HEC scholarship programmes to continue: Rabbani

Published: April 6, 2011
Students chant slogans at a rally organised in favour of having Higher Education Commission retain its current role. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

Students chant slogans at a rally organised in favour of having Higher Education Commission retain its current role. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID


Chairman Implementation Commission on 18th Amendment Raza Rabbani said Wednesday that the ongoing scholarship programmes of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would not be affected despite the commission being devolved as per the 18 Amendment.

Talking to the media, the senator said, “Let me clear it that those students who have been studying under the existing HEC’s scholarships would continue their studies.”

He also dispelled the impression that HEC devolution plan would affect foreign funding for the commission.

He said those who were criticizing the devolution plan were against the 18th Amendment and were raising a hue and cry that the devolved ministries’ employees would be affected.

Protests continue in Peshawar

Students in Peshawar continue to protest Wednesday against the federal government, fearing that thousands of students will be affected if the government does not change its plan.

They said the devolution of the HEC will bring forth the contentious issue and an eventual reduction of funds.

M.Phil and PhD students in other parts of the country are also protesting, demanding that the government reverse its decision.

Updated from print version (below)

Students raise their voices: The fight to save HEC rages on

More than 500 students from different universities and employees of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) gathered in front of the commission on Tuesday and demanded the government to rescind its decision to devolve the HEC to provinces.

The students, hailing from Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Allama Iqbal Open University, National University of Modern Languages, Islamic International University(IIU), Bahria University and Arid Agriculture University, strongly opposed the government’s plan to devolve the commission to the provinces.

They held placards and banners inscribed with slogans such as “Don’t merge politics with HEC”, “No to devolution of HEC”, “Let us build Pakistan-No shredding of HEC”, and “Do not put HEC to stone age”.

The HEC should not be punished for going ahead with verification of the parliamentarians’ degrees, they said, adding that they had come to “rescue education from destruction at the hands of rulers”.

They added that the government should save the HEC from being politicised as it had played an important role in promoting higher education.

Mubarak Ali, a student of QAU, said the commission’s devolution will ruin the decade-long progress in the higher education sector, and in turn will destroy the future of students who are the main stakeholders. He added the step would block the path of students who aim to pursue higher education abroad.

Asghar Ali, a student of IIU, said, “Don’t destroy the HEC as it takes years to develop and establish such prestigious institutions.”

The protesters also pointed out that the students studying in foreign universities on scholarships stood to be badly affected from the decision. There is a good chance they would not be able to continue their scholarships.

Another university student, Qasim Mian, said he feared the elements involved in HEC’s devolution have their eye on its funds.

The students said they will continue to stage protests until their demands are met.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Tanzila Siddique
    Apr 6, 2011 - 9:32AM


    This is an awfully shocking and shameful act to destroy HEC. HEC is one of the few Pakistan’s prestigious institutions. I will support the remonstration and protests until demands are met. Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:10AM

    This issue must be raised at all levels and in all the Schools, Colleges of every province, city and University. We support HEC and does not want that it should be devolved to incompetent people. Recommend

  • Rizwan Fareed
    Apr 6, 2011 - 11:28AM

    What a pitty an institution like HEC is being closed by the Federal Government at an time the entire world is trying to emphasise on Education.GOD save HEC.Recommend

  • Eric Malik
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:20PM

    HEC is useless organization. We should put in more money in basic education. In Pakistan only few cannot afford the “luxry” of University education foreign qualification at the expense of thousands of hungry, homeless sick children and people who are ignorant and then we have democracy here. What good can these illiterates do? Besides what good has HEC done in using Science and Technology (and non-technical) education to improve our society? Producing PhDs out of them many never came back and those who did, are teaching in universites, subjects that have no application in our society/industry. They are producing and presenting papers that have no relevance to our industrial set up. It was all money going down the drain, we need to use that money to educate and feed our children— Free 12 years education with books, clothing and food— Those who are making noise nowdays on HEC issue are few who have got the luxry of university education. They should think of poor hungry homeless ignornt people.Recommend

  • asif
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:53PM

    Incumbent PPP anti-educationist policies are not new, although it is a party that has created first University grant commission (UGC) way back in 1973. it is pertinent to mention here that HEC is a higher education institution pertaining to research and research collaboration all over the world and within country. central body role is pivotal and necessary. The brainless decision of shredding HEC would hamper many research activities and put to an end “the great research era. 18th amendment is for the sake of people of Pakistan and for their betterment, not to ruin there lives and careers. its the last thing that “NO MAN LAND” required, as it would start a period where our scientist and researchers fled the country. its shocking: for GOD sake reverse it, otherwise nothing new would be discovered. Recommend

