In a major development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), the Higher Education Department has extended the four-year Bachelor of Studies (BS) program to all government colleges. Before this decision, out of 323 government colleges in KPK, only 123 offered different BS programmes. The initiative aims to increase educational opportunities and access for students across the region.
The decision is particularly beneficial for local students, especially those facing financial challenges, as public colleges generally have lower fees than the region’s public sector universities. This decision is expected to enable a diverse group of students to pursue higher education.
The two-year associate degree program is being discontinued along with the introduction of BS programs in all colleges. However, current students enrolled in associate degree programs will be allowed to complete their degrees under the current framework.
Higher Education Department Secretary Arshad Khan stressed that the decision was based on the recognition that people with associate degrees have fewer opportunities for higher education than their counterparts with BS degrees. The move is expected to align educational offerings with the dynamic needs of students and the evolving job market.
To meet the immediate need of teachers after the commencement of BS programmes, the Higher Education Department has been empowered to hire ad hoc teachers until permanent teachers are recruited by the Public Service Commission.
The decision has been widely welcomed by local students, who see it as a positive step towards democratizing access to higher education. The low fees associated with public colleges are considered an important factor in providing equal opportunities to students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Finally, the expansion of BS programs to all government colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa indicates a commitment to expand educational opportunities and increase inclusion and access to higher education across the region. The initiative aims to enable students from diverse backgrounds to achieve their educational goals and better prepare for the evolving job market.