Higher Education Commission (HEC) has repeatedly claimed that it has improved regulation of the education sector in Pakistan. However, the fact is that illegal higher education institutions continue to function despite lack of clearance from HEC.
According to HEC’s own records, there are 184 degree awarding universities operating in various parts of the country despite being unrecognised by the HEC.
According to HEC sources cited by news reports, the regulatory body has been taking unenthusiastic steps towards stopping these illegal universities from functioning. Some of the mentioned universities have affiliation with public or private sector universities but still function without getting the mandatory NOC from the HEC. The officer also stated “Besides HEC, provincial governors should also be blamed for the growth of such universities”.
Some universities have affiliation with public or private sector universities but still function without getting the mandatory NOC from the HEC, which is illegal and now allowed
A senior officer from HEC said, “If we are serious in our intent to close these illegal institutions, we should at least stop funds of those public sector universities which gave them affiliation”. The officer also offered a justification by stating that most of the institutions were recognised by foreign universities.
ProPakistani made it own research to verify the officer’s second statement regarding most institutions being internationally recognised or affiliated. Most of the institutions in the list are Pakistani while some of them have included the words “International”, “American”, “London” etc. Most are misleading since they have no relation to any international institute and continue to operate by illegally declaring fake affiliations.
A parliamentary panel meeting was held on March 30 where the panel voiced great concern over the sudden growth of business-oriented universities and colleges in the country. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training held a meeting at Parliament House under the chairmanship of Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti. The committee mutually agreed that most of the private educational institutions operating in small buildings or houses are in direct violation of established rules. HEC was urged to take action against such universities.
Most of the institutions include words like “International”, “American”, “London” etc., and try to mislead since they have no relation to any international institute and continue to operate by illegally declaring fake affiliations.
Dr Mansoor Kundi, Acting Executive Director of HEC, claimed that the HEC had been taking strong steps towards the reduction of such institutions and that the number had actually “decreased” (as quoted by the news reports).
An HEC spokeswoman stated: “We have been writing letters to the universities/institutions asking them either to get NOC or close down these universities. But unfortunately, their response is not encouraging”. She went on to say: “It is our duty to point out such illegal campuses. Therefore, we have put their names on our website, have published ads and are requesting parents to be aware of such institutions. Now the departments concerned should also take action against such institutions”.
Sources from HEC state that the trend of launching new campuses is responsible for the downfall of quality education. They named the owners of illegal institutions and vice-chancellors of public sector universities as the real culprits since they continue to ignore HEC warnings and reminders sent out to them.
A senior official at HEC said “We are doing whatever we can to improve the quality of education in higher education sector, but whenever we take strict action, there are some elements who start the debate of curtailing role of the commission”.
Number of unrecognised universities in 2013 was just 24, which has now grown to 184, showing that efforts made by HEC are just half-hearted
The government has to take action against such institutions for the safety of Pakistan’s upcoming and future generations. New rules and regulations need to be implemented to prevent institutes from being affiliated prior to an NOC from HEC and the huge crop of fake international universities need to be taken down immediately to prevent the mass populations waste of time and money.
Here is the list of unrecognised universities: Unrecognised universities (HEC)
Source: Dawn News