  • khan
    Apr 6, 2011 - 4:01PM

    this is really ery very disappointing for us as a student, we must make an effort to stop gov. to take this cruel step.Recommend

  • Sheraz
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:07PM

    Politicians are taking revenge of HEC for declaring degrees of many MNA’s /MPA’s fake and now obviously they will react and utilize every possible mean at their disposal. In the end politicians will say that “It is being done in the greater National Interest”, i one day doubt politicians might lease out Pakistan in the greater national interest !!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:40PM

    @Eric Malik:
    The education at primary & intermaediate levels are done at a provincial level.
    That is why they are a complete failure. Foreign NGO/governments have mooted the idea of giving money to private institutes because provincial educational departments are over run by corruption and nepotism. The devolution of the HEC, which is a very efficient organisation to the provinces will result in it’s destruction IMO.
    How much money that the HEC recieves is actually used for the intended purpose. Virtually all of it. (Weather we need PHd scholars is a different argument)
    How much money being ploughed into provincial governments for educational purposes actually reached their intended recipients? I’d say a small percentage of it.

    Fact: The HEC budget last year was about 15 billion ruppees. (Please correct me if I am mistaken)
    Fact: The national assembly voted to spend 3 billion ruppees on building lodges for itself.
    Do you still think we are wasting our money with the HEC?????

    The way to improve education in governemnt schools does not involve destroying the HEC.Recommend

  • saleem
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:14PM

    Great work by Rabbani as the head of the Implementation Committee to devolve powers to the provinces as demanded by the representatives of 170 million people. Only politicians can do this to give more and more autonomy to the provinces as against the wishes of the Establishment. Great Work. Recommend

  • Alia Amir
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:07PM

    The fight for HEC is not just about the foreign scholarships. HEC is a respected organisation for iits marvellous work done in the last ten years.Recommend

  • HAS
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:09PM

    HEC-responsibilities should be handed over to the provinces.Recommend

  • ayesha
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:53PM

    the US has already haulted the funding as a results of HEC devolving we will no longer have fullbright schloarships.Such liars are ruler they only want the money and aviod being taged with fake degrees.Shame on the goverment they are playing with the future of 30% population of this countryRecommend

  • jameel
    Apr 6, 2011 - 8:31PM

    HEC is working well as an autonomus authority of education sector in Pakistan. Those who are patriotic to the country they would never destroy HEC for the sake of country and future generation of Pakistan. GOD BLESS HEC.Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Apr 6, 2011 - 8:43PM

    this was a given as soon as the PPP came to power and an independent institution exerted control. this certainly has to do with degree verification and is punishment being meted out by the PPP to it. another good musharraf achievement being relegated to the dustbin. where does it end?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:24PM


    If fake degrees of politicians could not approved then they should had to send to back into the schools to complete their studies n come in politics. Perhaps government looking to tear HEC apart into provinces and setup an institution which may approve whatever and whenever they wish it to be.

    Second vital impetus to current regime could be HEC funds. So the problem solved with a topped up bank account.


  • Ahmed
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:26PM


    I just can’t think how Mr. Rabbani, a responsible politician, made this blatant statement. How?Recommend

  • Naheed Rajper
    Apr 7, 2011 - 10:03AM

    on going Scholarships would not be affected , what about upcoming?? no one would be able to go or think for higher studies after this cruel action.a very disappointing and hurting decision for students. Recommend

  • hamid
    Apr 7, 2011 - 7:56PM

    politicians want only their own benefit. as america has stopped his add, the politicians think that their would be no more their benefits. no one is loyal to Pakistan. and of course we are moving backwords…Recommend

  • samar baloch
    Apr 10, 2011 - 12:46AM

    HEC is being targeted just for only one reason: the institution did not bow to the pressure of the politicians. the fake degrees scandal that shows the worth of various politicians brought credibility to this department for being straightforward in its approach. politicians who now just want to rip off it into pieces. these politicians are wondering how could we take hold of these peoples Roti kupra and makan. Education , sorry never heard of it they say. Thats why they say degree is degree no matter if its genuine or fake. These politicians disgust me. Yet again our leaders have shown incapability to run the country, they always keep personal interests ahead of national interest. They will give funds to their party workes on provincial level , they have no interest in increasing the quality of education. These politicians are bunch of criminals who takes control of power by using poor peoples in their constitutencies and give them false hope and hollow slogans.Recommend

  • Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry
    Apr 13, 2011 - 6:43PM

    HEC has done tremendous job for HRD and R&D. Salute to HEC. It must survive.Recommend

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