Associate degree and master’s programs at Punjab University may soon be open to private students who want to continue their studies, provided they are academically qualified.
The university’s Academic Council, chaired by Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi, has approved the proposal.
Under the new undergraduate policy of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), students from middle-class families who were working to support their families were not allowed to enroll in these degrees.
The VC raised the issue before the Academic Council after taking notice of it.
Faculty deans, department heads, and professors from the university were present at the meeting.
It was determined that private candidates would be able to take admission to associate degree and master’s programs this year.
The meeting decided that starting next year, the nomenclature for BS 5th semester after associate degree/14 years of education will be replaced with the master’s program.
Thousands of private candidates would benefit from the decisions made in the meeting, Dr. Asghar Zaidi said. He said that the vast majority of private candidates were poor or middle-class students.
Those students who have performed well in their examinations can continue their studies at the graduate and postgraduate levels, he said. He lamented that students with good academic records were being deprived of higher education as a result of the new undergraduate policy.