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HEC fortifies units for quality control

ISLAMABAD, April 17(Dawn): For further strengthening the monitoring of quality education at the public sector universities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has set up 20 new Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs), an official statement said on Monday.

This is in addition to the 10 already existing QECs, formed in the first phase of the Quality Assurance Agency project, bringing their number to 30.

The purpose of establishing these cells is to enhance the quality of education, in institutions of higher learning and to vigorously tackle cases of plagiarism, reported in universities, and devise policies for curbing this menace.

According to the HEC officials, the decision has been taken in the background of increasing incidents of plagiarism in the higher education sector. For the initial year, the HEC would provide financial assistance and necessary equipment to the respective universities to run the QECs. Afterwards, relevant universities would be responsible for their operation.

To a query they said, focal persons would be appointed at these QECs for the liaison between the HEC and the degree- awarding institutions.

In case the HEC needs information on a certain issue, the respective focal persons would be contacted. These cells would keep updated information on measures a university has taken for the promotion of quality education.

The HEC is also member of prestigious international quality assurance and accreditation networks such as the International Network of Quality Assurance in Higher Education (IQAAHE) and the Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN).

The HEC has also established a number of councils for monitoring quality of education in different disciplines. These are: the National Computing Education Accreditation Council, the National Agricultural Education Accreditation Council, the Accreditation Council for Teachers Education and the Pakistan Business Education Accreditation Council.
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