Education Testing Council to have complete authority for entrance exams for admission to academic degree programs in higher education institutions as well as for scholarships and employment in national and international agencies, says HEC.
Higher Education Commission (HEC) notified the body on Thursday that all government and private universities would not be free to conduct entry test and grant admissions to the students. The notification stated:
“The ETC shall concentrate on holding valid and reliable testing for entrance exams for admission to an academic degree program in Higher Education Institutions of Pakistan as well as for scholarships and employment in HEC and other national and international agencies. The chairman HEC shall be the competent authority of the ETC. One-half of members of the Council shall constitute the quorum for meetings of the Council wherein all decisions shall be taken and expressed through majority vote.”
The Education Testing Council initially will conduct tests for undergraduate admissions and afterward will move on for MS, Ph.D. admissions. The test results granted by this body would be valid for a period of two years.
Business Recorder reports that the tests would be free for all students and the government would bear all the costs. The tests would be conducted twice a year where students who seek admission in public and private universities will appear.
In March 2014, Lahore High Court declared the NTS, a private body, used to conduct recruitment tests for universities and private or public institutions, illegal. In effect to the court’s order, Education Testing Council was formed to conduct all such tests.
Many institutions have raised objection over HEC’s decisions as they say that HEC doesn’t have such mandate. They are of the view that it is supposed to make laws and policies for higher educational institutions both in the public and private sectors. The notification said:
“The Council shall prescribe detailed terms of reference and rules and regulations for its operations, with the approval of competent authority within six months from this day ie January 25, 2017.”
Recently, HEC has declared 75 educational institutions as ghosts as they only exist on paper and have no physical existence and is yet to investigate 15 universities in Phase 2 of their inquiries. Previously, HEC shut down 31 Ph.D. and 26 MPhil programs in some universities across the country as the universities failed to meet the minimum quality criteria required, in its move to promote quality higher education.