HEC’s New Bachelors Policy: Here’s everything the students need to know!

Pakistani students will no longer be able to pursue a two-year B. Com or BSc degrees.

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  • HEC’s new policy states that the two-year bachelor’s degree program will not be recognized by the  HEC after the 31st of December 2018.
  • The two-year bachelor’s degree programs are being abolished because they are not accepted internationally.
  • The HEC has introduced a two-year Associate Degree program that will extend BA or BSc degrees to four years to make them internationally recognized.

HEC has announced the abolishment of all two-year bachelor’s degree programs from the 31st of December 2020.

On Tuesday, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan passed a notification announcing the abolishment of the two-year bachelor’s degree programs at universities across the country, with effect from January 2021. The statement issued by HEC read:

The HEC shall not recognize [the two-year bachelors] degrees after the 31st of December 2018. For the avoidance of doubt, students admitted to two-year post-higher secondary or equivalent programs after the 31st of December 2018 shall have been and shall continue to be admitted to the Associate Degree programs.

Pakistani students will no longer be able to pursue a two-year B. Com or BSc degrees.

The news of the new policy spread worry amongst many students, and social media was flooded with questions about the change’s impact.

HEC Spokesperson, Ayesha Ikram, sat down with a media outlet to answer some of the students’ most frequently asked questions about the new policy:

HEC will no longer recognize the two-year bachelor’s degree programs from January 2021.

What is the policy?

The new policy states that the HEC will no longer recognize the two-year bachelor’s degree programs from January 2021. Students enrolled in the two-year programs before the 31st of December 2018 will be allowed to complete their BA and BSc degrees until December 2020. However, those enrolled later will not be granted their degrees.

According to HEC, a new post-secondary program, the 4-year-long Associate Degree program, will replace the two-year BA/BSc programs. Under the new program, students will be provided general education, which will teach them marketable skills.

Why was the policy introduced?

The Two-year B.com or BSc degrees are not accepted internationally. Graduate degrees across the world are either three or four years. Any student having a two-year graduate degree will not be able to apply for a Master’s abroad, as the requirement of 16 years of education will not be satisfied. These students will only qualify for admission abroad after they complete both BA and MA programs.

Ikram stated:

We have been working on the policy for the past two years. Universities were first informed about it in 2017 and then again in 2019. If these programs are still being offered, it is the fault of the varsities.

Unacceptable BA/BSc degrees can be converted into acceptable AD programs with minimum changes in the courses.

Does this mean that programs started after December 2020 will be canceled?

The HEC spokesperson said:

The university will be responsible for answering this query. Students should note that the BA/BSc degrees can be converted into AD programs with minimum changes in the courses during the transition period in the first year.

The HEC is facilitating the institutes in accepting the transition by allowing institutes to move from their current program offerings towards the new requirements gradually. Ikram explained:

In the first year, the courses currently offered in BA/BSc programs may be adapted with minimal changes for the AD program, provided that institutions that have taken significant steps towards transitioning to the AD programs continue to bring additions according to the policies and guidelines given by the HEC from time to time.

HEC announces that the two-year bachelors degrees of students that started after December 2019 will no longer be recognized.

Will these students have to apply to other universities from scratch? What about the one year they completed?

HEC’s semester guidelines contain an exemption clause in the credits transfer policy that states that students may be exempted from some courses. According to Ikram, the students who have already completed a year can look for enrollment options in either BS – four-year degree programs or AD programs. The students’ institutes will look at the courses they had studied in the two-year program and decide whether the credit hours can be transferred to the four-year program.

Will the degrees of BCom/BA graduates be considered now, or will they have to take admissions for BA again?

The HEC Spokesperson stated:

Yes, the degrees of students that started before December 2019 will be accepted.

Will universities that were continuing these programs be fined?

Regarding the fine, Ikram said:

Currently, the option is not being considered due to the transition phase from conventional degrees to internationally acceptable systems.

HEC abolished BA/BSc programs, but not the MA program.

