KARACHI: The University of Karachi (KU) has decided to initiate its own testing service, ‘Karachi University Assessment Testing Service (KUATS)’ for its admissions instead of relying on the National Testing Service (NTS). The decision was made on Thursday during the academic council meeting presided by KU Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Iraqi.
The KU testing service would conduct the entrance tests for the admissions for 2020. The passing marks have been set at 50% for all departments which is an increase by 10% as compared to last year, said Admission Committee In-Charge Dr Saima Akhtar. However, she added, in case there are vacant seats left in any department, the cut-off mark may be lowered. She informed that the online admission policy will remain as it is and the process of claim form has also been restored.
A draft of the working paper on the testing service’s administrative structure, its introduction, the purpose for the formation and the admission policy of the educational year 2020 was submitted before the Academic Council during the meeting. These included recommendations by Dr Akhtar and a summary by the KU registrar.
The working paper referred to the VC’s statement at an earlier Academic Council meeting on October 19, 2018, where he had reportedly said that the university relied on the NTS out of need.
KU’s testing service
According to the summary prepared by the KU registrar, the KUATS would comprise four different sections which would be independent under the convenership of a director. Research and database development, test paper development, test administration and test assessment, would make up the four sections.
The summary states that way back in 1994, admissions in different KU departments were allowed on the basis of tests by the respective departments. Later, the admissions were allowed under a centralised system under the directorate of admission. A few years ago, however, the system was handed over to the NTS but now there was a need for the university to introduce its own testing service which would be able to provide services to other institutes as well, stated the summary. It mentioned that conducting the test through a third party contributed to the university’s expenditure.
The Academic Council was informed that an item bank would be created according to psychometric analysis and tests of different departments of the varsity would be conducted under it.
Besides, the testing service body would provide services to public, semi-public and private institutes which would also be provided examination services for the purpose of appointments. Faculty members would also be provided with training under the service training programme.
Also discussed at the meeting was the recommendation to increase the tuition fees and hostel charges for foreign students. The committee rejected this proposal and reasoned that foreign students were ambassadors to Pakistan and their fees would be increased on the same average as the fees of Pakistani students.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2019.