islamabad - Federal Urdu University of Science and Technology administration failed to convince the students of electrical engineering department to appear in final exams to save their academic year, an official said on Wednesday.

The students continued boycott of the final exams, alleging that the management was not taking practical measures for registering the department with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC).

As many as 400 students of the department are on protest for the last 7 days and demanding of the varsity administration to register their department with the PEC, saying their degrees would not be recognised without this legal requirement.

On Thursday, the affected students blocked Islamabad Highway as a protest after staging several demonstrations outside the varsity building. The students stressing for recognition of the department blamed the university administration for deliberately putting the issue on the back burner.

The PEC has conditioned accreditation of the department with availability of facilities as per the set criteria and shifting the department in proper building to allow setting up specialised labs for the discipline.

A student, Waqas Ahmed, said that the varsity administration charged the fees but put future of the students at stake. He said that without accreditation, their degrees would be not accepted by the employers, so appearing in the exams was irrelevant.

The official said that talks between the newly-appointed vice chancellor Dr Altaf Hussain Quershi and the students also failed as the students refused to trust the administration keeping in view their unfulfilled promises in the past. The VC in his visit to Islamabad campus requested the students to end the protest and appear in the examinations. However, the students stopped his vehicle and held severe sloganeering, demanding resolution of their issue.

The VC while talking to the students said that demand of hiring the faculty had been met and the dean and associate professor had been hired, while the issue of the varsity’s building was pending because of financial embezzlements reported in the past.

He assured the students that there would be no more corruption in the university but the students refused to believe in his words and continued their protest.

The University Campus In-charge Dr Aurganzeb told The Nation that the students had not ended the protest and had demanded a letter from the PEC as a guarantee for sitting in the exam. He said that so far, the university has not attained accreditation from the PEC and the administration was trying to convince the students to sit in the final exams. “I hope their academic year is not wasted,” said Dr Aurangzeb.

The students have been demanding recognition of their department for several months. The PEC is not recognising the department for not fulfilling the requirements of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the PEC.

The Urdu University’s Islamabad campus is functional at a rented building owned by WAPDA and the later department has already given final notice to the university to vacate the building.

The university with above 5,000 students acquired 81 kanals of land at Kuri Road in 2009 but not a single brick has been laid so far. Auditor General Pakistan had also objected to the Rs50 million paid for purchasing the land.

The official said that the entire bachelor programme students were on protest and the students having passed the previous term were also suffering as they had not been issued PEC number by the council.

He said that the PEC had directed the varsity to hire senior faculty members for the department, a demand that was not fulfilled.