HEC Introduces Major Changes to University Policies

As per the Undergraduate Policy 2020, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has issued the details of credit and non-credit hours of practical learning, internships, and General Education (GE) including thematic studies.

According to HEC, students must take quantitative reasoning and expository writing courses in order to develop the ability to write effectively. Where practical learning is concerned, students will have the option to opt from entrepreneurship, youth club, or sports. Pakistan and Islamic Studies will be made compulsory under the GE section.


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Moreover, HEC has declared internships ‘compulsory’ for all four-year and five-year degree programs. However, the internships will be non-credited and their scores will not be reflected in the grades.

After consultation and approval from the relevant stakeholders, the aforementioned changes will be integrated into the syllabus of all four-year and five-year professional graduate programs.

HEC has also divided undergraduate programs into five categories; four-year Arts and Science degree, four-year professional degree, five-year professional degree, four-year degree with councils, and two-year associate degree.

For four-year BS programs, students will be required to complete 120 credit hours in order to receive the degrees. They will have to study at least 40 courses of three credit hours during the four-year program. The 120 credit hours will be divided into 30 credit hours per year and 15 credit hours per semester, meaning students will have to take five courses in each semester.


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HEC has also categorized undergraduate degrees based on three components. The first is GE, the second is concerned with discipline, and the third component is based on practical learning.

Students will be required to opt for two courses out of three vast disciplines of GE; arts and humanities, national science, and social sciences. GE will account for 39 out of the 120 credit hours in a four-year bachelor program.

Students will be required to take 13 GE courses during the first four semesters of the undergraduate degree. Failure in any of these courses will withhold the student’s promotion to the fifth semester.

As for non-credit activities, HEC has declared a 9-week internship ‘compulsory’ for all undergraduate students after the first four semesters.


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Students may apply for internships in government institutions, local government, autonomous institutions, government agencies, business enterprises, educational institutions, and NGOs.

Students will also be required to opt for entrepreneurship, youth club, or sports facilities as part of non-credit activities.

HEC has also directed universities to issue a two-year associate degree to students who decide to withdraw at the end of the second year of a four-year degree program.

On the other hand, the Association of Private Sector Universities Pakistan (APSUP) has raised objections over the recent HEC announcement, arguing that HEC has devised these changes in haste and without consulting APSUP.

  • I honestly believe that these are really good changes brought to our education system.

  • HEC rules toh buna lyte hy lakin follow nhi karwati universities se. Woh apni merzi karte aur phir students ko kuch nhi aata.

  • I think these are good changes and we should follow them. Most importantly the practical work, internship and sports activities will help students to show and use their true talent.

  • Would Hec like to ponder upon lifting the hybrid mode of universities… Because it is really affecting us on so many levels… Please

  • That’s greate move but as a Pakistani we need to target industrial demand as global inovation has been revolutionized we needd to update our cource content and lab work

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