LAHORE:September 25: The University of Management and Technology (UMT) has rejected news times published in the print media that the varsity is offering some non-accredited degree programmes. In a statement, the varsity said that the Higher Education Department (HED) was not a major authority to give accreditation to the faculty, curriculum and degree programmes of both public and private institutions; rather the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) have had the rights to give accreditation. In this connection, an urgent meeting was called by UMT Rector Dr Muhammad Aslam in which UMT director general, registrar and other officials participated. The meeting strongly condemned the news leaking prior to the minutes of a meeting of the Higher Education Department (HED) on September 14, which was participated by vice chancellors and rectors of different private sector universities. UMT Rector Dr Muhammad Aslam said, "The HED officials have themselves admitted that the HEC and the PHEC only can grant accreditation to faculty, curriculum and degree programmes of both public and private institutions. He said that there were several discrepancies in the public sector universities but only private sector universities were being targeted. "All our degree programmes have been formally approved by all professional bodies. We never start a degree programme unless getting prior approval from accreditation bodies. While pointing out the issue of delay in granting accreditation to varsities' faculties and degree programmes, UMT's Director General Abid HK Shirwani said that the varsity and other private sector universities were helping the government carry out its agenda of eradicating illiteracy and spreading education but some elements wanted to damage the ties between the academia and the government. "All degree programmes being offered by the varsity are approved by the accreditation bodies and councils concerned," he added. "While the School of Systems and Technology (SST) is approved by the National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC), the School of Architecture and Planning has been accredited by the Pakistan Council of Architectures and Town Planners (PCATP) and the School of Aviation has been approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), all other degree programmes, including BS Architecture, BS City and Regional Planning, Doctor of Physiotherapy, Doctor of Nutrition Sciences, BS Medical Laboratory Sciences, NS Medical Imaging and Ultrasonography are legal and widely approved," he said. Abid added that the UMT had fulfilled all requirements formulated by the accreditation bodies and councils. "Degrees of thousands of students have been verified by the HEC and they are doing jobs in national as well as international organisations, non-governmental-organisations (NGOs), multinational companies and business outlets," he added. He went on to say, The UMT just like other universities has also its own process where programmes are developed and later on approved by the accreditation bodies. There are representatives of the government in UMT's academic council and the programmes getting approval therein are discussed by the board of governors that also comprises representatives from the government, including the HEC, and others. Published in Daily Times, September 25th 2017.