HEC devolution: Stakeholders to be taken on board, says Rabbani

Rabbani says negative forces are "raising a storm in a tea cup" over the HEC issue.

Express April 18, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Senator Raza Rabbani has said that all stakeholders will be taken on board after the law regarding the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) role and function is framed.

Speaking to the media, Rabbani said that negative forces were "raising a storm in a cup of tea" on the HEC issue which was not acceptable.

The 18th Amendment Implementation Commission  met on Monday to discuss the restructuring of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The meeting reviewed compliance report of various ministries devolved so far. It also noticed that the center had occupied many important functions which were not present in the concurrent list.

The commission also discussed the third phase of  transfer of ministries of sports, environment and women's development.

Sources have said that the new name of for the commission will be Commission for Higher Standard Education. The HEC will be retaining eight of its functions.

The Higher Education Commission is being devolved to the provinces under the 18th amendment plan.

The HEC was created in 2002 and is widely recognised as a highly successful institution that has been able to revitalise higher education in Pakistan through its regulation of standards at public and private universities as well as securing additional funding for universities as well as scholarships for students, both to local and foreign universities.

Nearly 5,000 Pakistani students are currently studying abroad on HEC or HEC-affiliated scholarships. In addition, the HEC finances research and has ensured that academics in Pakistan are well-paid.


naila | 10 years ago | Reply Much has been said recently on the present government’s reported intention to dissolve the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Its former chairman, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, has described the government’s plan as a conspiracy to destroy higher education and thus to ruin the country. During the last ten years or so the HEC has set up minimum standards, which the various degree-granting institutions must meet. It is claimed that as a result Pakistani degrees are now being accepted on their face value by universities abroad but it should be noted that the Commission has placed excessive emphasis upon quantification and it has monetized higher education. It invites us to be proud of the fact that its inducements have increased the number of universities, doctoral degree holders, and teaching departments that sponsor and conduct them, manifold. The number of books and articles being written and the journals publishing them have, likewise, multiplied. They are being wholly or partially funded by the Commission. It has disbursed enormous amounts of money to universities and their academic units and it would be no exaggeration to say that they do not always know what to do with it. The Commission has not taken care to ensure that the universities, new and old, and their products attain standards of accomplishment that merit respect. One is entitled to ask if Pakistan would not be better situated with 20 first class universities than with 70, most of which are mediocre. In face we have numerous Ph.d holders but standard of education is very low.. There is no research work, no qualitative approach and no scholars, this is the result of HEC?
Ali | 10 years ago | Reply @Karim: Pleases qualify all of your accusations with links. Which "eminent" acadamic has lambasted the performace of the HEC? How many of this country's academics are pro and how many against the devolution? Where is your list of irregularities? From what I have read and heard about the HEC, it's the most transparent organisation in the entire country in terms funding and where the money is being spent. All of their budget can be traced back to academic salaries, research grants and scholarship fees. Can the same be said for the provincial level education budget? A siginificant portion disappears into ghost schools set up by corrupt bureaucrats in the education department. Yes the HEC does favour engineering/sciences over the social sciences. But that's for a very good reason. Our country needs more and better engineers. scientists. Skill sets like these also attract FDI. No offence but public relations, psychology, media studies etc. These sorts of subjects will not help Pakistan develop and they are not skills that are readily employable.
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