LAHORE    -   Punjab University has revised the undergraduate policy to allow students appear for Associate and Masters degree programs as a private candidate.

Chairing a meeting of the Punjab University Ac­ademic Council here on Thursday, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi approved the recommenda­tions to allow deserving candidates to continue their higher education as private students in as­sociate degree and masters programs.

Previously, the candidates belonging to the middle-class and doing jobs to run their families were barred from obtaining higher education as private candidates under the new undergradu­ate policy, of which the vice chancellor took no­tice and decided to place the matter before the Academic Council. The meeting was attended by deans of faculties, heads of departments and professors of the university. The meeting decid­ed that from this year onwards, private candi­dates will be able to take admission to associate degree and masters programs. The meeting de­cided that from the next year, the nomenclature of BS 5th semester after associate degree/four­teen years of education will also be replaced with the masters’ program.

PU VC Dr Asghar Zaidi said thousands of pri­vate candidates would benefit from the decisions made in the meeting. He said that the vast major­ity of private candidates consisted of poor or mid­dle class students. He said that the decision would give opportunity to those students to continue their education at graduate and masters level. He said that the deserving students were facing se­rious problems as the doors of higher education were closed under the new undergraduate policy. He said that the PU administration would not compromise on the standards of education. He said that the affiliated colleges lack the required capacity to adopt the semester system. He said that the teachers and students in the affiliated colleges were also facing serious problems in im­plementing the semester system. He said that he himself had also informed the Higher Education Commission about the concerns of the students in this regard. Prof Zaidi told the meeting that the HEC had also started reviewing the undergradu­ate policy. He said that the sources of income of PU were drying up.