of the Board of Governors of the Pakistan Study Center. The meeting also paid tribute to the services of Dean Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences Prof Dr Umbreen Javed, who is retiring in a day.