The University of Karachi (KU) has made the appointment of associate professors and lecturers at the varsity conditional to them passing the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) with at least 50th percentile score.
GRE is a standardised test administered by the Educational Testing Service- a private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organisation. The fee for a GRE test is $205 at present, against Rs3,000 which candidates previously paid for sitting exams conducted by local testing bodies to get recruited at the KU.
The decision to include the passing of GRE in the varsity's recruitment policy was taken during a recently held meeting of the KU syndicate, where it was agreed that tests carried out by Pakistani bodies, including the National Testing Service, were not to be considered for teachers' appointment at the varsity. Besides, the meeting decided that the condition would be applicable for positions advertised before the meeting and the hiring process for which was under way or hadn't been started.
"The decision is aimed ensuring that candidates are assessed by an autonomous institution of good repute, so as to make the process of appointment transparent," KU vice-chancellor Khalid Mahmood Iraqi told The Express Tribune.
The case of four depts
Following the development, the university decided to declare the advertisements published for the appointments of lecturers and assistant professors in four department of the KU, namely geography, applied physics, applied chemistry and chemical technology and library and information science, in 2014 invalid.
The members of the KU syndicate agreed to appoint associate professors and lecturers in the said departments under 2019 hiring criteria, subject to the additional requirement of passing the GRE test, if the posts were re-advertised in 2019. However, if the posts were not advertised in 2019, new advertisements will be published for the vacancies.
Research assistants have raised concerns over the development.
A visiting faculty, who spoke to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity, said even senior teachers at the KU might find it difficult to pass the exam, how would junior teachers pass the test.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2021.