ISLAMABAD: The apex higher education regulator has apparently stopped some departments of the top-ranked university in the country from enrolling students into higher education courses such as masters philosophy and doctorates of philosophy for lack of sufficient faculty and infrastructure.
This was disclosed by a group of teaching and non-teaching staff of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) as they held a news conference on Monday.
QAU’s Academic Staff Association (ASA) President Dr Syed Aqeel Bukhari told the media that this was the first time that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had stopped around half of all departments of the varsity, including Biological Sciences, Natural Science and Social Sciences from enrolling students into various programmes.
“The university kept enrolling students without increasing teaching faculty and practical facilities and laboratories,” Dr Bukhari said, explaining that the teacher-student ratio had risen unfavourably for teachers at the varsity, prompting the higher education regulator to intervene.
He added that in 2014, around 6,500 students had been enrolled in the varsity in different disciplines. This figure has since nearly doubled to 12,000.
“The student-teacher ratio has gone from one teacher for 24 students previously to one teacher for 42 students, unbalancing everything,” Dr Bukhari stated.
He further claimed that admissions to the graduate programmes of the varsity had also been delayed by at least six weeks while unauthorised affiliations have been granted to dubious private educational institutions at the cost of the varsity’s academic departments.
Raising an accusatory finger towards the vice chancellor of QAU, Dr Javed Ashraf, Dr Bukhari claimed that key posts at the varsity were lying vacant such as those of the registrar, the additional registrar, controller examinations, treasurer, purchase officer, and dean among important positions.
“They all have been sent on forced leaves,” the ASA president claimed.
The teaching faculty of QAU has been at loggerheads with its vice chancellor over various administrative issues. The faculty, under the ASA, refused to work under the VC on February 9.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2018.