HEC Student Loan Programme
HEC Student Loan Programme to help needy students
Islamabad, Jan 05: Higher Education Commission (HEC) through its 'Student Loan Programme' will
extend the opportunity of higher education to all the needy students of
public and private institutions of higher learning. Talking to APP, HEC
Executive Director, Sohail Naqvi informed that the HEC is in process of
designing a model for development of a sustainable Student Loan
Programme in Pakistan, which can help brilliant students in acquiring
higher studies, extending loan facility to them.
will benefit the students who are unable to get higher education due to
financial constraints, following transparent procedures and best
international practices. "the scheme will not only cover tuition fee of
the students but all costs," he said. "We are discussing how the
programme will be executed for those students in Pakistan who cannot
afford to meet expenses of higher education. The students will be
provided loan on subsidized interest rate with the condition of
returning as soon as they become independent and get jobs," Dr Sohail
said. The main focus is to prepare the policy document for the programme
which can be acceptable for all the stakeholders, he said. Mostly
regular banks remain at the front in extending loan facility for the
students and this programme will be implementation in collaboration with
The commercial banks show lack of interest in such
projects as they are not sure about return of loans. And these banks
have no tools to verify either the student is deserving one or not, Dr
A mechanism will be in placed at the institution
level to verify the financial conditions of the students to make the
programme more transparent. "We are preparing a preliminary design of
the programme and discussing modalities in various scenarios with the
special emphasis on supporting banks and protecting these from risk loan
defaults," Dr Sohail said.
National Education Policy-2009 sets
target to increase enrolment at higher education level from existing 4.6
per cent (1.1 million approximately) including colleges and distance
education to 10 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2020 which meant
tripling the enrolment of higher education sector in the next six years,
Recently, HEC officials held a meeting with the
other stakeholders and discussed the designing and development of the
draft of the programme in compliance with the directives of the
President of Pakistan to develop a sustainable Student Loan Programme.
The meeting was attended by State Bank of Pakistan Additional Director
banking policy and regulation Mahmood Shafqat, Deputy Secretary
(Finance) Aamir Mahmood, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Student Loan
Scheme Wing vice president Shamim Iqbal, HEC Director General (Finance)
Ghulam Mujtaba Kayani, and SAP/BAS Coordinator Khawaja Zahid Hussain.
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Education ministry for relocation of HEC
Islamabad: The Ministry of Education has presented a set of recommendations to NA
Standing Committee on Education in which it reiterated to relocate
Higher Education Commission (HEC) with it, apparently to end independent
status of the commission entrusted with the task to monitor higher
education learning in the country, the sources said here on Monday.
text of recommendations available with this scribe revealed that the
Ministry of Education advocated that HEC, already kept at Federal Level
under Federal Legislative List, needs to be relocated with the ministry.
Grants Commission (UGC) always remained as a body of Ministry of
Education till 2002, when it was re-designated as the Higher Education
Commission (HEC). It needs to be relocated with the Ministry of
Education," the recommendations said.
The draft recommendations
have been submitted on the directives of Chairman NA Standing Committee
on Education Abid Sher Ali who is getting input from all relevant
departments over transfer of key powers of the ministry to the provinces
under 18th Amendment.
It has also been stated in the
recommendations to keep the Ministry of Education intact as per
functions under Federal Legislative List and core curriculum up to
Higher Secondary Level must be within the federal jurisdiction.
ministry also insisted that Islamic Education and Centres of Excellence
should remain federal subject as it has necessary infrastructure to
effectively perform in these areas.
The sources said the high
officials of the Ministry of Education were of the view that impact of
18th Amendment should be to the extent of transfer of matters/subjects
included in the concurrent list and not on the matters given in Federal
The draft underlined the need not to affect
administrative powers given in entry 15 to 17 in the Federal Legislative
List including control over libraries, museums, federal agencies and
institutes for research, technical training and promotion of special
studies and dealing with issues related to Pakistani students studying
in foreign countries.
It stated, "Article 142(d) of the
Constitution continues to empower the Federal Parliament to legislate
for such areas in the Federation which are not included in any province
and authorize the Federal Government to exercise executive authority on
subjects, which otherwise are not on the Federal Legislative List."
has been stated that by virtue of this provision, the Ministry of
Education would be responsible for 1.464 million students and 79,744
employees in Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fata and
According to official data, a total of 13,216 education
institutions having 1,463,554 students are working under the Ministry of
Education in ICT, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata. The number of
employees in these institutions has risen to 79,744 - 61,189 (teaching)
and 18,555 (non-teaching).
"Entry 31 in Part I of Federal
Legislative List regarding Corporations also covers a number of
statutory entities of Ministry of Education, which enjoy the status of
body corporate such as National Book Foundation (Islamabad), Federal
Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Islamabad) and Higher
Education Commission," the draft maintained.
It further stated,
"After omission of Concurrent List, 47 institutions/entities still
remain under federal jurisdiction accruing from Part-I and Part-II of
the Federal Legislative List. These should remain with the Ministry of
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HEC asks Sindh governor to suspend charter of FAST Varsity
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has finally made a move to support
its long trumpeted slogan of quality assurance and have written a letter
to the Sindh governor to suspend the charter of University of EAST for
not meeting the cabinet criteria.
