Four-year BS, two-year associate degree programmes not deferred: HEC

 Four-year BS, two-year associate degree programmes not deferred: HEC

Higher Education Commission

ISLAMABAD, 17 July: The four-year BS and two-year associate degree programmes have not been deferred and they have already started at several affiliated colleges across Pakistan, citing the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

HEC pointed out that the implementation of the Undergraduate Education Policy 2020 — which includes the four-year BS and two-year associate degree programmes — has been deferred at some universities until the fall of 2022 on the request of the Vice Chancellors Committee.

However, the universities that have already adopted the education policy can continue its implementation.

On August 12 last year, the HEC had asked universities to adopt the policy no later than January 2021.

Both the programmes — the associate degree and the four-year BS — are intact and will continue as earlier,” HEC spokesperson Ayesha Ikram said.

Education policy

The Undergraduate Education Policy 2020 document provides the objectives on undergraduate education programmes leading to the Bachelor of Studies, professional degrees and associate degrees, with the aim to enhance the likelihood of student success.

All undergraduate students will be given academic programmes with several activities that can equip them with such skills. To graduate, every student will have to participate in one or more of the activities, including at least nine weeks of internship, and practical lab learning for at least four semesters, at a minimum of four hours a week.

HEC’s media relations officer statement

The HEC’s media relations officer said the HEC has only extended the deadline for the implementation of the education policy. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to postpone or defer the associate degree or four-year BS programmes.”

“But some of the universities need to meet the prescribed mandatory clauses of the policy. It’s clear that the HEC has already banned the two-year BA, BSc, and BCom programmes. The degrees of those who enrolled in these after December 2018 won’t be recognised,” the officer said.

The officer added that the notification about the phasing out of the two-year BA, BSc, BCom, MA and MSc programmes had been issued two years ago. “The HEC won’t withdraw that notification. These two-year degrees are now unauthorised.”

“The HEC has barred universities from offering two-year degree programmes,” she said.

The HEC official said that the education policy is a detailed document on how to enhance the quality of undergraduate education, and it is another matter.

“The decision to defer the implementation of both the Undergraduate Education Policy 2020 as well as the Policy on PhD Degree Programmes 2021 has been made after the recommendations of the Vice Chancellors Committee and the approval of the HEC so as to facilitate their implementation. But this extension will not affect the earlier decision of phasing out the two-year programmes.”

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