The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has barred 13 universities from enrolling students in MPhil and Ph.D. distance learning programs. The reason behind this is noncompliance of universities with the HEC approved guidelines.
After conducting physical visits to the campuses, HEC found that the universities lack the adequate faculty.
Around 4,000 students will be impacted by this decision. However, HEC has directed the institutions to shift these students to regular programs of the universities.
Following universities were banned by the HEC Quality Assurance Division;
- International Islamic University, Islamabad
- Virtual Campus, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad
- University of Peshawar, Peshawar
- Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan
- Government College University, Faisalabad
- University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
- The University of Faisalabad
- Islamia University, Bahawalpur
- Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
- Sukkur IBA
- Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur
- University of Sindh, Jamshoro
- University of Balochistan, Quetta
It is noteworthy that currently, HEC has no consolidated policy on distance learning that ensures the quality of these programmes on the rules and regulations set for the institutions offering regular higher education.
However, the formation of a new policy regarding distance education is in process. In fact, one was recently formulated by HEC but hasn’t been approved yet due to the non-completion of the members. A policy expert committee has been formed as well that includes associates from Allama Iqbal International Open University Islamabad, and Virtual University, which provides a complete procedure for imparting knowledge and evaluate outcomes in regard to learning.
HEC’s letter sent out to the universities reads;
Further admissions in any of the distance education programs being offered by universities are stopped immediately till finalisation of recommendation by the committee.