GCU’s Academic Council approves reforms in admission policy, programmes

LAHORE:The Academic Council of Government College University (GCU) Lahore has approved major reforms in the university’s admission process and structure of academic programmes. The Council approved a policy of entrance test and aptitude interview for admissions in undergraduate programmes of all disciplines except Physical Education and Fine Arts, where practical are necessary.

Apart from the entrance test carrying a weight of 30%, and aptitude interview 20%, intermediate results will receive weight of 40% and another 10% will be given to matriculation.

Sample papers for the entrance tests and guidelines for interviews has been made available on the University’s website.

Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, VC GCU said: “Unfortunately, our admissions system has miserably failed to test the skillset required for pursuing good quality higher education. We find a great difference in the marking standards of various secondary boards. Applicants often have high scores but do not possess basic conceptual clarity, communication and analytical skills. On the basis of marks, they are admitted to disciplines for which they lack aptitude. Our teachers have to focus on improving students’ basic skills; a university is not supposed to impart school/ college level education. Our new undergraduate admission policy will attract the best of best minds and ensure learnings based on leading-edge knowledge”.

The Academic Council also recommended a policy proposal for bringing evening undergrad programmes at par with the morning. Evening programmes will now be called self-supporting. Self-supporting students are now eligible for scholarships, hostels and transport facilities.

Prof Zaidi said: “Self-supporting students are admitted on merit and pay fifty per cent higher fee. They deserve facilities like regular students. Through centralized timetabling, self-supporting students will now be able to take classes with regular students. This will help them better to integrate in the University culture and acquire socializing skills in a formal academic setting. Centralized timetable will also increase options of subjects for them which was not available previously. We have also approved merit-based scholarships for self-supporting students to support them financially.”

The Academic Council also approved the standardization of nomenclature of undergrad degrees. All degree programmes will be called Bachelor of Studies (BS). The step was taken in line with the HEC’s policy and to avoid confusion in the job market where different nomenclatures are used for similar degree programmes.