LAHORE  -  Scores of students of COMSATS University’s Lahore campus staged a protest demonstration against the university management outside the Lahore Press Club on Sunday.

They were of the view that the university management had put the future of 3,000 graduates in different disciplines at stake by not issuing them dual degrees as agreed in beginning of the session.

Students were carrying placards inscribed with slogans, “Comsats Dual Degree fraud”, “Arrest Qaiser Abbas” and “Chief Justice, please take notice”.

Charged students were chanting slogans against the university management for allegedly cheating students. Speaking on the occasion president of the Graduate Action Committee (GAC), Aurangzeb Rana, said the university management started its programme in 2010 in seven disciplines -- four in engineering, two in computer sciences and one in management sciences.

He said that they were told by the management in the beginning that the programme was accredited by the HEC and Lancaster University of the United Kingdom. It was also promised that students would be issued dual degree at the time of completion of the programme.

The single degree programme was converted into dual degree programme and fee was increased three times. Every student paid Rs1.3 million to 1.4 million per year fee and all of a sudden in 2014 it was revealed that neither the programme was recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) nor was accredited by the Lancaster University. Then students approached the Lahore High Court to seek justice and a writ petition was filed.

The court allowed the university to issue local degrees to the graduates and directed the HEC and the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) to recognize the same. The court also held that students were entitled to getting Lancaster’s degree as well.

Then students filed an intra-court appeal and court issued stay order and directed the university to issue Lancaster degree and joint transcription. A former faculty member, Engineer Yasir Siddiqui, said the university management was dispatching degrees of Lancaster University to students’ postal addresses.

It cannot hold a convocation however to issue degrees to students due to the stay orders. He said that so far the university management has transferred about Rs1 billion abroad in the head of student fees to Lancaster University, but its accreditation with Lancaster is not recognised by the HEC.