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Major demands of protesting UoP students approved: VC.

PESHAWAR -- A week after students at the University of Peshawar staged a two-day sit-in, demanding among others a reversal in a 10 per cent fee hike, the varsity has said that they have agreed to most of the demands made.

University of Peshawar (UoP) Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Muhamamd Asif Khan said that major demands of the sit-in students have been addressed and an official notification has been issued in this regard. He said that the varsity's administration including the registrar, deans and other faculty members have been in talks with the students on an almost daily basis since the students first launched their protest on November 28.

The breakthrough was made on Tuesday after the Chief Minister's Adviser on Higher education Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani visited the varsity to address the grievances of sit-in participants. He also chaired a meeting which included the VC and representatives of 'Muttahida Taluba Mahaz (MTM)' the student group which has been agitating over the fee hike.

Ghani assured the students that both, the varsity administration and he were serious about their commitment to resolve the issues students were facing. The adviser said that a similar meeting will be convened at the university after a month where he will personally sit with the students and the university administration to review the outcome of all the issues.

Dr Asif assured Ghani that the Deans' committee, which has already convened once, will hold at least one meeting with students every week to discuss and monitor the progress of issues.

Ghani assured the protesting students that issues concerning the federal government, such as the inclusion of a Bachelors of Studies programme in the Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Scheme, special scholarships for students from the tribal areas especially those displaced from their homes, accreditation of the electronics programme by Pakistan Engineering Council, will be taken up with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and other relevant federal authorities.

The adviser further pledged that he would personally participate in such meetings to resolve these issues on a priority basis. However, he did not agree to the demand of withdrawing a decision on phasing out of the Bachelors in Arts, Bachelors in Sciences, Masters in Arts and Masters in Sciences programmes.

Explaining his reasons, Ghani said that such programmes were abolished by over a 100 government degree colleges, so there was no justification for continuing such programmes at the university level. Addressing the major issue of withdrawing the 10 per cent hike in tuition fee, Dr Asif said that it will be tabled at the syndicate meeting on December 12. He added that the varsity was all set to focus on uplifting the career of students by generating additional resources.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 8, 2017
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