HEC Proposes Ban on New Universities During Economic Crisis

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The Vice Chancellors (VCs) of all public sector universities have urged the government to revive the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Ordinance 2002 in its original form and strengthen HEC.

During the 48th VCs’ Committee meeting chaired by Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan online, the university heads emphasized that the development of the higher education sector made in the past two decades can be consolidated only by strengthening HEC.

The forum unanimously opposed the proposed amendments to HEC Ordinance and demanded the government to ensure HEC’s autonomy if it wants the higher education sector to continue playing its part in economic stability and growth. The amendments, if materialized, will cause a severe dent in the higher education sector and will be tantamount to undoing the progress made so far, they underlined.

The university heads also discussed, in detail, the financial, governance, and administrative issues of the higher education institutions. They demanded of the provincial governments to share the burden of the federal government and contribute to the universities’ funding.

Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed also joined the online session and briefed the VCs on the recent developments pertaining to the TTS and BPS models, HEC’s quality assurance measures, and the repercussions of amendments to the HEC Ordinance.

He emphasized the need for strengthening national institutions and underlined different countries are now setting up higher education entities on the HEC model.

Referring to the financial crisis, the Chairman asserted that no new universities or campuses should be established unless there is economic stability in the country. He urged the VCs to ensure good financial and administrative governance at higher education institutions.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed underlined that the universities need to strengthen themselves in such a manner that they are approached by the quarters concerned to play the role of think tanks in policymaking at the state level.

“Our youth have great potential, however, we need to work on developing in them the skillset relevant to the national and global market,” he emphasized.

He took a categorical stance on giving affiliations to colleges, saying that HEC will soon ban affiliations as they compromise quality due to anomalies. He also sought input from the VCs on resolving the issues arising out of the TTS and BPS models.

He informed the university heads that HEC is planning to set up ‘Seerat Corners’ in the libraries of universities to promote the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

The forum also discussed how the search committees constituted for the selection of VCs can be made effective. They also shared views on the grant of private charters on private members bills under the University Acts, in addition to detailed deliberations on private affiliations, segregation of universities into three tiers, the concept of professor of practice, quality assurance through professional accreditation councils, and revival of student societies. They agreed to frequently hold forum meetings for discussions and decisions on the issues of the higher education sector.

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