- AJK-based university asked to reimburse three times expenses to all victim students
ISLAMABAD: After conducting a long and hard review of proliferation of illegal affiliations granted by the Al-Khair University, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has notified that degrees of all MS/MPhil and PhD programmes will not be recognised, besides the university will have to reimburse three times fee/expenses incurred to all the students enrolled in these plans.
In this backdrop, and to alleviate wide discrepancies around degrees awarded by the AJK-based university across Pakistan, HEC on Friday notified that these students would also be entitled to claim any other damages from the university for the wastage of their precious time and money since the university was clearly directed through a letter issued in January 2012 to refrain from launching any MS/MPhil and PhD programmes.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Al-Khair University was established in 1994, which mainly focused in the field of marketing, banking and finance, IT and computer oriented courses. However, the university has been banned for admission at all levels (bachelors and masters from fall 2016) and MS/MPhil/PhD from fall 2014), attestation of degrees/transcripts also stopped by HEC over fake degrees issue.
The HEC set up a committee to investigate the matter, which after conducting a long review of proliferation of illegal affiliations granted by the Al-Khair University, revealed that the deliberate acts of omission and commission by the university had played havoc with the career and lives of thousands of the students besides defeating sanctity of the higher education sector.
It was notified that the degrees of all the students enrolled up to April 30, 2009, including the graduates studied at affiliated colleges/campuses would be recognised by HEC subject to fulfilment of all the formalities and in line with rules and regulations. Moreover, the degrees of students enrolled and studied after October 17, 2011, at the main campus in Bhimber City of Azad Kashmir will also be recognised.
The recognition of the professional degrees (LLB/DHMS/BHMS/B Architecture/BSc Engineering/BE Electrical etc) will be subject to registration by relevant professional accreditation councils. However, the degrees pertaining to 2009-11 period when admission was banned in the university will not be recognised.
As per the decision, the students who got enrolled and studied after October 17, 2011, at the affiliated colleges/campuses of the Al-Khair University, other than main campus in Bhimber, in violation of directions of the commission will have to appear in a comprehensive test for recognition of their awards.
All such students are being given an opportunity to appear in the test and obtain 50 per cent marks in the comprehensive test for verification of their degree failing which their degrees will not be recognised. The HEC has decided that all the expenditure on the conduct of the test will be borne by the Al-Khair University.
Additionally, the university will have to reimburse one-time fee incurred to all such students enrolled after October 17, 2011, at the affiliated colleges/campuses of the university other than the main campus as the university violated the commission’s directives and the students have suffered in terms of loss of time and mental agony.
The decision further elaborates that the university would be bound to reimburse three times fee/expenses incurred to all those graduates of the university whose degrees will not be recognised by the HEC. Such students would also be entitled to claim any other damages from the university, it said.
Moreover, new admissions and fresh intake of the Al-Khair University will remain banned as already communicated to the university since May 20, 2016. The HEC reveals in its decision that the attestation and verification of the degrees will only be resumed on the basis of data of 75,894 graduates already submitted by the Al-Khair University.
In case of any discrepancy in the data, further disciplinary action will be taken against the university. The HEC has advised the university to abide by all the directions and policies of HEC in letter and spirit in the interest of the students.