Having spent considerable time in the private sector of higher education in Pakistan, I have experienced some highly unethical practices. The students are being taken for granted. They are being sent to and fro from one university to another, on false pretexts, as if they were sheep. Promises are being made regarding passing the students illegitimately and thus compromising on the knowledge-giving perspective of education. It has become so commercialised that the sole criteria of hiring a management is how many students they can add to the college. It seems the qualification and experience of academic administrators does not matter anymore.HEC should take serious notice of this grave issue. Chartered universities must not be allowed to grant franchising thoughtlessly, and just for the sake of revenues. We have witnessed universities on mere two to three canals area; how can one provide requisite facilities of a university on such a limited area? Making the matters worse, such universities have become breeding ground for marijuana, rather than intellectuals. Prevalence of 'ghost students' has also been observed; whereby students obtain degrees without attending classes. Earning a degree and having a degree are two different things; it is high time the difference must be made clear.AMIR IKRAM, Lahore, June 30.