Islamabad (Staff Report): The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has suspended admissions for MPhil and PhD distance learning programmes administered by 13 universities.

"Further admissions in any of the distance education programmes being offered by universities are stopped immediately till finalisation of recommendation[s] by the committee," read a missive sent to the varsities by HEC Quality Assurance Division Consultant Muhammad Ismail.

After conducting physical visits and reviewing documents, a committee of HEC experts concluded that the 13 universities lacked adequate faculty to run the MPhil and PhD programmes, the statement read.

The HEC's decision will impact about 4,000 students.

The institutions whose distance learning programmes have been suspended are:

Islamia University, Bahawalpur

Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan

Government College University, Faisalabad

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

University of Faisalabad

International Islamic University, Islamabad

Virtual Campus of Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad

University of Peshawar, Peshawar

Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan

Sukkur IBA University

Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur

University of Sindh, Jamshoro

University of Balochistan, Quetta