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HEC finalizes Online Distance Learning (ODL) Policy 2021

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has finalized the Online Distance Learning (ODL) Policy 2021 to facilitate and improve the quality of private/external education for students who cannot afford regular education.

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Replying to a question by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed in writing on Friday, the Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture Shafqat Mahmood told that the ODL Policy 2021 aims at increasing the capacity of the institutions to facilitate private students while ensuring quality.

The minister told that the ODL Policy lays down criteria that must be met by Universities and approved by the HEC before start of distance education.

It was further told that Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad and Virtual University of Pakistan Lahore are authorized to impart distance education and learning programmes as provided in their Charters.

In addition, to impart distance learning programs, the Directorates of Distance Education (DDE) were established in the 12 Universities including Bahahuddin Zakariya University, Multan; COMSATS University, Islamabad; Gomal University, D.I Khan; Government College University, Faisalabad; International Islamic University, Islamabad; Islamia University, Bahawalpur, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur; Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; University of Balochistan, Quetta; University of Peshawar, Peshawar; and University of Sindh Jamshoro.

However, due to violations in terms of offering unapproved program, admissions were stopped from February 2018.

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