ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Working Group on Higher Education Reforms, a body comprising leading Pakistani academics, has demanded the immediate appointment of vice chancellors and other senior officials at four federal universities.
Reacting to the longstanding issue of adhocism and non-merit based appointments to top slots in federally chartered universities, the Working Group called for the appointment of vice chancellors at the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) and Allama Iqbal Open University, and rectors at the Comsats Unversity and International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI). All four universities are located in the federal capital.
It also pushed for an end to the victimisation of faculty, especially whistle-blowers, by the autocratic administrations of the universities. The Working Group comprising senior academics, higher education experts and elected office bearers of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association met at the QAU on Wednesday.
The group demanded the formation of a committee, comprising eminent scholars with a track record of professional integrity, to identify suitable candidates for the vacant top slots at the four universities. It recommended that the search process should be open and transparent, whereby the credentials and score of each candidate would be posted to a website.
The group argued that the existing secretive process resulted in the allegedly illegal appointments of incompetent persons to top slots in the higher education sector. It demanded a fair and unbiased audit of all previous appointments of vice chancellors.
It also called for vacant positions to be advertised well before the end of tenure. The interim setups at universities should only perform day-to-day functions. It also resolved to monitor all key appointments in higher education and to send recommendations to the government on the governance of higher education.