Are the MA programs being abolished as well?

Ayesha Ikram stated that the MA programs are not being abolished. Students can enroll in these programs after completing their four-year bachelor’s degree. For students who will complete their BCom/BSc programs by 2020, their respective universities will decide.

What are the AD programs?

AD programs are two-year programs that extend BA or BSc degrees to four years to make them internationally recognized. According to Ikram, the AD program’s goal is to provide broad-based education to students along with experiential learning, i.e., skill-based courses. HEC’s National Qualifications Framework states:

These programs are equivalent to 14 years of education. Before completing it, students can enroll themselves in the fifth semester of Bachelor programs of their choice after a transcript evaluation by the university.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.

    • G ha bilkul Allah pa hi yaqeen hai warna ap logo na tu koi kaser ni chori
      I request to all plz help me humara barha gurak na kara

    • Ooh 1 year humara complete hai result card b hai humara ps but ab ya kia ho rha I can’t understand aik tu atna paisa waste hua or time b en logo na mazak bna ka rakha hua hai loss tu es m humara hi hai en ka kia jayta

  • Aoa ya ap logo na tamsha bna hua hai HEC na tu apna bta diya ka two years program not acceptable for coming year liken ab ap log ya byta jo bacha ra gaye tha PU wla en ka papers LA gaye tu hi wo appear ho gaye na eno na ab phr papers postpone kr diya hai es m students ka qasar wo tu dna cha rha hai na ab agr wo ni LA rha tu hm phr kia kara B.A ka student ab kiya kara ap bs atna bta diya

    • Respectable Kainat liaqat,

      That is the same case with the students of QAU. When universities have delayed papers again and again, how ridiculous would it be if students are held responsible for it?

  • The students who would complete their two year bachelor in 2021, what is HEC’ policy for them?

    Due the the pandemic, exams have been postponed again and again and . The results that were to be announced in late August or early September, are going be announced in 2021, without exact date.

    What should such students do?

  • I think the journalist who interviewed Aysha Ikram was not well aware of the ground realities and impacts of HEC’ notification.

    I put this question forth, the students who were enrolled before December 31,2018, but due the pandemic or supplementary exams, would complete their degree in 2021, no exact date for results is yet known, I here put forth this question, what would they do? Where would they be adjusted? What is HEC and Universities policy for them?

    MA or Fifth semester, where would they be adjusted?

  • Aoa I m currently doing ba asooaiate degree from AIOU.. Two semesters are cleared.. Given papers of 3rd semester in Nov. 2020.. Fourth semester will in 2021. What will be my status. Will hec recognize my degree. I need this ba degree to be presented in office for promotion… Will it be acceptable by my office.

    • Dekhu hum ne tu 2 years k paper diye hmare kuin waste kye years akhr hamra kya kasoor yeh corona yeh halat sb Allah ki traf se hain gareb awaam ka sochain .. hamn apna saal zaya hune ka dukh huga is policy k faisly se hu skta hai zyda students dubra krne k bajaye chor den ya grewb admi ka bchy chor dn kanoon hu tu aik proper treeky se hu yeh kaya mazak hai jb paper diye tu ab degree nhi mily gi i am not agree guzariah hai is ko rokain

  • What is this … two years of my life waste because of this policy i am not agree with this even no one student agree with this policy plz this shedule should start from 2020 to 2022 previous students like me due to this notification i am in na big trouble ..hEC not think about poor man who was earn hard to pay her daughter and his son dues … plz stop this policy

  • BTW, we all know that HEC had informed institutions back in 2018.
    If they were still offering 2 year Bsc that’s clearly their own fault.

  • Is post RN BSN which is two years program after 3 years general nursing and 1 year post basic specialization recognize as bechlor by HEC and world wide…. Please clarify my query

  • I did my b.sc in 2016 and didn’t continue for further masters. But now i want to study further Is it wise to take admission in m.sc OR should I apply for BS 4 years programme ? I have my b.sc degree. Will they give me admission in the 5th semester ?


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