Standard 3 - Institutional Autonomy & Academic Freedom

Standard 3 – Institutional Autonomy and Academic Freedom

(Conforms to Standards 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 & 3.1s)


The Institution:

As an institution, Avicenna Medical College is guided by the vision and mission of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the regulatory authority i.e., Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PM&DC) and the University of Health Sciences (UHS). The guidelines issued at various levels are followed while planning and achieving the outcomes of the policies that are made at the college. The regulations of the PM&DC and all the decisions of the council are incorporated in the college policy. The regulations circulars and instructions of the University of Health Sciences are the guiding factor for the formulation of various policies at Avicenna Medical College; it being affiliated with the University of Health Sciences.


As an organization, the college operates as a constituent of Abdul Waheed Trust which is a social welfare organization registered under the Societies Act. The trust deed and the memorandum and article of association are considered binding on the trust and its constituent components. The trust deed as well as the memorandum and article of association give more than adequate autonomy and freedom to each institution to plan, execute and monitor all types of activities.


Principal as the Chief Executive and Financial Authority:

Abdul Waheed Trust has a board of trustees and some trustees are included in the college board of governors. The board of governors has, for the purpose of smooth running of the college, formed the executive committee from amongst its members for prompt decisions. The board of governors has given adequate autonomy and freedom to its college, its principal, the academic council and to the entire faculty to plan execute and monitor educational activities.


The principal of the college is a member of the executive committee and has total authority and control over the college and its teaching hospital, and assumes the role of the chief executive. The principal has financial autonomy and has the freedom to recruit and engage any human resource that may be required for the college. The principal also has the freedom to sanction funds for the purchase of any equipment or stores that may be required. The principal has the autonomy of giving all financial sanctions on any matter that concerns the smooth running of Avicenna Medical College.


Besides being the member of the executive committee, the principal is also the chairman of the college academic council. His/her attendance at both the forums result in ensuring that there is no loss of time in decision making. Likewise, the principal has ready access with the university authorities and is the chief executive of the college for all matters pertaining to Pakistan Medical & Dental Council and the University of Health Sciences.

The college as an institution has total autonomy in the use of funds as the principal is the sanctioning authority. His/her presence in the executive committee as well as the academic council and also at various levels with the University of Health Sciences make him the focal person for all decision making for the benefit of quality medical education.


Effective College Academic Council:

Avicenna Medical College has a very effective and autonomous academic council. It comprises of the principal as the chairman. All professors and head of departments as members. The academic council has total autonomy to determine the institutional academic policies, curricular delivery techniques and determine clear learning objectives in each discipline. As an autonomous body it exercises the role of supervisory and oversight body.


The college academic council meets frequently to monitor the progress of the curriculum and achievement of the standards. All heads of departments give necessary presentations on the curricular cover and the results achieved. Also highlighting the problems of faculty and students and pointing out students who are academically weak.


The academic council has freedom to opt for extra evening classes and self-study periods to help the weak students develop the concepts and come up to the level of the rest of the class. The academic council also is the sole authority to decide as to what student need not be referred for the examinations in light and pursuance of the rules of PM&DC and the UHS. 


Study Boards and Committees:

Avicenna Medical College has formulated various committees for a focused implementation of the policies made by the academic council. These committees have full freedom to monitor various programs, report progress and suggest reviews and changes if any. Currently the following committees function:


  1. Curricular Committee
  2. Assessment Committee
  3. Evaluation Committee
  4. Clinical Skills Committee
  5. Management Review Committee
  6. Medical Privilege Committee
  7. Human Resource Committee
  8. Research Committee


Avicenna Medical College believes and understands that academic freedom and institutional autonomy are a must for the progress of the institute and the achievement of the standards set by the PM&DC and the UHS. Whereas the board of trustees and board of governors have taken full responsibility for the availability of funds. They have also vested financial powers in the principal who has total financial autonomy.


The college is provided a detailed curriculum by the UHS where in the design, selection, implementation and assessment of the curriculum is entirely based on the standards of the University of Health Sciences. However keeping the learning strategies in mind it is the department of medical education at Avicenna Medical College that has total freedom in the programming, conduct and implementation of the policies set out by the college academic council.


Note: Avicenna Medical College has been guided by the regulation of 2012 clauses 19 to 29 in the formulation of the policy providing adequate autonomy and freedom of planning, execution and review to the Principal and all members of the faculty.