High saddle of learning: Top-ranking university facing host of issues

Incomplete faculties, infrastructural issues plaguing QAU.


Our Correspondent/riazul Haq November 24, 2013
The university recently started bachelor programmes in social sciences, biological sciences and natural sciences, but it lacks the faculties to run the programme. PHOTO: http://commons.wikimedia.org/

ISLAMABAD: The Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) — ranked among the country’s top universities by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) — is facing a plethora of issues ranging from incomplete faculties to infrastructural facilities to fully-equipped departments to cater to the needs of the growing number of students. 

Topping the list though, is the question mark over the future of almost 20 teachers, who had been inducted into the university by the HEC under a programme which is about to expire.

“We were inducted in QAU by the HEC and with our terms about to expire, we are in a fix over where to go once the contract expires. The university management is silent on the issue and saying nothing,” said one of the teachers.

Similarly, the university recently started bachelor programmes in social sciences, biological sciences and natural sciences, but it lacks the faculties to run the programme.

Classes for the school of law are functioning in the school of politics and international relations building. According to a law teacher, there was only one permanent faculty member at the department, while the rest were all visiting teachers.

Besides, the departments of sociology and pharmacy are also facing acute shortages of teachers, and many a time, “special classes” are arranged to make up for missed classes.

“In the last two years, not a single faculty member has been sent abroad for Ms or PhD programmes under the Faculty Development Programme,” said QAU Academic Staff Association President Dr Waheed Iqbal Chaudhry.

Similarly, the harassment committee of the university is almost non-functional after members of the old committee resigned last April to protest against the formation of a new body to review their recommendation for removing a teacher who allegedly harassment his students.

A shortage of buses is another issue plaguing the students despite the addition of five new buses into the fleet.

“One feels suffocated soon after getting on a bus as they are almost full to the brim every time,” said Kashif Ali, an international relations student.

The Presence of beggars on campus is yet another issue the students complained about.

“Nobody stops them. They even enter our classes begging for food and money,” said Amjad Khan, an anthropology student.

VC says issues are being tackled


QAU Vice Chancellor Masoom Yasinzai admitted that the university was facing some issues, but insisted “they were tackling them with the help of the government, the HEC and philanthropists”.


While talking about the fate of the 20 teachers whose term was going to expire, he said that he was in contact with the HEC and the issue would be taken up with the commission in the next meeting. He said that the revision of teachers’ salaries under the tenure track system (TTS) would also be taken up with the regulatory body.

“I am also trying my best to persuade the government to lift the ban on hiring and recruitment,” he said.

He said a new block for the school of law was being constructed next to the IR department. He said that the law school was not short of teachers and that they were adding new faculty for the department.

The VC said that he was in contact with philanthropists to seek their help for construction of some halls and lecture rooms.

When asked about the absence of a boundary wall around the university and swarms of beggars, he admitted the severity of the issue and said it would be addressed soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2013.

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