ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Thursday banned enrollments in MPhil and PhD programmes in 13 universities which offer distance learning programmes for failing to meet the basic quality standards set by the commission.
A letter from HEC Consultant of Quality Assurance Division Muhammad Ismail sent recently to universities stated, “Further admissions in any of the distance education programs being offered by universities are stopped immediately till finalisation of recommendation by the committee.”
It further directed that students enrolled in MS\MPhil\PhD programmes be shifted to regular discipline of universities without any further loss of their studies. The faculty required for their adjustment be ensured as per HEC guidelines. The decision, which is likely to impact about 4,000 students, lays bare the evident shortcoming in the academic system at the highest level of degree programmes in distance learning.
The HEC media section said that the current step of stopping programmes offered through distance education directorates was taken on the basis of noncompliance of the universities to the HEC guidelines. “In some cases, universities have not even got an approval of their own statutory bodies,” said the commission’s media section.
It further states that the expert committee, which conducted physical visits and reviewed documentation, concluded that these universities lacked adequate faculty.