Institution numbers rise, but quality is sinking

As the number of public sector universities has increased sharply during the last decade, the declining standards of teaching and research work, plagiarism, mismanagement, financial irregularities and establishment of illegal campuses pose a major challenge to policy-makers and higher education managers, writes Riazul Haq for The Express Tribune.

According to Higher Education Commission, or HEC, data, the number of public universities has increased 400%, from 30 in 2002 to over 160 in 2015. But when it comes to quality of administration and teaching faculty, most of the universities have failed to meet the standards.

HEC Chairperson Dr Mukhtar Ahmad told a vice-chancellors’ committee last year that the establishment of new or sub campuses without the commission’s permission would not be allowed. It was aimed at discouraging mushrooming of such campuses that according to the HEC chief, had reached over 140. Dr Ahmad said that action would be taken against campuses that lacked required facilities. He said that recently many universities were told to close PhD and MPhil programmes for not following standard protocols, and duping gullible students to seek admission without provision of required facilities.
Full report on The Express Tribune site