HEC evolution not devolution
HEC to be evolved not devolved, Rabbani tells Senate
Islamabad, April 09: The Chairman of the Implementation Commission for the 18th Amendment, Mian
Raza Rabbani, on Friday said the accreditation process of universities
and links with international institutions would not suffer due to
devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
the Senate, he said till the devolution of the HEC, it would be
responsibility of the federal government to meet deficit and fiscal
requirements of universities."With devolution of the HEC, the respective
provincial governments will do funding of universities through the NFC
Award," he said.
He also clarified that it was the Pakistan
government and not the HEC that had been providing funds for foreign
scholarships. Rabbani regretted that a wrong impression was being made by
the circles having vested interests that students currently abroad on
scholarships would suffer following the devolution of the HEC.
assure the students who are on scholarship abroad that they will
continue to get scholarship money till completion of their education,"
he maintained.He said the chairman of HEC and vice chancellors of 12
universities were called to the meeting of the commission and they were
told that the role of the HEC would be different following passage after
the 18th Amendment.
He said the HEC chairman and vice
chancellors were also told that their input would be sought regarding
the new role of the higher education commission."Now there is no
justification in launching a pre-emptive move," he said. The news
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HEC: A gateway to superior Pakistan
If we glance through the history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it
is quite obvious that the changes that have occurred over the years have
created an agonising loss to the socio-economic, political and academic
set-up of the country. Changes add spice to life, but unfortunately, in
Pakistan's case, the spice has been a disaster. The recent decision
about the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) devolution has raised the
eyebrows of many who are worried about the country's future.
has been facilitating the development of higher education in Pakistan
for the last one decade. Its main purpose was to upgrade the
universities to be centres of education, research and development.
Needless to say, the monitoring of the universities with special
emphasis on quality assurance has raised Pakistan's standing among the
international universities. The standardised curriculum, and research
and development gave a hope to aim higher for revolutionary changes in
the education sector. Faculty development, curriculum revision,
infrastructure development, scholarships, industry and university
research collaboration have created a competitive environment among the
universities. This approach has given a professional dimension to unveil
new frontiers in Pakistan's education industry.
10 years of the Commission's hard work, excellence and farsightedness
has given great pride and hope to Pakistan at a time when the country is
in the middl of chaos and lawlessness, etc. For example, a noticeable
increase (600 percent) in scientific publications in international
journals have introduced new Pakistani scholars to the world. The
university enrolment was 135,000 in 2003, which has been raised to
400,000 because of the Commission's effort. And now most have been
included among the top 600 universities that is a real achievement. The
introduction of the four-year bachelor degree programme internationally
recognised Pakistan's degrees. -By Prof Dr Chaudhry Abdul Rehman (The nation)
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PML-Q opposes HEC devolution
Islamabad: The Pakistan Muslim League-Q has opposed
the planned devolution of Higher Education Commission and said the party
will resist any move aimed "subjugating the national institution".
Addressing a press conference on Friday, the party's secretary general,
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, said a politically motivated campaign had been
launched against the HEC which showed that the government was bent on
victimising institutions that stood for upholding the rule of law.
alleged that the HEC was being punished for verifying the
parliamentarians' educational qualifications in an impartial manner, as
per the directives of Supreme Court.
"Prior to this move (against
the HEC), the government tried to conquer the judiciary to avoid
accountability and it is also involved in attempts to gag the
independent media," Mr Sayed said.
He said the HEC was not on the Constitution's concurrent list and hence could not be devolved to the provinces.
a question, Mr Sayed said that like the HEC in Pakistan the University
Grants Commission of India was being run by the federal government.
described the filing in Supreme Court of the president's reference for
revisiting the murder case against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto a correct step
because the sentence handed down to the late PPP leader was never
acknowledged as a right verdict.
However, Mr Sayed added: "I also
feel that the murders of Benazir Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto and Khalid
Shahenshah should be investigated properly and their cases should be
reopened to set the record straight." Dawn
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Atta terms HEC devolution disaster
Karachi: A former chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has warned that
the devolution of the commission will be a monumental disaster, fearing
that the government's decision will pose a danger to the existence of
the country as it strikes at the very fabric of a single and united
Addressing an emotionally charged press conference at a
local hotel here on Friday, Prof Dr Atta ur Rahman appealed to the
president and the prime minister to urgently intervene before further
damage was done.
He stated that before going public on the issue
he had consulted top scientists and academicians, who were of the
unanimous opinion that the commission's devolution would lead to a
collapse of the higher education sector, which had made remarkable
progress during the last eight years.
Rahman termed the step to
devolve the HEC unconstitutional, saying that the 18th Amendment through
the 4th schedule (Article 70.4, Federal Legislative List, Parts 1 and
2) fully protected the higher education sector, which was a federal
regulatory authority and autonomous body reporting directly to the prime
minister. It was not a department or division of the Ministry of
Education and had no legal connection with the Ministry of Education, he
The former HEC chairman reminded the audience that in
most federations around the world, higher education was a federal
subject (India has UGC with a federal secretary of higher education; the
UK has a minister for universities and research; Malaysia, Turkey,
Egypt, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and China, all treat higher
education as a federal subject; and in Korea they had given the status
of deputy prime minister to their minister of higher education).
pointed out that the devolution decision was also in defiance of the
Supreme Court ruling regarding the verification of the degrees of
parliamentarians by the HEC. After devolution, the HEC would no longer
be able to fulfil the orders of the Supreme Court, he said, adding that
it was understood that a new organisation (Commission for Standards of
Higher Education) was being created under the Cabinet Division for the
verification of degrees.