According to well placed
sources, a letter No 16-8/HEC/A&A/2009 dated December27, 2010 has
been sent to Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan in which it has been
asked to issue necessary instructions which mainly include suspension of
charter of the University of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology
According to the information, University of EAST,
Hyderabad, established under Sindh Act No. XI of 2004 on July 28, 2004.
Despite the lapse of six years, the university has still not been able
to meet the requirement of federal cabinet criteria.
HEC's inspection committee has visited the university twice on August
20, 2007 and May 22, 2008. Each time the university could not meet the
cabinet criteria and was asked to improve. The university was inspected
for the third time by the committee, which included representatives of
the charter inspection and evaluation committee (CIEC), Government of
Sindh on November 11, 2010. The committee found that the university
still lacks critical areas of infrastructure, finance, and qualified
faculty, availability of required books and journals and laboratory
It is worth mentioning here that there was only one
regular faculty member, whereas university offers a variety of degree
programmes in applied subjects like BBA, MBA, BCS, MCS, Education,
B.Tech, M.Tech and M.Phil programmes.
The issue of alleged
involvement of the university in selling the degrees to non-bonafide
students is also raised in the letter. According to the information, HEC
had a severe political pressure for taking the decision back as a
political worker of one of the major political party in the country also
received a fake degree from the said university.
The letter also
requested the governor to ask the management of the university to stop
further admissions w.e.f. January 1, 2011 till the university meets the
cabinet criteria requirement. Moreover degrees of those admitted on and
after January 1, 2011 will not be recognised by the HEC.
pertinent to mention here that HEC has already published an
advertisement in daily Jang, Rawalpindi on 31st December where it has
warned parents and students that the degrees of students admitted after
December 31, 2010 into University of EAST would not be recognised by the
It has been further asked that the governor should advise
the university to transfer currently enrolled students to the other
institutions of higher learning.
It has been established both by
the HEC and CIEC, Government of Sindh, which the university remains a
source of mushrooming substandard/low quality education, and was
implicated in malpractices of business of underserved admissions and
fake degrees. At present, the university has no registrar, no controller
of examinations and no director finance.
It has also been
mentioned in the letter that the president has extended the grace period
for private/public degree awarding institutions to meet the
requirements of cabinet criteria in term of physical, financial and
academic infrastructure from June 30, 2008 to June 30,2010, which has
also lapsed and poor state of affairs is prevailing in the university of
It further mentioned that the president has also desired
that after the grace period, the charters of the
universities/institutions not meeting the criteria requirements would be
withdrawn and their status will be relegated to the level of affiliated
The performance of the University of EAST, Hyderabad,
was reviewed in the 24th meeting of the commission held on November 30,
2010 wherein it was also decided that the existing category of the
University of EAST 'Y' be reverted back to 'Z'.
HEC Chairman Javed Laghari confirmed that HEC was taking measures
to suspend the charter of the University of EAST. "It is not the
decision taken on the basis of assumptions but we have concrete
evidences in this regard. Our team visited the campus thrice and had
warned them repeatedly to meet the minimum criteria," he said. "We can't
let the education institutions to darken the future of the youth. We
want only those institutions to work that can impart quality education
and can contribute to utilise the potential of youth," he said.
said that HEC was very keen to improve the quality education in
educational institutions and people would hear many more news in this
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HEC to encourage institutions to use Turnitin
Islamabad: Higher Education Commission (HEC) is encouraging institutions to use Turnitin
service to check assignments, papers, reports and thesis of students.
allows students and instructors to review matches between the submitted
work and the internet sources. Citations, quotations, and bibliographic
material are all scanned by the Turnitin to determine an overall
similarity percentage. This training and continuous interaction with
students and scholars will help in developing quality research culture. A
training session was held at the National University of Science and
Technology (NUST), Islamabad for the NUST faculty to curb plagiarism in
Dr. Asif Raza, Pro Rector, chaired the session,
NUST introduced integration of Moodle/Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Trunitin has been provided to 60 public sector
universities in order to check cut-paste text in documents like papers,
theses, reports. Turnitin can be integrated in these LMS systems to save
time and effort.
Many universities are using LMS for keeping
track of whole academic activity. Moodle is an Open Source LMS,
developed initially at Curtin University Australia, to automate the
administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training
events. LMS provides an online platform for both the teachers and
students for extending learning outside the classroom boundaries. Dr.
Khalid mentioned how the LMS team managed to successfully integrate
Moodle and Turnitin. He thoroughly demonstrated how the system works.
Muneer Ahmed, Deputy Director (Quality Assurance) HEC demonstrated three
components of Turnitin like Originality Check, Peer Mark and Grade
He informed the participants that during 2009 almost 45000
documents were checked and only 18000 were within acceptable range,
which shows that cut-paste culture still exists and there is a need to
eradicate that through joint efforts. Quality Assurance Division of the
HEC is working to improve research output in the country by taking
different steps, including support to journals, tenure track system,
faculty appointment criteria, MPhil and PhD criteria and provision of
Plagiarism Detection Service (Turnitin) to the public sector
universities. The news
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