ISLAMABAD-The Allama Iqbal Open University has still continued the two years bachelors’ degree programme despite the HEC’s announcement to abolish the programme from 2019.

AIOU, the largest distance learning university in the country, is not the complying with the HEC directives and still offering two years bachelors’ degree programmes in three of its disciplines.

The HEC in 2016 had announced abolishing two years bachelors’ degree program (equivalent to 14 years of education). The HEC had directed universities not to offer two years programme after the end of 2018 academic year.

Meanwhile, the AIOU is still offering two years bachelors’ degree programmes in Bachelors of Arts (General group) Bachelors in Mass Communication and Bachelors of Commerce.

The AIOU provides education from step certificate to PhD and offers the bachelors programme degree in thirteen different disciplines.

The information available on AIOU website clearly mentioned that the university was still offering the two years bachelors’ degree programme in Bachelors of Arts (General group) Bachelors in Mass Communication and Bachelors of Commerce.

Vice Chancellor (AIOU) Prof. Dr Zia-ul-Quyym told The Nation said that last semester of two years bachelors programme is continued and university will end it after completion of the semester.

He said that it is the spring semester while the university had also taken permission from HEC to complete the semester. “Classes are continued and the semester will end after four months,” he said.

Meanwhile official statement issued by the HEC said: “In accordance with a decision taken by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in 2016, the old two-year BA/BSc degrees (equivalent to 14 years of education) and MA/MSc degrees will no longer be offered by Pakistani universities after Academic Year 2018 and 2020, respectively”.

The statement also said that holders of BA/BSc degrees will be allowed to take admission in the third year (fifth semester) of BS (four-year degree) programme after successful completion of 15-18 credit hours of bridging courses as prescribed by HEC and the admitting University.

It also said that in place of the two-year BA/BSc, universities will now be able to offer an Associate Degree through recognised campuses or constituent colleges in market driven subjects, after necessary approval from HEC, for students with 12 years of schooling. 

Students holding Associate Degrees will also be able to re-enter the education system by getting admission in the fifth semester of a BS programme after fulfilling additional entry requirements, said the statement.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellors (VCs) committee had also announced revamping of four years bachelors programme and taking measures to declare it terminal degree for jobs in the market.

Chairman VCs committee Prof. Dr Mohammad Ali said that universities will guide the students in taking admissions in the relevant undergraduate programmes as it will be restructured to be more productive for students.

He said revamped undergraduate programme will be implemented in the month of September this year.

Chairman HEC Prof. Dr Tariq Banuri had viewed that in revamping of undergraduate programmes new reforms are being brought to make it more productive and job oriented degree.

He said that candidates who will opt to continue further studies after graduation will be more likely will be able to come on teaching side.