Public universities across the province are likely to do away with the uniform eligibility criteria for admissions to MPhil programmes and set up separate rules after the Lahore High Court (LHC) declared National Testing Service (NTS) illegal on Saturday.
The court had ruled that the universities were under no legal obligation to base admission decisions on NTS results. It said in the absence of a statute, admissions to universities should not be based on the results of these tests.
Currently, all public sector universities in Punjab have admitted 5,000 MPhil scholars on the basis of NTS results.
The decision will not be affect them and the cut-off date for the current NTS arrangement is May 30.
Talking to The Express Tribune, several public sector universities representatives said they would start their own tests.
Some said they would refer the matter to their academic councils.
“We absolutely agree with the decision of Lahore High Court. Universities are examining bodies. We will ask our departments to give their own tests to admit students to MPhil programmes,” said Dr Hussain Ahmad Piracha, spokesman for the University of Sargodha.
The University of the Punjab, which has the largest number of MPhil/PhD scholars in the province (2,500), also plans to do away with the NTS test requirement.
“This year we determined our merit on the basis of NTS but next year we will revert to our original eligibility criteria,” a senior PU official said.
The spokesman of the varsity, however, said the university will wait to receive the detailed order by the court.
“The final decision in this regard will be taken after consultation. We may abolish NTS test requirement if we that is proposed,” the spokesman said. Government College University (GCU) Vice Chancellor Khaleequr Rehman said its academic council would deliberate on the matter.
“Currently, there are some 1,500 MPhil scholars at the university,” he said.
Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) Multan Registrar Malik Munir Hussain said BZU did not need to conduct NTS test for admitting students in M Phil but had to do so because it was a Higher Education Commission (HEC) requirement.
He said if the court had abolished this condition, then there would be no need to hold the tests.
Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Registrar Noshaba Farooq said the university would not take NTS for admitting the students into MPhil programmes after the court ruling.
She said the university was already admitting students in some departments without NTS scores and make it standard in other departments as well.