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March 2, 2015

Dual Degree Programme students cry foul


March 2, 2015

A number of students from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) have alleged the institute’s administration of committing fraud with them and putting their future at stake.
Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club (LPC), Sunday, the CIIT students, including Rana Shahmir, Awais Khalil, Arslan Khalid, Shoaib Zafar and others, along with parents of some of the students, alleged that the institute was not awarding dual degree to the students who had got admission in the institute’s Dual Degree Programme (DDP). They said they had got admissions in 2012 while two batches had already graduated, offered with the collaboration of CIIT and Lancaster University, were not awarded the dual degrees despite completing the programme and paying the full fee. They said that 2,700 to 3,000 students had so far got admissions in the DDP. The students and their parents alleged that the CIIT administration committed fraud worth millions of rupees as the said programme was neither approved by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) nor recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). They said they faced economic and education loss owing to the CIIT administration and unfortunately nothing was done to address the problem and instead only a single degree was now being issued to the graduating students. They questioned as to how the CIIT offered the Dual Degree Programme when it was not approved by the PEC and recognised by the HEC? They said the students were misled at the time of admissions, adding that they had now also moved court in this regard. When contacted, an HEC official said, the issue first surfaced in 2010 and the CIIT administration was asked to build its system as dual degree programme was not allowed under any law.
He said the issue was taken up by the PEC and the HEC and it was finally decided in 2013-14 that only one degree would be recognised either issued from the CIIT or the Lancaster University. To a question, the

official said the CIIT had agreed that Lancaster University would issue degrees to the students. To another question, the official said CIIT was a public sector institution.

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