66 Universities Nationwide Are Without Leaders

The Supreme Court was informed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday that 66 out of 154 public-sector Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) across the country are currently without a vice-chancellor (VC) or rector, or have individuals serving in these roles on an ad hoc basis.

The revelation came during a hearing for a petition filed by the All-Public Universities BPS Teachers Association (APUBTA), represented by its president, Dr. Samiur Rahman in front of a three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa. The petition raised concerns about the substantial number of universities operating without legally appointed VCs, prompting the HEC to present the report.

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According to the HEC report, the situation is particularly worrisome in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where a significant portion of HEIs lack permanent VCs. In Punjab, 29 out of 49 HEIs have VCs serving on an acting charge basis, while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 16 o
ut of 32 HEIs face a similar scenario. The report also highlighted vacancies in key positions in several universities across Balochistan.

On a positive note, the report indicated that in Sindh, the majority of universities have regular VCs, with only a few operating with acting VCs. Similarly, all universities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir have VCs serving regularly.

In response to the concerning situation, the Supreme Court directed the respective governments to expedite the process of appointing VCs and rectors in the vacant positions. Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa expressed regret over the decline seen in various sectors of society, emphasizing the importance of addressing such issues promptly.

Additionally, the SC instructed the HEC to provide comprehensive data regarding the ratio of academic to administrative staff at universities and the status of vacant positions for director finance and examination controller. The court also sought information on the financial resources generated by universities indepen
dently and the funds received from the government.

Source: Pro Pakistani