The prolonged delay in organizing the convocation at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan has ignited a growing sense of restlessness and concern among its student body. Despite students having duly submitted their registration fees several months prior, the eagerly anticipated convocation continues to elude them.
Amidst mounting frustration, students point to a glaring disparity between the convocations of yesteryears and the current predicament. While the convocation for the classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018 was held in 2022, those who completed their degrees in 2019, 2020, and 2021 find themselves in a state of prolonged anticipation. The initially slated date for the convocation was set for February 2023, only to pass without any tangible progress.
Saiqa Shaad, a diligent journalism graduate from Rustam, a suburb of Mardan, minced no words in expressing her disillusionment. She labeled the university’s convocation notification and the subsequent collection of registration funds as a stark betrayal of trust.
As a high achiever securing the third position in her department, Saiqa had envisioned herself sharing the convocation stage with fellow graduates, just as her counterparts do in other institutions. Regrettably, the university’s series of postponements have dashed those dreams, leaving Saiqa and many others disheartened.
Saiqa recounted the swift submission of the registration fee in response to the convocation notice, despite it being notably higher than fees at other institutions. However, their eagerness has met with disappointment as months have passed without any concrete developments regarding the convocation.
In light of this enduring absence, Saiqa and her peers sought their hard-earned degrees for job applications. While degrees were eventually conferred, the absence of traditional convocation elements such as gowns, caps, and degree folders has left graduates unable to bask in the pride of their achievements.
This sentiment is widely shared among students, each with their own tale of disillusionment.
Labna Aftab, who clinched the top position in BS Mass Communication in 2020, mirrors this sentiment. She, too, was poised to don the coveted gold medal during the convocation, an occasion that has been indefinitely postponed, leaving her aspirations in limbo.
Labna noted that while other universities have managed to host regular convocations, Abdul Wali Khan University has yet to stage its own ceremony. The reasons for this conspicuous delay remain shrouded in uncertainty, with the governor’s purported unavailability being the only explanation provided. This rationale raises questions, particularly as convocations continue to proceed unhindered elsewhere, even in the presence of the governor.
Dr. Aamir, Additional Controller of Examination at Abdul Wali Khan University, acknowledged the prevailing political circumstances in the country, citing them as a roadblock to convocation arrangements. Dr. Aamir indicated that the university is considering a convocation window between September 15 and 30, when the sweltering heat wanes.
Notably, established in 2009, Abdul Wali Khan University has swiftly ascended the ranks to become a prominent name in Pakistan’s academic landscape. Renowned as one of the nation’s premier institutions, the university annually confers degrees upon thousands of graduates across a spectrum of disciplines.
However, despite this commendable reputation, the university’s inability to orchestrate a timely and meaningful convocation has left students grappling with a sense of frustration and longing for a ceremony that would rightfully mark the culmination of their academic journeys.