Higher Education Commission (HEC) launched Education Testing Council (ETC) with a great fairground, but seems dormant about its future, as most of the universities are hesitant to conduct admission tests using ETC.

According to the sources universities across the country, mostly in Punjab and the federal capital, must go with the directives of the commission to conduct test through the ETC so far, as they have been followed their own testing mechanisms.

HEC formulated ETC in 2016 in acquiescence with judgment of Lahore High Court (LHC) aimed at conducting admission tests for all degree awarding institutes (DAIs) and recognized universities.

HEC sternly directed the vice chancellors, rectors, and heads of all public and private sector universities for conducting their admission tests to adopt ETC’s testing service. “At commencement ceremony of ETC announced and approved in the 1st meeting on May 6, 2017 that ETC tests for admission to undergraduate programmes will be launched from Fall 2017, in 5 broad categories with engineering, medical, basic and natural sciences, management sciences and social sciences, arts, and humanities,” stated in announcement.

For universities to submit their response HEC deadline was June 16, they are in no mood to adopt the HEC-devised testing mechanism referring it as a question of their autonomy. There are 1,110 HEC recognized institutions, counting universities and their sub-campuses, recognized by the commission, affiliated colleges, and foreign collaboration institutes.

Federal universities in list are Quaid-e-Azam University, the National University of Sciences and Technology, the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, the Air University , Bahria University, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Capital University of Science and Technology, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology, Foundation University, Institute of Space Technology, International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), Muslim Youth University, National Defense University (NDU), National University of Computer and Emerging, National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Riphah International University, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University and Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Pakistan.

Only COMSATS, ZAB Medical University and along five affiliated medical Colleges, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat Medical University, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, NUST Islamabad and NDU Islamabad have adopted HEC-devised testing service until now.

Sources said that universities preferred to conduct their own admission entry tests instead of ETC. HEC has neither the mandate to dictate admission tests through ETC nor to cope with task.

Ayesha Ikram, Higher Education Commission Director (Media) through her email said that after first notification issued by HEC over 55 universities agreed to take the test and later 6 more joined. Around 40 more accepted the adoption for Academic year 2018.

Ayesha said that no need for action as to adopt ETC this time was not compulsory, adding that HEC has not forced anyone. She said that it will be mandatory for all public-sector universities from Academic year 2018 and decision will be made by a steering committee of ETC for private sector universities against reluctant to opt ETC.

She said to a question that the ETC has been launched to counter National Testing Service’s supremacy, and said ETC aimed at transparent entry tests across Pakistan and are free to facilitate students. She escaped the question if universities refused to adopt ETC’s testing service what will be future of ETC.