O, A level students will now require IBCC equivalence certificates for Pakistani university admission

Published: April 17, 2017

LAHORE: Students passing O and A levels will now be required to seek equivalence certificates issued by the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) for securing admission in any university across the country, The Express Tribune reliably learnt on Sunday.

According to a letter sent by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to all public and private universities, all students completing O levels in a foreign country and A levels in Pakistan would now require an equivalence certificate from IBCC.

The letter stated that the decision was taken by the National Quality Assurance Committee (NQAC) during its 22nd meeting.

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The letter also laid out the required criteria for A and O level students who had already obtained their certification. It said: “The controller of examination and vice-chancellors of the universities from which persons mentioned graduated prior to December 31, 2016 (the cut-off date), shall provide an undertaking/affidavit with degree supplement form that in order to fulfil the admission requirements they implemented their own policies/procedures to determine the equivalence of O&A levels and equivalent foreign qualifications, instead of getting the IBCC equivalence certificates … However, in future, they shall require the IBCC equivalent certificates for the O&A levels and equivalent foreign qualifications to fulfil the admission requirements.”

The HEC also provided exemptions for some degree programmes.

The letter said: “For degrees of programmes covered by the professional/accreditation councils, the HEC may exempt the requirement of equivalence certificates for such graduates and attest their degree without imposing the condition of registration by the professional/accreditation councils.”

Outlining conditions for currently enrolled students, it stated: “(Such) students in the universities with O&A level and equivalent qualification who have not studied Urdu, Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat should take and clear the deficient courses from their own university, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) or any recognised national Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.”

The letter warned that no student would be granted admission without studying Urdu, Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat.

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“In future, no admission be granted by the universities to students who studied O level/ equivalent education from abroad and A level from Pakistan but not studied the subjects of Urdu, Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat.”

A special clause was also added for agriculture students.

“HEC may attest Bachelors and higher level degrees of graduates having F.Sc. (pre-agriculture) who got admission in Bachelors programmes till December 31, 2016 provided all other requirements are met.”

The HEC spokesperson responded through an email that the HEC had not suggested any change in the IBCC policy and it was already giving equivalence certificates for such students who met certain criteria.

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“Students who have graduated before December 31, 2016 (the cut-off date), the condition of getting the IBCC equivalence certificate for degree attestation purpose has been relaxed. But after the cut-off date, the universities/ DAIs are advised to ask for IBCC equivalence certificates for O& A level and other equivalent degrees at the time of admission,” the email added.

According to the spokesperson, “The decision regarding students who have already completed their degrees before December 31, 2016 aims at facilitating those students to get their degrees attested by HEC, if all other requirements are met, because at the time of their admission the Universities/ DAIs did not require them to provide the IBCC equivalence certificate.”

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Khan
    Apr 17, 2017 - 12:56PM


    Laughing stock of the world and wish to impose their nonsense on anyone from overseas who may wish to study in Pakistan.

    Which idiot came up with this scheme?Recommend

  • Syed Hashim Hasan
    Apr 17, 2017 - 2:11PM

    Asking for IBCC equivalency implies that the qualification which has been around for 50 years in Pakistan is still not recognized and parent are paying through their nose to get their children take O and A levels because of better and updated curriculum.

    HEC is always promoting PhDs from overseas and signing MOUs with international universities but it all seems to be an exercise in futility. Parent should be made aware that the education their children are getting is only recognized for overseas admissions.

    It is a shame that over the years the government has paid no heed or put in zero effort in upgrading the curriculum of both matriculation and intermediate. Because of their own shortcoming they now want to penalize the students by asking for IBCC thus putting more financial pressure on the parents.

    It is high time that schools offering O and A level should raise their voices and play a role in bringing some sanity to this insane decision.

    Hashim Hasan – Karachi Recommend

  • Tariq
    Apr 17, 2017 - 3:06PM

    There is no concept of cheating in CIE exams, on the other hand use of unfair means in Matric and intermediate system is a common knowledge. In addition students with connections in board offices can get as much as 90 to 95 % marks just by paying 50000 -100000 rupees and secure their admissions in medical and engineering colleges/universities.
    Equivalenc certificate is an unjust practice, through which you target CIE students and give undue favour to rotten intermediate and Matric systems.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Apr 18, 2017 - 3:02PM

    So non-Muslim students have to study Islamiyat too in order to get into university? Discrimination of the highest order!Recommend

  • Haris
    Apr 18, 2017 - 8:00PM

    For those whose children studing O and A Level.if you are giving best education to your kids and donot like Pakistani sllaybus,So better send your kids outside country for higher studies why choice Pakistani universities.Let these Universities leave for Pakistani sllaybus people.You think all boards children marks cheating .I challenge to all O level /A level parents let your kids give exam Pakistani sllaybus and see result.We as Pakistani Nation so many complexes and double standard in their mind.This lack of confidence of those parents who did Matric and Fsc and now blame this system .Wah.this is realliy if any one want reply be as decent educated Matric / Fsc sllaybus passed parents .Give your kids education not make them also in double standard.Recommend

  • Moona
    Aug 13, 2017 - 11:45PM

    Maybe those who are suffering at the hands of this cruel and unusual treatment should bring a class action lawsuit against the IBCC.Recommend

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