The Reality of Academic Autonomy in Public-sector Universities of Pakistan: A Case Study of University of Education, Lahore

Muhammad Imran Mueed


The study explicates the phenomenon of academic autonomy in public-sector universities of Pakistan in the context of higher education reforms of 2002. The academic autonomy refers to involvement of senior faculty in strategic planning of the university, university’s authority to introduce new programs, authority to revise its curriculum, authority to set admission criteria for students, ability to deal with plagiarism, ability to change from 2-year bachelor’s to 4-year bachelor’s degree and ability to change from annual to semester system. Case study research design was used and University of Education, Lahore was the unit of analysis. The respondents included the senior faculty and the senior administrative staff of the university. The data was mainly collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews. The snowball sampling technique was employed. The conclusions derived from analysis of data tell us that university exhibits traces of Managerial Model of university governance which is prevalent in many Western countries. The university possesses low levels of academic autonomy as senior faculty has very limited representation in decision-making structures of the university. And again for introduction of new programs, revision of curriculum and setting the admission criteria for students the university has to strictly follow the guidelines given by the HEC.

Keywords: Academic Autonomy, Managerial Model, Collegial Model, Nature of Autonomy, Extent of Autonomy

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