Govt's con­tin­ued sup­port to pro­mote HE promised

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

Mu­nawar Naqvi ISLAMABAD: Ah­san Iqbal, Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Plan­ning, De­vel­op­ment and Re­forms Thurs­day as­sured the Vice Chan­cel­lors and Rec­tors of all pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor uni­ver­si­ties that the Govern­ment will con­tinue to sup­port and fur­ther strengthen higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and in­crease fund­ing for build­ing a knowl­edge econ­omy. He was ad­dress­ing the Vice Chan­cel­lors of all pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor uni­ver­si­ties who met in Islamabad. The Min­is­ter em­pha­sized that the con­ti­nu­ity of poli­cies was in­dis­pens­able if we have to de­velop higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in line with in­ter­na­tional prac­tices and make our uni­ver­si­ties be­come real en­gines of so­cio-eco­nomic progress. He stressed that no de­vel­oped coun­try in the world had pro­gressed with­out a clear roadmap and that is the rea­son the Govern­ment has de­fined very clear goals in its Vi­sion 2025, and ed­u­ca­tion and re­search have been in­cluded in the top­pri­or­ity ar­eas. The Min­is­ter said that the uni­ver­si­ties should be fac- tories of ideas as well as so­lu­tions to prob­lems of our econ­omy and so­ci­ety. He said that the knowl­edge plat­form of Pak­istan will have to be aligned with the pro­duc­tion plat­form if we have to en­sure eco­nomic progress of Pak­istan, adding that to achieve this ob­jec­tive, our uni­ver­si­ties will have to play a key role. All the heads of higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions across Pak­istan had gath­ered in Islamabad to de­lib­er­ate on the role of higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in the post 18th Amend­ment sce­nario as well as dis­cuss var­i­ous is­sues re­lated to the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion and re­search. The meet­ing also dis­cussed mush­room growth of sub-cam­puses of uni­ver­si­ties with­out ob­tain­ing No Ob­jec­tion Cer­tifi­cate as well as grant of af­fil­i­a­tions to col­leges with­out com­plet­ing re­quired for­mal­i­ties. Ear­lier in his pre­sen­ta­tion, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chair­man HEC while dis­cussing qual­ity is­sues said that steps taken by HEC and the uni­ver­si­ties have led to im­prove­ment in qual­ity of higher ed­u­ca­tion, adding that pace of im­prove­ment is slow. He said that qual­ity is be­com- ing a ma­jor con­cern. He said: "Whether it is qual­ity of stu­dents, fac­ulty mem­bers, re­search, gov­er­nance or any other as­pect of higher ed­u­ca­tion, there needs to a se­ri­ous ef­fort to en­sure that qual­ity is not com­pro­mised at any cost. Even in some cases, steps taken by some in­sti­tu­tions are hav­ing ad­verse ef­fect on the qual­ity of higher ed­u­ca­tion." The Chair­man brought up is­sues re­gard­ing up-gra­da­tion of fac­ulty po­si­tions, fac­ulty ap­point­ment, pro­mo­tion cri­te­ria and es­pe­cially the Ten­ure Track Sys­tem. "TTS has not been im­ple­mented as orig­i­nally en­vi­sioned while many uni­ver­si­ties have yet to adopt TTS and many uni­ver­si­ties are not hav­ing fresh PhDs on TTS." Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that the HEC has taken strict no­tice of the open­ing of Univer­sity cam­puses with­out ob­tain­ing No Ob­jec­tion Cer­tifi­cate (NOC). He said that the uni­ver­si­ties have been re­peat­edly re­minded on open­ing of new cam­puses di­rectly or through the con­cept of fran­chises pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship but re­sponse from uni­ver­si­ties was not en­cour­ag­ing. He re­it­er­ated that those in­sti­tu­tions which do not com­ply with the min­i­mum cri­te­ria for es­tab­lish­ment of a de­gree award­ing in­sti­tu­tion or its cam­pus will not be rec­og­nized by HEC. The Vice Chan­cel­lors' Com­mit­tee Meet­ing, af­ter two-day de­tailed de­lib­er­a­tion, unan­i­mously adopted a res­o­lu­tion which said that the HEC Or­di­nance be im­ple­mented in let­ter and spirit and let HEC, Islamabad con­tinue per­form­ing as a cen­tral con­trol­ling au­thor­ity to en­sure qual­ity, rel­e­vance and ac­cess to Higher Ed­u­ca­tion through its ex­ist­ing poli­cies. The res­o­lu­tion fur­ther rec­om­mended said that the uni­ver­si­ties, es­pe­cially the ones from smaller prov­inces are pass­ing through a crit­i­cal tran­si­tion and they will take at least an­other 10 to 15 years to sta­bi­lize. Any change in the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion gov­er­nance, struc­ture and sys­tem will ad­versely im­pact their per­for­mance. The Vice Chan­cel­lors agreed that in the na­tional in­ter­est and in the in­ter­est of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, the pro­vi­sion of 18th Amend­ment that may be in con­flict with the HEC may be re­vis­ited.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.