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Job market for four-year bachelor's in science (BS) degree

Job market not easy on BS (Hons) graduates
Lahore, July 28, 2008: Despite the Higher Education Commission's (HEC's) acceptance of the four-year bachelor's in science (BS) degree as equivalent of the old master's degree (16 years of education), BS (honours) degree holders are having problems in getting jobs as they are considered "less educated".

The graduates said that despite having a four-year bachelor's degree, they were not accommodated at government or private offices. They held the HEC and their institution responsible, saying that the BS (honours) programmes were not properly advertised. Most institutions in the city started BS (honours) classes with the recommendation of the HEC, as the commission approved that the degree was equivalent to master's degree.

The graduates said that even the good-scoring students of BS (honours) at the Punjab University (PU), Government College University (GCU), Forman Christian College University (FCCU), Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Fast National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Kinnaird College University (KCU) and the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) were among those searching for job and not getting one because they had a bachelor's degree.

A PU Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) student said that he had a BS (honours) degree and went for an interview at a bank, but was rejected for not having a master's degree. "I told the interviewing panel that a four-year bachelor's programme was equal to the old master's degree and showed them a letter issued by the HEC and his department in this regard, but they did not listen to me," he said.

Amer Ilyas, a BS (honours) student at the PU Institute of Communication Studies, said that there was confusion among various PU departments about BS (honours) programmes. He said that according to rules, a BS (honours) degree was equal to an old master's degree, but a number of departments were offering two-year master's programmes after the BS (honours). He said that wherever the graduates applied for job, employers demanded a master's degree. He said that sometimes, government institutions also demanded an HEC letter for the validity of their degrees. He said that foreign universities recognised their degrees, but Pakistani institutions did not.

Sadaf Sadique, a student of LCWU, said that the HEC and even universities' administrations had not properly briefed institutions about the BS (honours) programmes. She said that universities only advertised it during admission days. She said that LCWU was offering bachelor programmes in 35 departments, and hundreds of girls were doing four-year BS (honours).

Rules are known: HEC Quality Assurance Adviser Dr Riaz Qureshi said that the commission's rules suggested that a four-year bachelor's degree was equal to an old master's degree. He said that bachelor's was a four-year programme in almost every country, which was why the HEC started it in Pakistan in 2003. "We have advertised about it in newspapers, and have also written to our affiliated institutions," he said, adding that they had also sent a letter to the Public Service Commission in this regard.

BNU Communication Adviser Arfa Sarfraz said that the university had been receiving such complains, and sometimes institutions inquired about their degree. She said that all universities of the city should start a joint campaign to introduce their bachelor's degree programmes in the market.

No 2-year bachelor's: LCWU Mass Communication Department Head Dr Anjum Zia said that most colleges of Punjab had been offering two-year bachelor's programmes, while universities were offering four-year programmes, which was confusing for employers.

She suggested that all colleges should start four-year bachelor's programmes to remove the confusion. She said that the HEC and the media should guide institutions on four-year degree programmes.

PU Registrar Dr Naeem Ahmed Khan said that the PU had advertised about BS (honours) programmes. He said that he would meet the Education secretary and other representatives on July 28 on the BS (honours) students' issues. He said that the PU was giving jobs to BS (honours) graduates. Daily Times

Your Comments
"Thanks for giving such a nice opportunity to us and i hope it will beneficial for us."
Name: Ansari Md.Haris Shafique
City, Country: Mumbai,India

"I am Naveed Satti from Karachi.I am a student of BS(4 year) program.It is lot of confusion on the mind of the people and the concern student that what may be our degree is not equal to master and more that we will must do ms of one year after this.It is the problem of our education system which is not able to properly announced the rule and regulation of education in pakistan.I think HEC should announce properly.By this the whole confusion will remove.and also explain that after two years of BS we can take degree of Graduation.and more that our MS will equal to M.Phil which we will do in two years.."
Name: Naveed Ahmed Satti
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

"my name is samreen and i am also a student of L.C.W.U and a student of final year,i am doing B.S(hons)in app.psy.My querry is can we opt for M.Phil after competing our Honours or not??what does HEC say about it? "
Name: sadia
City, Country: lahore, Pakistan

"i m hammad AND doing bs hons chemistry but not confirm for my job as i heard some negative oponions. "
Name: hammad
City, Country: wah cantt, Pakistan

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PU faculty opposes media studies dept in Gujranwala
Lahore: The controversy over establishment of a separate department of Mass Communication and Media Studies by the Punjab University administration at the Gujranwala Campus of the university has deepened after some faculty members passed a resolution against the new independent department.

