Helpless: Scores of engineering students await accreditation

Engineering council was unaware of NED's conversion programme

Our Correspondent October 04, 2016
Engineering council was unaware of NED's conversion programme. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Muhammad Adnan has been waiting for his accreditation by Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) since two years.

The 30-year-old mechanical engineering graduate from NED University of Engineering and Technology graduated in December 2014, but is still waiting for the university to take action to get his degree registered with the PEC.

Such is the plight of over 200 students who have graduated from the varsity in the last four years.

The university follows two registration systems in three departments for its conversion courses: mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. One system is for regular students, who get admission in a four-year undergraduate programme after completing their intermediate or A-Levels, while the second system is for students who, after completing a Diploma in Associate Engineering (DAE) or Bachelors in Technology (BTech), get admission in a two-year programme at the Centre for Continuing Engineering Education (CCEE) in NED academy.

Students enrolled at CCEE, that offers evening classes, are merged into the third-year after completion of their two-year programme with regular students from the first system in the morning programme. Adnan is one of the 200 students who is a victim of the two systems.

After a long struggle with the NED administration, students enrolled in the four-year programme were able to obtain accreditations by the PEC in 2015. However, students who have completed their BTech continue to suffer.

More than 45 students who have completed their BTech from Government College for Technology, Shershah, and DAE from Pakistan Swedish Institute of Technology, Quaidabad, completed their two-year conversion course and were given admissions in the third year.

"After completing our third and fourth year, we were given final transcripts from NED, but when we applied for accreditation, PEC rejected our requests," complained Muhammad Zeeshan, one of the suffering students.

PEC informed that the final transcript issued by NED only contains course details for the third and fourth year, said Zeeshan, adding that they [PEC] do not recognise any student who has studied for less than four years from any engineering university.

"When we [the students] contacted the NED officials, they said that the course was started by the former vice-chancellor, registrar and dean, so they have nothing to do with it," informed Zeeshan, who has spent nearly Rs0.1 million for the conversion course fee.

Adnan, Zeeshan and a group of other students, on approaching the PEC, were told that the council is unaware of the fact that NED is running any conversion course for faculties of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.

However, NED registrar Ghazanfar Hussain told The Express Tribune that NED recently informed the PEC about their conversion programme and the university has completed all the legal work in this regard.

"The students will be registered with PEC soon as we have collaborated with them in this matter," he said, admitting that the conversion courses were not initially registered with the PEC.

The matter of accreditation of these students has been forwarded to the registration department, PEC additional registrar Dr Nisar Muhammad Khan told The Express Tribune. The issue will be resolved as soon as the referred committee will complete the work, stated Khan, adding that the problem was from the university's end, since NED started the conversion course without informing the PEC.

Meanwhile, NED has committed not to continue their conversion module in future.  Students who have completed their BTech will only be enrolled in second year of the normal four year undergraduate courses in the university.

What is the conversion programme?

With an aim to give better chances to students interested in studying engineering after completion of their DAE and BTech, NED started an evening conversion course in 2011 that was designed for conversion in civil, mechanical and engineering faculties.

"The students who successfully completed their courses were given admissions in the third year of their respective fields, along with regular students," Syed Umer Bin Arif, who was a regular student at the NED mechanical department, told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2016.


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