LAHORE: The comments of Punjab University’s acting vice-chancellor Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar about PU’s ranking and comparison to a private university have triggered a controversy.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Punjab University Academic Staff Association (ASA) voiced concern over the vice-chancellor’s statement, in which Dr Zafar undermined the ranking of the university and declared the PU a lower-level university even in Lahore.
In the statement, the ASA executive council said that the VC’s remarks about university’s ranking had caused anger among the faculty members because the PU teachers have been working day and night to improve the ranking of the varsity. The statement said that in the latest ranking released by the Higher Education Commission, the PU was at number 2 in the country, while Dr Zafar Moeen’s favorite university Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) was far below in the list.
They said that PU teachers were being insulted by the VC’s continuous remarks about LUMS and PU. The ASA statement added that it seems that the VC wanted to bring the best public sector university of the country under the private sector. The teachers’ body maintained that Dr Zafar Mueen was not aware of the ground realities of public sector universities and thus he was damaging the prestige of the great alma mater of thousands of PU graduates. The statement said that LUMS consisted of only a few institutions and was charging high fee, while the PU consisted of more than 83 academic institutions which had major contributions in the national life.
Meanwhile, the Punjab University spokesman said that the ASA was misquoting the PU vice chancellor and presenting his statement in a ‘wrong way’. He said that Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir spoke about raising the standard of the university, however his statement was being distorted. He said the VC had presented a comprehensive strategy to uplift research standard of the university and he would ensure quality education and research on campus.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2017.