Upgradation of Colleges to Universities in KP: Quality Issues

Name of University 2009 2010 2011
AWKU, Mardan 2 23 48
SBBWU, Peshawar 1 1 3
ICP 4 8 24

Source: Source: Statistical information Unit, Higher Education Commission, Islamabad; Daily Dawn, Islamabad of August 08, 2012. pp. 08

Conclusion & Recommendations


The rapid increase in higher education, global competitiveness and a strong relation between quality higher education and economic development has forced Pakistan to increase the number of HEIs in the country. This has increased access to higher education but calls for an urgent need to systematically review the quality and quality assurance mechanism of these HEIs, which still is an issue. The universities considered for the purpose of this research are relatively new and in the early phase of establishing their feet on ground, but there are a lot of issues, which needs urgent handling. The non-availability or sharing of data regarding quality assurance, absence of internal or external review and academic audit mechanisms, lack of incentives and rewards, lack of linkages between internal and external quality assurance bodies and no sharing of good practices and experiences between the departments are few of the hurdles that are hampering the quality assurance in these universities.

HEC has taken some steps and has developed some mechanisms but they are in a very early stage and needs a lot of improvement. HEC is dependent upon the information provided by the universities about their quality assurance without any mechanism for the verification of the information with HEC. The increase in the number of universities has increased access to higher education and is providing opportunities for research. Similarly, the initiatives like faculty training programs, inland and foreign scholarships and the career track systems have improved the overall situation in the universities. It is also true that the sample universities accept SBBWU are new and in nascent stage of establishment, it is too early to gauge their performance in a comprehensive way. To expect big from these universities, there is no other way but to provide them resources and establish a strong monitoring mechanism for monitoring their performance and assuring quality.


Following are the recommendations of the study based on the analysis of both primary and secondary data and the observations made during the research.

Specific to the Sample

  1. Resources required are to be provided so that the newly established universities that are short on many accounts can fulfill their requirements.
  2. It will be in the fitness of things that the universities be separated from the colleges. Separate campuses for the two parts, independent of each other with separate administrative setups will be an ideal arrangement
  3. Uniform guidelines for the appointment of faculty members need to be formulated and implemented. This will improve transparency and build faculty’s confidence
  4. Arrangements for qualified/foreign faculty can make improvements
  5. Performance based cash incentives and reward mechanisms for the faculty will greatly improve the situation
  6. Investment in research can encourage good scholarship
  7. Exhaustive training and capacity building programs for the faculty members can make a difference
  8. Consistency in government policies and commitment at the highest level is required to pull the universities out of its current situation and make them fulfill what is expected from them.
  9. Financial support required to the universities, specially ICP and SBBWU be provided as these two universities are providing education on subsidized rates
  10. The universities being new need to be encouraged and surely they will yield positive results in the near future

General: for Quality assurance of Universities

  1. Quality Enhancement Cells be made more effective and equipped with modern data collection and analysis tools
  2. HEC may arrange regular review visit to universities to monitor quality assurance related matters.
  3. Yearly Academic audit and publication of its report be made compulsory on all universities
  4. The universities may be encouraged to adopt any national or international quality assurance model and adjust them according to their needs, available resources, programs offered and culture of the university.
  5. The ranking system needs to be revised. It should be program based instead of institutional. This will not undermine the efforts made by one department of a poorly ranked university and similarly will avoid any undue advantage to a weak department of a very good ranking university
  6. There should be strong linkages between external and internal quality assurance bodies so that the universities can have proper feedback and can make required improvement.
  7. Multiple ranking criterion be introduced to analyze the universities on varied parameters for a holistic view of the HEIs
  8. All the relevant information should be available on the internet and be shared with all the stakeholders and researchers so that the system could be seen as transparent
  9. There should be more emphasis on R&D and market based educational programs
  10. Quality audits of all the HEIs should be conducted periodically by HEC or QAA. This quality audit should be based on the self-assessment and mission statement of the institutes.
  11. So far, HEC is the only organization, which is working as regulating, monitoring and implementing agency. There should be more than one Quality assurance agencies for HEIs to increase competition and avoid monopoly of HEC
  12. More workshops, seminars and conferences should be organized to encourage sharing of good teaching practice and quality assurance practices.
  13. The current arrangements of HEC for Quality assurance are new and not fully developed. HEC needs to concentrate on these to make them more effective and efficient.


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[1]Javaid R. Laghari, PhD. Chairperson, HEC. Higher Education Medium Term Development Framework (2010-15), pp: 1

[2] Article 37 (a), (b) and (c), Part II, Chapter 2, Principals of Policy, Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan promulgated in 1973

[3] Article 10(1) of the Higher Education Commission Ordinance No LIII of 2002

[4] Report of the Committee on Upgradation of Government and Government aided colleges into Unitary Universities wide notification No. G.O. (1D) No.182, dated 11.08.2009, Higher Education (K2) Department, Government of the State of Tamil Nadu, India.

[5] Detailed list of the Universities affiliated with HEC could be seen at the official website of HEC at http://www.hec.gov.pk/ourinstitutes/pages/default.aspx  (Last visited on 29th July, 2012). The list also includes the sample universities.

[6]Section 3 (1) of the Islamia College Peshawar Act of 2009

[7] The university was formerly known as Riyadh University for Women

[8] Details of Higher Education Institutions in KP and other provinces can be seen and plotted at http://www.hec.gov.pk/InsideHEC/Divisions/QALI/Others/Pages/HEIs.aspx Last Visited 11-08-2012. The number of Universities in KP before HEC was five with a concentration of three universities at one place, University Campus, Peshawar.

[9]For details see ‘The Challenge of Establishing World Class Universities’, (World Bank 2009) and ‘The Road to Academic Excellence’ (World Bank 2011).

[10] Available at http://www.topuniversities.com/. Last Visited 15-08-2012

[11] The detailed criteria and the university rankings can be seen at the http://www.hec.gov.pk. Last visited 11-08-2012

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