HEC to abandon two-year BA/BSc and MA/MSc degree programs


The Higher Education Commission (HEC) put forward a final notice to all the public and private universities throughout the country and their affiliated colleges to abolish 2 year BA and BSc programs and start developing Associate Degree (AD) programs for the next academic year. It also directed that all the campuses could not offer MA and MSc programs after 2020.

It notified all the degree colleges to refrain from offering BS programs to change an on-going two-year degree system instead start new Associate Degree (AD) programs for which a course outline and roadmap have to be finalized yet.

This step is taken because it will halt a large number of students from earning graduation or master’s degrees as private candidates.

Education circles are criticizing the HEC decision and insisting that most of the universities and colleges did not have the capacity to fulfill the requirements of the semester system.

Sources said the vice-chancellors of all higher education institutions of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federal capital Islamabad expressed their reservations regarding the move at a meeting with the HEC chairman Tariq Banuri last week.

They said the private students belonging to a lower state or bottom class of society, having no access to good institutions, would face more difficulties due to the proposed initiative.

“What option have we left for them (private students)? Unfortunately, there is none. We have deprived them of the only option they had for grooming themselves by doing BA/BSc or MA/MSc. This policy will halt the academic career of hundreds and thousands of students at the intermediate level, depriving them of all educational opportunities,” a VC of higher education institution regretted.

“Female students will be the most affected [by this policy]. Thousands of female students in far-flung areas usually go for BA/BSc and MA/MSc degrees either privately or as regular candidates (if a college is available) for personal grooming as well as better economic prospects,” he added.

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