ISLAMABAD, 04 July: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has agreed to postpone bringing two-year associate degree programmes and a four-year graduation programmes, sources said Friday.
The development came during an online session, where several vice-chancellors from private and public universities from across the country were in attendance.
The vice-chancellors, expressing concerns over the discontinuation of two-year degree programmes, said it would not be possible to implement the new policy this year, asking for additional time to do so in a more effective manner.
Following the concerns of the VCs, the HEC agreed to postpone the two-year associate degree and four-year graduation programmes and said it would issue a notification in this regard soon.HEC’s policy
A notification issued on November 17, 2020 by the HEC read that the commission had phased out two-year programmes after the academic year 2018 and subsequently 2019.
The HEC expressed concern in the notification that those two-year programmes were still being offered by varsities and degree awarding institutes and their affiliated colleges.
“In this regard, varsities are directed not to offer admission in the two-year BA and BSc programmes and that the degrees shall not be recognised by the HEC for students enrolled in the programmes after December 2018,” the notification read. The commission also posted a message on its official website, warning students not to seek admissions to two-year degree programmes.
However, the HEC also clarified that the degree colleges could, instead, start two-year associate degree programmes introduced in 2011.
As per the HEC’s official statement, the decision of abolishing the two-year degree programmes was taken in 2004 with the aim of enhancing the quality of degree programmes as per international standards.
The commission, however, granted a transition period until 2016 to the varsities for phasing out the said programmes.
The two-year associate degree programmes allowed by the HEC are a substitute for the bachelors of arts (BA) and bachelors of science (BSC) degree programmes and is equivalent to 14 years of education.
On the completion of an associate degree programme, the graduates can secure admissions to the fifth semester of a 4-year BS programme.