Seven public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been operating without having their own statutes for the last few years, according to sources.
They said that those universities were using the statutes of other universities to run their affairs. It showed the non-seriousness of the administration of the respective universities, they added.
It was very discouraging that of the total 19 public sector universities in the province, seven were yet to develop that important document, sources said.
The universities, which haven’t their own statutes, include University of Science and Technology Bannu, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Women University Peshawar, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khushal Khan Khattak University Karak, Swabi University, Haripur University and Bacha Khan University Charsadda.
Official says it is violation of law
The University of Science and Technology Bannu and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Women University Peshawar were established around 10 years ago while Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan was established in 2009. The remaining four universities were established three to four years ago, sources said.
A senior official at University of Peshawar told Dawn that those universities were established under an Act of the provincial assembly. It was impossible for university to function without having its own statutes, he added. “I am surprised how universities can function without their own statutes,” the official, who wished not to be named, said.
He said that each and every thing concerning a university like appointment of faculties and managerial staff, criteria for the affiliation of other institutions, finance and planning matters was described in the statutes. “You can say that statutes are soul of a university”, he said, adding that implementation of the University Act was impossible without statutes.
Sources said that using the statutes of another university was violation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act, 2012. Most of the public sector universities were functioning under the said Act, they added.
Sources said that in past a clause used to be incorporated in the law for the newly established universities that such universities could use the statutes of the already established universities for five years. However, that provision was missing from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act, 2012, they said. The officials at the helm of affairs had missed the point, they said.
Now the provincial higher education department has planned to amend the law by incorporating a clause under which the universities will use the statutes of other universities for five years.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, who is chancellor of the public sector universities, has also directed the higher education department to frame joint statutes for all state-run universities, according to sources. They said that the administration of the respective universities had not given due importance to enacting statutes.
A senior official of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, when contacted, said that statutes of the university were approved by the senate on May 30, 2013 but the higher education department was yet to notify the same.
He said that officials of higher education department had conveyed to the university that it had some reservations at the statutes that would be sent again to the chancellor for review.
An official at the administration of University of Science and Technology Bannu, when contacted, said that they were using the statutes of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan. However, he had no answer when asked as to how they could use the statutes of Abdul Wali Khan University that were not notified by the higher education department.
Established in 2005, the University of Science and Technology Bannu has devised its own statutes that will be approved by the senate within a month as the chancellor has convened its meeting.
Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2014