Selecting a university for higher education
Higher studies: Selecting a university
June 07: Finishing higher secondary school brings on the added pressure of choosing
the right kind of college education with a view to pursuing higher education.
Parents and students alike feel the pressure of gaining admission into their
choice of university and many at the end of the whole exercise feel the
disappointment of not getting into the college of their choice.
Pakistan's universities are limited in numbers and those recognised or
accredited are 132 in all with 73 being in the public domain and 59 in the
private sector. Of these, 127 universities are said to be "fully functional"
according to parameters set by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Most
public universities are structured on the colonial system of education and are
funded by the government.
At Independence in 1947, Pakistan set up further universities in the fields
of agriculture, engineering, medicine and government degree colleges. Recently,
private universities with a high fee structure have also mushroomed widening the
choice for students trying to gain admission into college. Earlier, the
University Grants Commission (UGC) overlooked quality assurance which was later
replaced by the HEC whose website notifies students, parents and other
stakeholders to make choices or informed decisions on higher education options
Applying to a college or university in Pakistan is dependent on two main
principles. Firstly, public universities with a subsidised fee structure admit
students on a merit system. To get into one of the public universities,
applicants must gain certain grades or marks to competitively enter these. Once
the quota within the specified marks level is full, admission is no longer
available there. Secondly, the education system allows streaming at the higher
secondary level (FSc/FA) or "intermediate" level which means that the choice of
course is already determined with students taking pre-engineering, pre-medical,
humanities or social sciences, business or accounting subjects. Those who wish
to pursue medicine will look for the right business school medical or
Consequently, the essential factors impacting Pakistani students who wish to
pursue higher education and their choice of university will depend on the
For many Pakistani students attending the college or university of their
choice, financial status plays a huge part as tuition fees, room and boarding,
books, fees, and personal expenses have to be considered. Those who can afford
it may choose from a range of private universities where the student-faculty
ration is lower. Others will definitely opt for public universities where the
fee structure is subsidised or look for those universities which offer financial
Choice of college will depend on the kind of career chosen for entry into the
job market. It could be a specific trade or technical area, business or
profession which will establish the student's choice of university for that
This basically means what you wish to study. A higher merit is required for a
medical or engineering college based on countrywide competition. A standardised
test is already a feature of gaining admission into the medical profession. Some
Pakistani universities define the minimum qualification needed to apply
including foreign test results for SATs or GREs.
Location and reputation
A student's choice will depend on a suitable location of a university nearby
or one with a good reputation elsewhere with hostel facilities. Universities
such as GIK, LUMS, King Edward Medical College, Punjab University, FAST-NU, Aga
Khan University, Quaid-i-Azam University and International Islamic University at
Islamabad may be the choice for students from far flung areas.
Faculty and campus facilities
If a student's choice is based on the quality of a university then factors
such as student-faculty ratio; average class size; percentage of faculty who
teach; percentage of classes that are taught by qualified doctoral professors
(versus those that are taught by graduate students or masters level) will
matter. Here, accreditation of the course study and university accreditation
with a recognised body is essential.
Thus, Pakistan has its own dynamics in university selection for students
opting for a graduate degree. A lot depends on the indigenous cultural and
economic factors affecting career options as well as gender in choosing the most
suitable university and course of study.
By Ismat Riaz - The writer is an educational consultant based in Lahore. firstname.lastname@example.org (Dawn)
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HEC releases Rs 6.63m for business incubation centre
Lahore: Higher Education Commission (HEC) has accepted a proposal of the University of
Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) for setting up "Business Incubation
Centre" and has released Rs 6.63 million for the purpose.
meeting of the faculty members, UVAS Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz
further said it would be the first incubation centre in Lahore. He also said the
HEC would provide financial assistance to share the setup cost and initial two
years' operating cost worth Rs 11,150,000.
UVAS VC said purpose of the
business incubator centre was to produce successful firms that would leave the
programme financially viable and freestanding, adding these incubator graduates
had the potential to create jobs, revitalise neighbourhood, commercialise new
technologies and strengthen local and national economies.
"There are so
many potential untapped areas which are being discovered and exploited to
enhance the country's economic might and make university self-sufficient", he
added. Dr Muhammad Nawaz further said Pakistan could save annually $ 6 billion
poultry imported vaccine due to manufacture biotechnology products. He explained
that 21 million low milk producing cattle and buffaloes should be preferably
slaughtered to export meat and earn substantial foreign exchange to relieve
debt. He said the vision of the UVAS was to produce skilled manpower for milk,
meat and eggs and make biological products to save the national kitty.
The Vice Chancellor stressed that the varsity had to establish linkage
with the industry to overcome the financial matters and search new avenues for
the student's job placement. He also said such centre would support the linkages
between academia /research and development institutions and private sector to
explore the local as well as international industry through innovative and
Dilating on UVAS products, Dr Nawaz said two
products of the university were going to final process, adding one ton
university quail meat had been supplied commercially to the mega stores.
