Pakistan has been granted full signatory status and membership of Washington Accord in recognition of its standards in engineering education. This was stated by Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain at a news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.
The Minister said Pakistan is the 19th member of the body and the third in Islamic world after Turkey and Malaysia.
Engineering degrees of Pakistani students will now be acceptable abroad.
Pakistan has been declared as a ‘Full Signatory’ of the Washington Accord (WA), a highest prestigious international forum of International Engineering Alliance, in its General Assembly Meeting held in USA on 21st June 2017.
Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) was representing the country to attain full signatory status of WA since 2011. Washington Accord is a highly rigorous global standard on engineering education and accreditation system which grants substantial equivalence of degrees to facilitate global mobility and international recognition to equate the same at par with top leading signatory countries of the world.
The process of accreditation of an applicant country is to be checked for its quality of engineering education and competency of engineers. The entire process is subject to peer review by designated reviewers of at least three to five signatory countries.
Pakistan has gone through all these reviews at satisfactory levels. Final review by three signatories, namely New Zealand, UK, and South Korea took place last year. Confidential Review report was on agenda of the WA meeting held in June 2017 at Anchorage, USA. PEC defended the case for Pakistan in different meetings of WA/IEA and was finally declared as full signatory unanimously. The decision was taken by the signatories in a closed session.
It is pertinent to note that admission into WA is so rigorous that only 18 countries have got this status in the last 25 years.
Pakistan enters the list as 19th country of the world and 3rd Islamic country after Malaysia & Turkey.
Engineers from certain local universities who are registered with PEC under the category of HEIs will be considered at par as world class competent professionals and will not be evaluated for any educational assessment of their qualification and will be eligible for professional jobs in developed countries. Also, Engineering Consultant Companies desired or currently working abroad may hire local Engineers registered with PEC and vice versa.
Prof Dr Naiz Ahmad has supervised the whole initiative with a pivotal role played by Engr Dr Nasir Mahmood Khan, Head Accreditation Division of PEC. The chairman PEC congratulated the whole engineering community, Governing body, PEC management, the Convener Engineering Accreditation Committee and his team, particularly the passionate contribution and hard work of Accreditation Division lead by Dr Nasir khan over the last few years.
This event has been called a landmark in the history of engineering profession in Pakistan. The same standards are now being adopted by other profession and accreditation organisations working under Higher Education Commission.
Rana Tanveer said that a National School of Science is being established in Lahore. He said the government will provide funds for all need-based research projects to bring development in the country.