It is learnt that the resolution was passed during a meeting at the Punjab University's Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), which was chaired by its director Prof Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh a couple of weeks ago.

A senior PU professor, seeking anonymity, said the concerns of some of the ICS faculty members were forwarded to Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran. He said two faculty members of the ICS had expressed serious concerns over the issue, saying that by opening a separate department, the university would be awarding two different degrees to its students while no other department of mass communication was compatible to the ICS in the sub-continent.

Quoting examples of the PU Law College and the Hailey College of Commerce, the ICS faculty members maintained that though disciplines of law and commerce were being offered at the university's Gujranwala Campus, yet there were no separate departments established for this purpose.

"The PU is not offering two different degrees in these disciplines and why it was all set to offer two different degrees to its students in mass communication?," questioned one of the ICS faculty members. He said at the ICS, the students were following the semester system whereas there was an annual system at Gujranwala Campus. He was of the view that there was a common perception among the faculty members that the move was aimed at accommodating a recently retired ICS faculty member, Dr Muhammad Shafiq Jullandhry, by appointing him as head of the department at Gujranwala Campus.

It is important to mention that during the ICS faculty meeting, one of the faculty members clarified that the faculty was not concerned if he (Dr Jullandhry) was appointed as coordinator programme.

A PU official, while commenting over the issue, said the ICS director had never sent proceedings of faculty meetings to the VC in the past, adding that sending minutes of this particular meeting was an evidence of the fact that he himself was against the establishment of a separate department at Gujranwala Campus. He said a notification, regarding appointment of Dr Jullandhry, was issued by the Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan when the VC was out of country, adding that Dr Kamran had not allowed his (Dr Jullandhry's) appointment as head of department at PU Gujranwala Campus.

When contacted, Dr Naeem refused to comment saying: "I am busy today you can discuss this issue on Monday but not today". Dr Muhammad Shafiq Jullandhry was not available for comments.

VC Dr Mujahid Kamran confirmed that he had received proceedings of the ICS faculty members meeting in which some members had expressed concerns over establishment of a separate department of mass communication at Gujranwala Campus. He said he had forwarded the proceedings to the director general (DG) Gujranwala Campus for comments, adding further details would be available after he received a reply from the DG. The News

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PU working on developing bio-diesel
Lahore: Punjab University Institute of Chemistry is experimenting in its laboratory on ethyl alcohol, which is obtained from molasses, to get bio-diesel. This fuel is cheaper and cause 70 percent less pollution than other fuels. Over 80 percent vehicles in Brazil use this fuel.

PU Faculty of Science Dean Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Chaudhry expressed these views while briefing about the performance of the institute in a ceremony here on Saturday.

Molasses, a waste material of sugar industries, can be converted into bio-diesel and used as fuel in vehicles.

He said chemical industries are getting molasses from sugar industries and converting it into ethyl alcohol and a lot of money is being earned by exporting it and Crystalline Chemical Industries of Sargodha is worth mentioning here in this regard. He said there is dire need to create awareness among sugar industries so that molasses and money could be saved by converting it into fuel by chemical process.

He said government had earlier introduced ECO-I fuel at petrol pumps as an experiment which could not be developed due to proper advertisement among the masses and the project was stopped. Dr Jamil said the institute has the capacity to provide technical consultancy for the cleaning of waste water at each level. He said the institute had been providing maximum analytical facilities to pharmaceutical and other national industries and this is not only benefiting the industries but also helping to highlight the country's image at international level. He said the institute will offer special courses of chemistry in local industry including leather, sugar and textile in future so that maximum people could benefit from chemistry knowledge.

Institute's Scientific Officer Waheed-uz-Zaman said the institute had been playing an important role to facilitate industries analytically by overcoming increasing environmental and water pollution in the country.

He said that institute's analytical laboratory is certified of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and all industries are getting tests of their waste water. The experiments had been taken on recycling of used plastic bottles and shopping bags according to international standards and if experiments could be carried out on maximum level in the light of these experiments, it can helpful in reducing importing prices and reducing environmental pollution. Special tests on industrial waste water and drinking water are being carried out in the institute's laboratory. PU Institute of Chemistry is also working on saving the marine life from the harmful effects of polluted water of the industries by utilizing the wheat straw, rice husk, corncob and low quality coal.

As many as 72 research papers of the faculty members of the institute of chemistry were published in international research journals last year, Dr Jamil added. The Nation

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