ISLAMABAD             -         Punjab Education Minister Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz paid a visit to an unregistered university in Sialkot when Higher Education Commission (HEC) is discouraging admissions in unregistered higher education institutions (HEIs), The Nation learnt on Thursday.

The Punjab education minister recently posted on his social media page that he visited National University of Pakistan, Sialkot and had a meeting with the university Vice Chancellor (VC).

However, officials at HEC informed The Nation that no such university was registered with HEC. They said that neither the university was registered, nor any application had been received to the HEC.

The list of registered universities placed at the HEC website also does not contain the name of National University of Pakistan.

Deputy Director HEC Media Cell Waseem Khaliqdad, talking to The Nation, said the provincially chartered universities had also to be registered with the federal HEC as it was a legal compulsion.

He said that students must be aware of the unregistered universities before getting admission. “The list of registered universities is available on the HEC website and students can check it,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials said that the National University of Pakistan has still not obtained the charter from the provincial HEC, nor had it been granted No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Meanwhile, the university after the visit of the Punjab education minister is mulling to announce admissions and starting hiring the faculty as well.

Responding to The Nation, Registrar National University of Pakistan, Sialkot Dr. Zahoor Shah said the process of obtaining a charter and NOC was in process with Punjab HEC.

He admitted that the university was not registered with the federal HEC and would be registered after its charter was approved. “It is also in process,” he said.

When asked about arranging the provincial education minister’s visit to a unregistered university, whose charter was still not approved, the registrar responded that the “minister visited Islam Medical College’ which was registered. When he was informed about the minister’s post regarding the visit of the National University of Pakistan, he responded he had no information about it and it was not related to them.