"This will mean that degree
verification will now not be carried out by an independent autonomous
body such as the HEC, but by an organisation working directly under the
This represents a direct confrontation with the Supreme Court of Pakistan and amounts to contempt of court."
recalled that all the 72 vice chancellors of Pakistan's public sector
universities had unanimously resolved in November 2010 that the HEC must
continue to function.
He mentioned that the World Bank had
agreed to provide $300 million to the HEC provided its legal status was
not changed. Another $250 million was to be provided by USAID, but both
these commitments amounting to about Rs50 billion had now have been put
on hold and were likely to be withdrawn with the dissolution of the HEC,
The HEC model had been very successful over the last
nine years and maintained its credibility, specifically in the context
of the degree verification issue, but now it was being punished in the
name of devolution under the 18th Amendment, Rahman said.
remarked that the HEC had accomplished more in eight years since its
establishment in 2002 than was achieved in the first 55 years of
Pakistan's existence. Agriculture, bio-technology and engineering had
been the fields in which there had been the greatest impact, he noted.
statistics, he told the media that more than 800 PhD scholarships in
agriculture had been awarded by the HEC and more PhDs had graduated from
Pakistani universities in the past nine years than in the first 55
years of the country's existence.
According to the former HEC
chairman, in engineering a ten-fold growth has been witnessed; research
output (as measured by published papers) has grown six-fold since 2002
(from 815 in 2002 to 5068 in 2010); two Pakistani universities are now
ranked among the top 300 science and technology institutions of the
world; enrolment in higher education institutions has grown from 300,000
to 900,000 in the past eight years; and 20 new public universities have
been established in the past nine years.
He further noted that
the HEC had set up the Pakistan Education and Research Network, one of
the most sophisticated computer networks in the world linking all
universities; video-conferencing equipment was operational in 74
institutions and expanding rapidly; and a digital library provided
access to 75 percent of the world's technical literature (23,000
journals and 45,000 e-books), which "are essential for research and
"cannot be devolved".
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HEC doing its best, says GIKI rector
Swabi: The Rector of the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and
Technology, Jehangir Bashar, on Friday expressed concern at plans to
practically do away with the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
to reporters, Jehangir Bashar said there had been a tremendous
improvement in many aspects of higher education. He said the institute,
although being in the private sector, had greatly benefited from many
programmes initiated by the HEC, such as research grants, acquisition of
research equipment, sharing the costs of faculty and their
participation in international conferences.
The rector feared the
universities would suffer if the HEC was devolved to the provinces. "We
don't want all the good work done by it to go down the drain," he said.
The other academic staff also opposed the proposed dismemberment of the
HEC. They said its contributions and role in producing scholars in
various fields was highly appreciated.
The academician said even
India and various other countries lauded its role and contributions to
Pakistan's intellectual pool and intelligentsia. He said numerous
scholars had been sent aboard to complete their doctorate studies in
different fields. The rector said it was the HEC that encouraged the
foreign faculty to teach in a number of Pakistani universities. He
demanded the HEC should be strengthened by the government, instead of
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PU students protest HEC dissolution
Lahore: Dozens of students of the Punjab University (PU) staged a protest
demonstration on Friday against the possible dissolution of the Higher
Education Commission (HEC).
The students of different
departments, mainly from the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS),
gathered outside the PU New Campus near the Campus Bridge and expressed
their anger over the likely decision.
condemning the possible decision of the HEC dissolution, the protesters
demanded the government not abolish the HEC, saying the step would
jeopardize the whole higher education sector in the country.
alleged that the HEC was being victimized for not cooperating with
the government in the degree verification process. The abolition would
also create problems related to degrees verification, attestation and
recognition at the international level, they maintained.
students remained there for sometime while traffic also remained
slightly disrupted on main the Canal Road and other adjacent roads owing
to the demo.
Similarly, some MPhil and PhD scholars of the
Punjab University also held a demonstration within the varsity campus
and strongly opposed the likely dissolution of the HEC. They said the
entire scholarship programme of the HEC would be at stake as hundreds of
students were pursuing higher education in and outside the country on
the Commission s scholarships.
It is pertinent to mention that
various student organizations, including Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) and
Insaaf Students Federation (ISF), have been organizing protests against
the possible disbanding of the HEC. The ISF has also started a
mobilization campaign in the regard, urging the youth, especially the
students, to stand up against the possible move.
and organizations working in the education sector have condemned the
government for its intension of abolishing the HEC, demanding the rulers
to let the HEC continue its function as it had rendered great services
to promote research culture besides uplifting the standards of higher
education. The news
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