Upgradation of Colleges to Universities in KP: Quality Issues

3.2     Shortage of Qualified Staff

All the three institutions are facing the issue of shortage of qualified staff. Table 2 below shows the picture of PhD and foreign faculty in these universities. With this little staff it is difficult to produce quality educational results and research output.

Table 2: PhD Faculty Details (2010-2011)

Name Local Faculty Foreign Faculty Total
AWKU, Mardan 6 2 8
SBBWU, Peshawar 11 3 14
ICP 15 7 22

Source: Statistical information Unit, Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.

3.3     Financial Resources

The universities, besides their own resources were receiving funds from HEC but with the decrease in budgetary allocations financial crunch have gripped the newly created universities. The ICP and SBBWU are basically providing education on subsidized rates so are facing more financial problems than AWKU, which has good financial resources of its own through self-finance education system and more than ten sub campuses across KP. The shortage of finances is surely affecting the quality of education, the universities are imparting.

3.4     Analysis of Quality Parameters

The sample is analyzed on the international available quality indicators, best practices and standards fixed by HEC. The study of the literature, personal and telephonic interviews with faculty and students of the sample universities and the personal experience of the researcher reveal that:

  1. All the three Universities have obtained proper charter through laws enacted by the Provincial Government of KP and are affiliated with HEC
  2. Quality Enhancement Cells have been established in all the three Universities but none has generated any valuable report yet
  3. Statutory bodies have been established for all the three universities according to the constitution of 1973 and university ordinance 2002. Most pertinent of those are Senate, Syndicate, Academic council and Board of advance studies. The Syndicate is the supreme governing and legislative body of the university
  4. The sample universities are making efforts to meet the criterion and standards set by HEC through various institutional arrangements as explained earlier but lacks maturity.
  5. The universities, specially ICP and AWKU are new and have not yet properly established themselves. To properly analyze their failures and successes it is too early.
  6. Only SBBWU has been ranked by HEC the other two are not yet included in the list because they are still very young to be ranked.
  7. The universities are facing resource crunch in the field of infrastructure, faculty, finances and research facilities.
  8. Establishment of these universities by upgrading colleges involved in providing tertiary education can be objected to but due the limited available resources of money and space, the upgradation could be justified and also it is not against international practices.
  9. There was no woman university in the whole of the province and therefore one such university was required to improve enrollment of woman folk in higher education keeping in view the cultural limitations of Pukhtun rural society
  10. These universities are a source of subsidized education for the poor population of KP and have increased access to higher education in the province.
  11. Till date no review teams of HEC have ever inspected/visited the universities for assessment/review of the progress of these Universities.
  12. HEC or any other external authority has conducted no Academic Audit of any of the three universities.
  13. The feeding system (colleges) are in the jurisdiction of provincial government and are not covered by the policies of HEC or the universities hence is resulting in a disconnect between the two.
  14. No uniform selection and recruitment criteria/guidelines are available for the appointment of faculty. Every university has adopted its own rules and guidelines. This is a big hurdle in the improvement of quality in the universities as most of the times merit has been compromised affecting the overall moral of the faculty.
  15. Inconsistency in government policies, lack of commitment at the top level, lack of incentives for the faculty and lack of reward mechanisms based on quality assurance can be easily noticed in all the three universities.
  16. One of the major problems observed was that neither universities nor its QECs were ready to share information. It was felt that no quality assurance related data was available with them. The students and some of the faculty members also reported this flaw. They added that the information is not even shared with the students, their parents or the faculty.
  17. The research output of the three universities is not significant. A lot of work is required in this sector so that the objectives of higher education can be achieved. Although a rising trend can be witnessed in the number of research outputs but more attention is required on the quality of output. Table 3 below shows the research output of the sample universities.

Table 3: Research Outputs/Publications of the Sample Universities

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