In a historic decision the Board of Governors of Edwardes College authorized the Principal and Management of the College to initiate the process by which degree-granting status would be conferred by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
The decision, made at the governors’ meeting held at Edwardes on Friday, 9 March 2012, begins a transition through which the 112-year-old institution will have opportunity to shape its own educational offerings, design four-year baccalaureate honours courses in arts and sciences, and award its own degrees.
“All agree that the values, ethos and educational approach of Edwardes are unique,” said Principal Dr. Titus Presler during the meeting. “Becoming a degree-granting institution will enhance the contribution Edwardes can make to Pakistan because the Edwardes formation will be offered at a higher educational level and for longer periods of time in a student’s life.”
The Board’s action arose out of the Vision 2013 strategic planning document proposed by the Principal in 2011 and ratified by the Executive Committee last May. The Principal’s Annual Report presented to this Board meeting was organized around the priority given to attaining degree-granting status in Vision 2013, and board members discussed this aspiration thoroughly.
The motion to initiate the process toward degree-granting status at this time, rather than in coming years, was made by member Dr. Nasser Ali Khan, former Director of the Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar, now with the Higher Education Commission in Islamabad, and the Edwardes College Old Students Association Representative. Dr. Khan noted that that the direction of higher education in Pakistan is toward a foundation in four-year baccalaureate education and advised the College not to be left behind in that movement. The approval process may take some time, he said, which argued in favor of beginning as soon as possible. He noted that the College may find it appropriate to continue affiliation with the University of Peshawar for 2-5 years after receiving degree-granting status, so growing into the status can occur incrementally and need not be rushed. Expansion of current post-graduate offerings and university status could come even later.
In a related action, the Board of Governors authorized the Principal and Management to implement a proposed transition to merit and performance as the basis for faculty promotions by 1 July 2012 or later. Further discussions are to be held with faculty as the transition’s details are clarified and refined, with a final plan to be approved by the Executive Committee. It was agreed that such a system is vital to the College’s educational work and will support the move to baccalaureate degrees offered by the College itself.
“We are grateful that the Board started the ball rolling,” said the Principal. “This process will take several years and will not be accomplished overnight. The decision sets our direction, focuses our attention and releases energy for the many educational, financial and infrastructure steps we must take to fulfill the vision.”
Members present at the meeting were His Excellency Barrister Syed Masood Kausar, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Chair of the Board; the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, Bishop of Peshawar and Board Vice Chair; Minister of Higher Education Qazi Muhammad Asad; Secretary of Higher Education Farah Hamid Khan; Additional Secretary of Finance Nadeem Bashir; Bishop’s Nominee Dr. Samson; Faculty Representative Prof. Nasir Iqbal; and Dr. Presler, Secretary.
Attending were Management Team members First Vice Prof. Principal Kalim Ullah, Second Vice Principal Prof. Muhammad Akhyar, Acting Finance Director Sana Manzur, and Administrative Officer Shah Mehmood. Board members unable to attend were Diocesan Nominee Dr. Sarah Safdar and Peshawar University Acting Vice Chancellor Qibla Ayaz.