KU will replace its unique handwritten diplomas with computerized copies
The University of Karachi in Pakistan has decided to replace handwritten diplomas with computerized documents from now on.
The University of Karachi holds the unique heritage of degrees awarded by calligraphers in Urdu. It is the only institute to do so in Pakistan. Instead of typewriters, professional calligraphers are hired to compose diplomas for students in all programs. The prestigious university was founded in 1951 and it has been around seventy years since degrees were awarded in handwritten form. However, the demand for time made him make this difficult decision and end this unique legacy.
During a recent meeting at the University of Karachi, it was established that the decision should be implemented as soon as possible. Apparently, the Ph.D. diplomas and diplomas from other vocational streams will continue in the same old format. This means that bachelor’s and master’s students who will graduate in the future will not be able to be part of this artistic tradition.
The reason the university made this decision is an increasing number of students. It’s hard to write all the degrees when you have to deliver over 300 degrees in a day. KU hires calligraphers who write this beautiful text with fountain pens and nib pens by dipping them in the inkwell. It is indeed an art but it takes time which students do not want to wait. Moreover, it is also the request of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) to produce computerized copies.
According to some sources, the university also takes this decision because there are not many qualified calligraphers in the country. University degrees are printed in English and Urdu, with English text printed and Urdu written. However, with this new decision, the university has ordered the hiring of Urdu composers who can write using computer software.
Some call it the end of an era and others the end of a magnificent legacy. Controller Examination KU also presented its views against this new practice during an interview with a media house. “I am also against computerized degrees because calligraphy makes KU degrees unique,” said Dr. Syed Zafar Hussain. However, he explained that they receive around 500 degree-granting requests in one day. He said that many students apply for urgent degrees which take a period of one month and some apply for the most urgent degrees with a period of two weeks while the normal period is three months. In a situation like this, it becomes difficult to facilitate everyone with a limited staff.
Speaking about the lack of qualified calligraphers, Dr Zafar said, “We have been looking for qualified calligraphers for many years, but no one has been able to meet the criteria. Therefore, continuing to issue degrees in the same format is difficult for the examination department. So, considering the increasing influx of students, the need for time and the lack of skilled calligraphers, abandoning the traditional way of awarding degrees seems like the most suitable decision for the University of Karachi.