The academic departments of Government College University Lahore have
formally adopted the policy of zero-semester and non-credit mandatory
courses/training for students who require extra-attention. The policy is
approved by the Academic Council.
According to the policy, the admission committees and students' academic
advisors will identify courses for students. Non-credit courses will be of
foreign languages such as Persian, Arabic, Chinese, French, communication
skills, and basic courses related to a discipline.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi said: This initiative is part of the
recent drive to improve the quality of education at GCU. Top-ranked
universities offer zero-semester and non-credit courses to equip students
with skills necessary to be highly competitive in the job market.
Unfortunately, the Vice Chancellor said, Pakistani Universities were
reluctant to adopt this strategy due to limited financial and human
resources. Despite these tangible problems, GCU is committed to going to
any extent to make its students distinguished. We will not charge our
students any additional amount, he said.
A chairperson of an academic department told the media that even sometimes
toppers of boards and other universities could not secure decent grades at
GCU because they lacked basic skills. "Now the University has taken this
much needed initiative to help our talented lot," he said.
An undergraduate student, who is provisionally admitted to a humanities
department, told: "I have been informed by my department to learn Arabic
and Persian languages. They will offer these courses as well. This has
increased burden on me but I am happy that I will be having the same
skillset which an undergraduate from a top-notched department in the same
discipline might have".
An MPhil scholar, who was asked to get registered for a workshop on
conversation skills, added: Graduates of good western universities are
returning [to Pakistan] with added skills. If we do not acquire additional
skills, we will become irrelevant and unemployed. Most of Pakistani
students have this issue. Our University is doing what should be done.