ISLAMABAD: The 10th Meeting of the Committee of Heads of University Grants Commission/Equivalent Bodies of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states selected Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad as Chair of the Committee and he took charge as Chairperson of the Committee.
The meeting was inaugurated by Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who welcomed delegates from Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka, to Pakistan. He highlighted the overall assessment in the field of education and literacy and pointed out that higher education cannot be isolated from the preceding levels of education that is quality of primary and secondary education.
Dr Mukhtar said that for countries to develop, investing in education was a basic requirement. He stressed that the SAARC countries faced similar challenges and collaborations and cooperation in research and development could prove beneficial to all.
Prof Hamidullah Amin, President of Private Universities, Ministry of Higher Education, represented Afghanistan, Dr Muhammad Mohabbat Khan Member University Grants Commission represented Bangladesh, TshewangTandin from Bhutan, Fatimath Amira from Maldives, Dr Parashar Prasad Koirala, Chairman University Grants Commission, Nepal Prof VedPrakah, Chairman UGC India and Prof Mohan De Silva , Chairman UGC Sri Lanka expressed their confidence in the new Chairperson to fulfil the aims for enhanced cooperation between member states.
Earlier in the meeting YKA Rohan Aijith, Director SAARC Secretariat, shared the message of ArjanBahadurThapar, Secretary General SAARC. He presented the brief history of the meetings of the Committee of Heads of University Grants Commission/ Equivalent Bodies of SAARC Member States.
On the second day, the Meeting decided that the HEC will prepare a draft agreement on cooperation in the area of higher education for circulation among the Member States through the SAARC Secretariat by the end of October 2015 for views/comments. The Agreement is recommended to be finalized and signed during the 19th SAARC Summit in Pakistan.
It was agreed that each Member State will develop their National Qualification Framework and align this with assessment and accreditation mechanism. It was also recommended that to promote the culture of quality higher education in Member States, it is necessary to establish the SAARC Quality Assurance Network.
Harvard accused of discrimination against Asian students
CAMBRIDGE: A group of 64 organisations filed a complaint alleging that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants in its admissions.
The complaint – with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights – follows a lawsuit that was filed in federal district court in November 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions Inc.
The complaint says that the university sets the bar higher for Asian-American applicants. According to the complaint, Harvard has set racial quotas to control the number of Asian-American students and keep the demographic considerably lower than the quality of their applications.
The complaint cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam from the 2011 book No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, which shows that on the 2,400 point exam, Asian-American applicants have to score an average of 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students, and 450 points higher than African-American students to get admission to the university. The US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights previously investigated similar allegations and found Harvard policies lawful.
Harvard said it accepted 5.3% of applicants who applied for the Class of 2019. Out of 1,990 admitted students, 21% identified as Asian-American, 13.3% as Latino, and 12.1% as African-American. —Monitoring Desk