The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is a state-owned regulatory entity whose key responsibilities include funding, regulating, overseeing and accrediting the higher education institutions in Pakistan. HEC started off in 1974 as University Grants Commission (UGC) and became its modern form in 2002 under the leadership of its founding Chairman, Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman.
HEC creates higher education policy and quality assurance parameters to ensure modern standards of learning and uplift the entire education sector of Pakistan. The commission is responsible for the development of the higher education sector in the country, with a focus on upgrading the universities from mere education institutes to full-fledged research institutes.
With that pursuit, HEC has helped put the Pakistani education sector on the global map, as numerous institutes now also host a number of foreign students and a large number of Pakistani researchers have also gone abroad to various noteworthy institutes to do their research to pursue their Ph.D. degrees via scholarship programs sponsored either by the major educational institutes of Pakistan or HEC themselves.
HEC is currently headquartered at H-9/4 in the capital city, Islamabad. However, there are also four regional offices, one in the major city of each province, namely, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Quetta. HEC offers a host of services and schemes for the students, faculty members, and the institutes.
To know more about these services, you can visit each of the aforementioned offices or reach out to them:
- UAN: 111-119-432 (with regional code) or 0334 – 111 9432
- Visit the following URL to lodge a complaint
In this article, we shall address few of the most pertinent questions regarding the HEC’s services that the students can derive the most benefit from.
Let’s have a look:
What is Equivalence?
An equivalence certificate is basically a document that you need in order to match yourself up to certain criteria for a particular program. You can think of this mechanism as that of a vintage weight balance measuring scale.
Whatever degrees you might have gotten from a certain education system, for example, O/A-Levels, ACCA, HND, CA etc. are weighed by HEC against the standards of the education system you’re looking to apply for, i.e. Matriculate, Intermediate or bachelors level Pakistani education system based programs and then converted in accordance to that education system.
Typically, the equivalence certificates are provided to:
- Those with foreign education degrees
- Holders of qualifications that are not accredited by HEC for example O/A-Levels, ACCA, HND, CA etc.
- Deeni Asnaad (Religious Studies Degree) Holders
HEC Equivalence Criteria
Equivalence certificates are immensely beneficial for those who wish to opt for higher education without having to go through the whole education program to earn the local academic credentials. By having your merit prepared based on your academic credentials and fulfilling a few prerequisites, you can get your results converted to those that are accepted in the traditional system of education. There are some criteria for the conversion of grades, however. That criteria are as follows:
|Deduction of Marks||
|Categorization of Subjects||
|Conversion of Marks for SSC/Matriculation Equivalence Certificate||
|Conversion of Marks for SSC/Matriculation Certificate||
For further info, call 111-119-432 (with regional code) or 0334 – 111 9432 or post your queries at https://onlinehelp.hec.gov.pk/.
Procedure for procuring an equivalence certificate from HEC is slightly complex and quite lengthy. You must account for all the documents and other requirements down to the last detail in order to seek the Commission’s cooperation.
The application requirements vary for the foreign, local, and religious studies degree holders so, here are the requirements for each of the aforementioned candidates explained separately:
|Sr. No||Application Requirements Foreign Degree Equivalence||Application Requirements Local Degree Equivalence||Application Requirements Deeni Asnad Equivalence|
|1||Filling of the online application form available at http://des.hec.gov.pk||Filling of the application form (E-01).||Filling of the application form (E-02) duly signed and verified from concerned Madaris Nazim-e-Ala for Deeni Asnad.|
|2||Copy of degree for which equivalence is required (Degree to be translated to English if it is in a foreign language)||Original and photocopy of each degree/diploma. (from Diploma/graduation onwards) along with CNIC and application processing fee as bank draft.||Photocopy of each Sanad/Kashful Darajat duly signed and verified form concerned Nazim-e-Ala.|
|3||Copy of Year-wise Transcript/Diploma Supplement/Graduation Record of study indicating date of admission and completion of degree (Degree to be translated to English if it is in a foreign language)||Photocopy of year-wise transcripts/DMCs/Result Cards indicating date of admission and date of completion along with duration of each semester/term.||Photocopy of year-wise Kashf-ul-Darajat indicating date of admission and date of completion along with duration of each year/term.|
|4||Copy of passport indicating visa, entry and exit from respective country for study duration only.||Proof of registration from concerned professional body (in case of professional degree/diploma).||Attestation of Sanvia Aaama and Sanvia Khasa from IBCC.|
|5||Copy of CNIC||Equivalence fee for each degree/diploma addressed to the Director Finance, HEC, Islamabad.||Copy of National Identity Card or Passport (for foreigners)|
|6||Equivalence fee amounting Rs. 5000/- (non-refundable) for each degree/diploma through a bank draft or pay order addressed to the Director Finance, HEC, Islamabad.||The aforementioned original documents need to be presented for “Seen Original and verified” endorsement from HEC Head office or HEC Regional offices.||The aforementioned original documents need to be presented for “Seen Original and verified” endorsement from HEC Head office or HEC Regional offices.|
|7||The aforementioned original documents need to be presented for “Seen Original and verified” endorsement from HEC Head office or HEC Regional offices.||–||–|
The accreditation of institutions, courses and degree programs is becoming more of a complication each day with the rise in international collaboration in the fields of science and technology, and with the increase in diversity of students in terms of area and education patterns.
Also, with the growth in the number of degree-awarding institutions and the growing diversity education disciplines and techniques therein, the issuance of equivalence certificates has become a tremendously exhaustive exercise.
That is where HEC plays its part in Pakistan. There’s a wide variety of programs in Pakistan that have their own criteria, both for eligibility and evaluation. Being the central authoritative entity, HEC knows and complies with each criterion to ensure correct evaluation for equivalence certificates.
However, the procedure for getting the equivalence is still fairly complicated and exhaustive, leading many students to think twice before opting for an equivalence certificate. There is a need to streamline and simplify information and application process such that it becomes an easy task for all applicants.