The Sindh Higher Education Commission approved the inspection and grading of private universities on Friday, with the intent to extend it to the public institutions. It has also terminated the current ranking process of private universities in this regard.
Its Chairperson, Dr. Asim Hussain, chaired a meeting in which the decisions that had been suggested by the Charter Inspection and Evaluation Committee to the private institutions and degree awarding institutes were approved.
The Charter committee recommended ceasing the recent ranking of private universities despite its completion, explaining that the inspections are likely to be affected by the pandemic, which is why the institutes should not be ranked on the basis of the inspections for the last three years.
It also recommended that the Sindh HEC inspect and grade both public and private universities, and collectively grade them according to the grading style of the private universities (in categories instead of rankings).
A 190-page pro forma that will form the basis of the inspection and grading of the private and public universities was approved in the meeting.
The Chairperson of the Inspection and Evaluation Committee, Dr. Tariq Rafi explained, “The Charter Inspection Committee had inspected most of the private universities and certifying institutions in Sindh before the outbreak of Covid-19. Only four private universities, Iqra University, Ziauddin Medical University, Indus University, and the Institute of Technology remained”.
“Their inspections could not take place for almost a year and a half due to the closure of educational institutions during the lockdowns. However, when these four institutions were visited, the academic situation in the educational institutions had changed. Classes were online, physical students were not present, and neither was the required number of faculty was not present on campus, due to which some components could not be tested. So if we rank these institutions with other universities without said components, that wouldn’t be fair to these institutions”, he further added.
He said that letters will be sent to the universities to inform them about their assessed strengths and weaknesses on the basis of the inspection.
“We will, however, not rank them anymore,” he affirmed.