Varsities should implement strict policies to control harassment on campus: VC PU

Prof. Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhtar says teachers, students, and all staff members have an important role in nation-building

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Professor (Prof.) Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhtar has said that universities should strictly implement their policies regarding sexual harassment on campus.

While talking exclusively to Minute Mirror on the recent incidents of harassment at some of the country’s leading universities, Prof. Dr. Akhtar said, “Universities should implement their sexual harassment policies strictly on campus.”

He said, “Nations can be built with teamwork, it is not an individual’s duty to deal with all the problems. We have formed special committees from which we get a weekly report on the conduct of people present on campus.”

Punjab University is among the top 801-1000 universities in QS World University Rankings 2022. On the other hand, in Asia, it stands at the 178th position.

“Just in a span of two years, Punjab University has elevated its ranking and we saw a jump of 54 points. It was ranked 232nd in 2018’s ranking of Asian universities. Initiatives in governance and implementation of new rules by the administration is the root cause for improvement in international ranking,” said Akhtar.

Punjab University had ended 50 of its MPhil and Ph.D. programs due to poor quality. But the university has now started 40 of them after getting senior academics on board.

The vice chancellor said, “For the first time we have allocated a hefty amount of Rs380 million for research last year. And still, we pay $300 to $500 for external evaluation of the thesis from international academics. We have revived most of the programmes which were shut due to poor quality.”

Punjab University is one of the oldest institutes of the sub-continent and the fourth university to be established by the British colonial authorities.

“This institute has the history of producing cream of sub-continent in academic. Currently, many students of this university are sitting on highly esteemed posts, even as vice chancellors. Almost 13 faculties of our university are also in good rankings at the international level. This is all the outcome of policy implementation by the authorities.”