33rd Commission Meeting Reviews, Endorses HEC Policy Decisions
Islamabad, October 20, 2018: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will formulate Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) to collect data of all new and running universities in order to ensure transparency in the functions of higher education system. This was stated by Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman, HEC while addressing a press conference after the 33rd Commission meeting which was held after a lapse of 32 months.
Dr. Banuri said the policy decisions taken by HEC in the last two years and eight months regarding funding and regulation of universities, administrative matters, and quality were presented before the Commission for review. He added that the Commission appreciated the HEC’s endeavours and endorsed its initiatives towards achievement of its objectives including improvement of quality, access, and relevance. He said the Commission has directed for reviewing the university funding formula so as to ensure performance based allocation of funds. He said the Commission has directed for forming separate committees for reforms in higher education system in order to bring improvement in quality, access and relevance.
HEC encourages the private sector to come forward to serving the nation, however, Dr. Banuri said, the rules and regulations cannot be compromised. He said the universities which open their campuses need to obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from HEC.
He advised students to check HEC website before taking admission in any university campus or programme. The universities committing violation of HEC rules will be penalised and they will have to pay three times fee of the students whose degrees are not attested by HEC, he revealed. “Foreign universities are welcomed to set up their campuses in Pakistan,” he said. He maintained that these universities will be treated as per HEC rules for Pakistani universities.
He said the Commission admired the HEC’s efforts for promotion of ICT in Pakistan, especially the establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN). He underlined that the Commission has directed for strengthening the internal ICT systems of universities so that they can be interconnected nationally and internationally. He said HEC Edu TV, a web-based television channel, has been made active so that students could ask their questions directly. “I will be on air every month and answer questions,” he said. He said HEC has reviewed its attestation and equivalence policy, which the Commission has endorsed. He informed the media that HEC plans to connect the attestation and equivalence system to HEIMS so as to make the degree verification system online.
With reference to HEC’s policy on plagiarism, the Chairman said HEC is working to tighten the policy so as to stop false accusations and address loopholes which are exploited by people. He said high profile plagiarism cases are under consideration in the Commission and their decisions will be made public once finalised.
The Commission has directed the HEC to devise a policy to facilitate disabled students studying in universities. The policy will be presented before the Commission in its next meeting, he informed. He urged the Government to give 20 per cent increase in the higher education sector’s budget. He informed the media persons that negotiations have been started with the World Bank for fund raising to further strengthen Pakistani universities. He underscored that a committee will be formulated to work on feasibility of opening campuses of Pakistani universities abroad.