Vice-Chancellors (VCs) of various public universities from across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) demanded that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) be allowed to function as an independent federal body, in-line with the nine-year old status quo. They voiced their request at a meeting held at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar on Friday.
They lamented the decision of the implementation commission to go ahead with the devolution of higher education to the provinces, which would result in the dissolution of HEC. They opined that the decision, if implemented, would reverse the progress and growth that the higher education sector has made over the years, with serious repercussions on smaller provinces, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
They lauded the role that the HEC has played in the promotion and development of higher education and urged for its continuation. They said that during its eight years of existence, the HEC has contributed more to higher education in the country than any other body in the past 55 years.
This is not the first time the VCs have voiced these views. Earlier, on November 27, 2010, they resolved to maintain the status quo with no change in the commission’s functionality, which in their opinion, is completely covered in the 18th amendment. They reiterated their stance in a meeting held with the commission’s executive director, Dr Sohail Naqvi, via a video conference on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by the vice chancellors and representatives of UET Peshawar, Agriculture University Peshawar, Kohat University of Science and Technology and Gomal University, among others.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2011.