Peshawar   -  A long wait seems to be ending as the authorities have started working on the appointment of vice-chancellors of public sector universities in the province, for which interviews are to be held on November 17.

Chief Minister’s Advisor on Information and Higher Education Kamran Bangash told The Nation that the appointments would solve a number of problems in universities. There were about 50 candidates to be interviewed for the November 17 and 18 interviews. The eight positions of VCs, to which appointments are being made now, had been advertised in January this year and there are around 200 candidates who have applied for these posts.

There are around 16 positions of vice-chancellors in KP universities, which have remained vacant for the last more than a year. However, the universities, to which appointments are being made, include University of Peshawar, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, University of Science and Technology Bannu, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, University of Swabi, and Shuhada-e-Army Public School University of Technology, Nowshera.

The positions of vice-chancellors for some other universities including Islamia College University Peshawar, Fata University, Darra Adamkhel, Khyber Medical University Peshawar, Chitral University, Buner University and Women University Mardan were advertised later through separate advertisements.

The absence of regular vice-chancellors in various universities of the province has also often been cited by academic circles as a reason behind several administrative, academic and financial issues at the campuses. 

The recent case of harassment allegations at Islamia College University also hit headlines. ICU is also serving under an acting VC.

At the University of Peshawar, considered to be the oldest and largest university of KP, the teaching staff has even boycotted official meetings in protest at the administration’s inability to hold a meeting of university’s syndicate and conduct the selection boards in vacancies. Around 600 Class-III and Class-IV employees of the university have been protesting for months demanding regularization of their services or at least renewal of their contracts.