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PMDC criticised over poor medical education
Lahore: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has condemned Pakistan Medical and Dental Council
(PMDC) for lowering the ratio of medical teachers to students in medical
colleges across the country.
The PMA office-bearers including Dr Tanveer
Anwar, Dr Ashraf Nizami, Dr Izhar Chaudhry, Dr Akhtar Rashid, Dr Kamran Sheikh,
Dr Ehsan-ur-Rehman, Dr Shahid Malik, Dr Sabahat Habib, Dr Yasmin Ihsan and Dr
Salman Kazmi in a joint statement issued here on Sunday said PMDC was directly
responsible for the deteriorating standard of medical education in the country.
They added PMDC officials had recently changed the ratio of the medical teachers
to students in medical colleges across the country and lowered it considerably
to a level, which would badly affect the standard and quality of medical
education at the 108 public and private sector medical colleges of the country.
"If the decision is not taken back then our medical colleges would be producing
quacks instead of quality doctors in the years to come," the PMA office-bearers
PMDC, according to their original rules and regulations laid down
as minimum standards of the students and teachers ratio, had mentioned that
there should be one professor, two associate professors, three assistant
professors and 10 demonstrators for each subject to teach 100 students and there
should be a total of three professors, six associate professors, nine assistant
professors and 30 demonstrators for a total class of 300 students to teach one
subject like anatomy and as many are required for other subjects like
physiology, biochemistry and so on.
This was the reason that Pakistan
was producing world class doctors and today the top physicians and surgeons
across the world belong to Pakistan. According to the recently revised criteria
and reissued regulations of PMDC, they informed, the council has decreased the
criterion for the minimum requirement of the teachers and students' ratio in
medical colleges and now for 300 medical students in a class, any college
administration is just required to provide one professor, two associate
professors, three assistant professors and 16 demonstrators.
termed this as a great injustice that one professor was being forced to work in
place of three professors and questioned the officials of PMDC that how it was
possible that 16 demonstrators would be able to do the job of 30 demonstrators?
This would adversely affect the quality of medical education being imparted at
our medical institutions and ultimately the quality of the doctors being
produced in Pakistan.
The PMA office-bearers further said that, despite
decreasing the criterion of teachers and medical students by PMDC, majority of
the private colleges were unable to fulfil the new criterion as well and it was
just an attempt of the PMDC officials to make medical education a profitable
business. PMA further added that some top officials of the federal government
were unfortunately involved in changing the criteria and were indirectly
responsible for the destruction of the health system of the country. PMA has
appealed to the Chief Justices of Supreme Court of Pakistan and Lahore High
Court to take suo motu action on this and restore the old teachers and students'
criterion in the 108 medical and dental institutions of the country to ensure
the production of quality doctors in Pakistan.
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Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) Examinations Department on Monday announced the results of
various examinations. These exams include MSc Chemistry, MA Arabic, Mass
Communication and Women's Studies, Part-II, Supplementary Examination 2010, MA
Islamic Studies (Morning Programme), Semester System, Session 2008-2010, MA
Islamic Studies (Evening Programme), Semester System, Session 2008-2010, and BEd
Supplementary Exam 2009 & Annual Exam 2010. Detailed results are available
on PU website www.pu.edu.pk.
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Lahore: Government College University (GCU) English Department's Associate Professor Anjum Nisar
has been given charge to look after office of the varsity's registrar. The news
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IUB Dramatic Club raises money for flood affectees
Ahmedpur East: A delegation of dramatic club of the Islamia University of
Bahawalpur headed by Director Students Affairs Dr Mehmood Ahmed and In-charge
Dramatic Club Dr Abdul Wajid Khan called on Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar
and presented him a cheque for Rs80,000 raised from a drama festival for the
Talking to the delegation, the VC said that it is a matter of
immense pleasure that the University students have been actively participating
in the flood relief efforts. This is the reason that national and international
organisations step forward to extend help to the IUB Flood Relief Cell in its
relief activities. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia His Excellency
Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer visited the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and
donated 8 truckload of relief goods. Similarly, Rabta Almi Islami and the German
organisation, Senior Expert Service also participated in the relief and
rehabilitation of flood affectees.
The VC appreciated the sympathetic
gesture of the members of the IUB Dramatic Club. The nation
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Students stage demonstration
Lahore: Students of Government College of Technology (GCT) for Women, Jain Mandir, earlier known as
Polytechnic Institute for Women staged a protest demonstration on Monday against
separation of commerce stream from the college.
The protesting female
students also blocked road near Jain Mandir, Old Anarkali, for quite some time
causing traffic mess on various adjacent roads. Carrying banners and placards
they also chanted slogans against separation of commerce stream from
institutes/colleges of Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority
It is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab government has
separated commerce stream from Tevta institutes and has handed over the same to
Punjab Higher Education Department. Subsequently, all Tevta institutes/colleges
offering commerce education would be now under administrative control of the
Education Department. The protesting students some of whom were also joined by
their parents said their college was the only female college where commerce
subject was taught. The news
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