The interim government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa requested the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to discontinue all associate degree programs within the province. Following this, the HEC formally announced the closure of these programs across the entire region. The background of these associate degree programs dates back to 2012 and 2013, when BS degrees were not yet formally integrated into college prospectuses.
However, as time progressed, it became apparent that students were not expressing substantial interest in pursuing associate degree programs. Considering the constantly low levels of interest, the Higher Education Commission decided to eliminate all associate programs throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The HEC emphasized in its official statement about the diminishing enthusiasm among students for these particular degrees. This move reflects a response to the evolving educational landscape and the preferences of students within the region.
A notification issued here said that the students already enrolled in the associate degree programmes shall continue their studies till completion of the degrees. It directed the principals of the government colleges offering the associate degree programmes to approach their respective directorates for a grant of sanction for the opening of market-oriented BS programmes from the current session, enabling the potential aspirants of higher education to get a degree in part in accordance with international standards.
With the phasing out of the two-year associate degree program, all government colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been instructed to cease admissions for associate degree courses. Instead, they will offer admissions exclusively for BS programs in the upcoming academic year. The transition to BS programs will also encompass general and commerce colleges in the region.
However, the implementation was faced with several challenges, including a shortage of faculty, inadequate infrastructure, and the absence of required laboratories in these colleges. Consequently, the introduction of the associate degree program was deferred multiple times. In line with this development, the Education Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has released an official directive. The Higher Education Department has instructed colleges to initiate admissions for BS classes in the forthcoming academic year.