ISLAMABAD: Despite being the top-ranked higher education institute of the country, the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) is running its B.A. LL.B Programme without fulfilling the required criteria of getting accreditation from the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) due to which the students are facing an uncertain future.
“We are appearing in the exam but are not sure about our future since the law department is running without accreditation,” a QAU student remarked while talking to Pakistan Today.
Earlier, the students boycotted the classes due to which their exams schedule expected to get disturbed, however, the students later postponed the protest and agreed to appear in the exam only after the university syndicate gave assurance that the issue would be resolved soon.
A good number of students were present outside the law department who participated in the protest as they complained that despite being the top-ranked university, its administration is more interested in money-making rather than taking practical steps to sort out their problems.
The students also said that they cannot blame the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) for not accrediting the law department and rather it is the fault of the university administration because there are only three permanent faculty members, two assistant professors and a lecturer.
It is quite astonishing that despite being the highest revenue-generation department and having the second highest merit, there are only three rooms in the department, the students complained.
PBC had issued notices to seven universities of the country for failing to meet their criterion to offer law degree. The universities included Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Quaid-i-Azam University, Karachi University, Federal Urdu University Islamabad and its Karachi campus, Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai University, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University, Bahauddin Zakriya University and Jamshoro University, Sindh.
The PBC members expressed serious concerns about the law degree awarding institutions and universities, which were not meeting their criteria.
QAU has been asked to stop fresh intake of law students and do not advertise in newspapers about law admission during the current academic year because it has only two permanent faculty members and lacked the required infrastructure.
PBC warned QAU that if it would take a fresh intake of students in 2018 and failed to submit a timely report, they will be fined with Rs5 million.
PBC had asked QAU last year to submit a detailed report regarding law department but they did not take it seriously.
QAU started five-year B.A. LL.B Program back in 2013, but the department did not get accredited despite the lapse of several years due to which the students of law department had protested.
However, the protesting students were assured that their issues would be resolved on a priority basis and a grant of Rs10 million was approved to meet the requirements of the Bar.
The syndicated in its meeting dated January 23, 2018, resolved that further deliberation regarding the issue of accreditation, the appointments on key positions would be discussed soon.
The university website nevertheless still carries a message of being ranked as the top government university having a well-established infrastructure, fully equipped classrooms, computer labs, libraries and hostels making it ideal to impart the legal education.
QAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf told the scribe that the PBC has some requirements and the university syndicate has already approved a grant of Rs10 million for the construction of additional four rooms as well as other things as demanded by the Bar adding that the work has already been started in this regard.
He further informed that the university had requested the bar council to visit the university and expects a positive outcome.
To a question about the building, he accepted that building is not a beautiful one but at least accessible for accreditation purpose.