ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has warned students not to enroll in unauthorized degree programs such as two-year BA/BSc or MA/MSc which have been phased out due to the quality concerns and to save their money and time. According to an official of HEC, a few universities have announced admission to unauthorized BA/BSC and MA/MSC programmes which would earn money for the university but would not in the interest of the students. These discarded degrees would not result in jobs for the students in the future. The decision to phase out BA/BSC and MA/MSC programmes and replace them with a single, composite four-year BS degree was taken in 2004,however, universities were allowed to continue both systems in a transition period. In 2011, the Associate Degree (AD) was announced as an alternative to the BA/BSC degree which is equivalent to 14 years of schooling and entitles graduates to get admission in the 15th semester of respective BS programmes after fulfilling the university’s requirement. The official source revealed that it was also decided that the last BA/BSc exam would be held in 2020 and that the admission to the last batch of MA/MSc would take place before December 31, 2020. These decisions were confirmed in 2017, and again in 2018, 2019 and 2020. However, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus, universities were given a grace period of three months to conclude the final BA/BSc exams before March 31, 2021. Similarly, the deadline for admission to the final cohort of the MA/MSC programmes was extended to March 31, 2021 so that the final cohort of BA/BSc students could apply for admission. In addition, holders of BA/BSc degrees were allowed to apply for admission in the third year or 5th semester of the BS programme, subject to the completion of a bridging semester or any additional course requirements that the university may impose. Those students who miss deadlines to get admissions in the MA/MSc programmes can apply instead in the third year(semester) of the BS programme, which is a far superior option. In case of admission in illegal and phased-out programmes, the students will end up bearing all risks and costs or any associated loss incurred. HEC will not recognize degrees of students who enrolled in conventional BA/BSc programmes after December 31, 2018 and in MA/MSC after March 31, 2021, the source added.