ISLAMABAD .: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) remained occupied in clarifying its position on the news about the number of universities established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The commission resorted to social media pages to clarify its position after a story published in The Express Tribune created a stir. Since the election campaigns are in full swing, the other media organizations carried the news by distorting it, which created a controversy that “HEC has rejected K-P’s claim of nine universities.”
However, the actual stated that the HEC recognises only four out of nine universities built in K-P by PTI. “Fake news regarding the establishment of universities is circulating on the social media. HEC has not issued any statement/press release in this regard,” read the commission’s statement on Facebook and Twitter.
The statement did not satiate the social media users who started asking about the actual situation and the commission’s stance on the number of universities.
“Kindly issue the statement so that propaganda stops against my party and our vote bank does not get affected,” commented one user.
The first post received over 3,000 likes on Facebook and a similar number of shares with 1,600 comments that prompted HEC to come up with a clearer position. “Why don’t you issue an official statement instead of becoming an indirect part of the propaganda campaign of PTI,” commented another user.
“It is necessary to correct the ensuing miscommunication. The HEC has not rejected any university chartered by K-P. It is a process whereby provincial governments grant the charters and then these universities have to apply to HEC for their accreditation,” the commission replied.
The HEC further elaborated that it conducted an accreditation visit to the University of Chitral even before the grant of charter and no objection certificate (NOC) has been granted subject to the approval of the charter by the provincial government.
Similarly, The HEC conducted an accreditation visit for the University of Engineering and Technology Mardan and the NOC has been granted. The NOC has already been granted for Abbottabad University of Science and Technology.
The commission also said that the accreditation visit for the University of Buner has also been conducted while the report is under process. It said that a similar visit is being planned for the University of Science and Technology Lakki Marwat while Agriculture University Mardan has yet to apply with all the documents for the accreditation.
The HEC Chairperson Tariq Banuri also shared a status on the issue on his Facebook with similar details, which said, “Hope this will clarify the situation.”
The commission’s spokesperson stated that the detailed clarification through social media was important to clear any misunderstanding about the new universities and the role of HEC.
PTI was claiming credit for those universities for which the charter has either been passed and the NOC is in process. However, the HEC appears to distance itself from the controversy and share the position on the ground.