Islamabad - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has taken strict notice of the opening of university campuses without obtaining no-objection certificate (NOC) from the commission.

In a letter to all the vice chancellors of public and private sector universities of the country, the HEC has shown serious concern on appearance of a few advertisements for opening of new campuses directly or through the concept of franchises public private partnership.

The HEC will also request provincial higher education departments to develop a strategy to prevent this illegal activity. It has also alerted students and parents to beware of illegal campuses.

The universities have been repeatedly reminded that before initiating any academic programme or opening a new campus, prior approval in the shape of NOC is required from HEC, and the universities should refrain from admission of students in their campuses without getting NOC from the HEC.

Earlier, numerous alerts have been issued to all the higher education institutions at different times in last decade. The sub-clause 3 (XVI) of the chapter 4 of the criteria/guidelines for establishment of a new university/degree awarding institution says: “Permission granted shall be restricted to a specified place and a particular course/degree. No sub-campus, branch or outpost shall be established or franchised without the prior approval of the HEC.”

The commission has emphasised that those institutions which do not comply with the minimum criteria for establishment of a degree awarding institution or its campus will not be recognised by HEC. Under section 10 (b) of its ordinance, the commission reserves the right to take appropriate action against any university in case the standards are not properly followed.