Press Releases



HEC Stresses Women Empowerment through Higher Education, Entrepreneurship and Socio-economic DevelopmentHEC Stresses Women Empowerment through Higher Education, Entrepreneurship and Socio-economic Development<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, March 8, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan organized a daylong event entitled "Women Empowerment through Higher Education, Entrepreneurship and Socio-economic Development" to celebrate International Women's Day here at the Commission Secretariat on Wednesday. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Samina Amin Qadir, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Women University was chief guest of the ceremony which was also attended by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Vice Chancellors, faculty members and students of various institutions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC paid tribute to Pakistani women who contributed to the country's well-being in social, political, defence, economic and other sectors. It also aimed at projecting Pakistani female academicians, entrepreneurs and social contributors with an aim to motivate other Pakistani women to come forward and contribute towards socio-economic development of the country.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said Islam gives equal rights to women and condemns tyranny against them. He added that Islam protects women rights and gives them their due share in properties and assets. Paying homage to women working in the higher education sector, he said women equally deserve to come forward and work for national development. HEC is committed to ensuring provision of equal opportunities to women in the higher education sector, as educated women guarantee a prosperous nation, he stated. It is obligatory upon girls to acquire purposeful education, he emphasized.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said that HEC strongly follows a policy of equality in all of its programmes, adding that it has a stringent stance against women harassment at workplace. He urged the Vice Chancellors to ensure execution of laws enacted to stem women harassment.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"On this occasion, we reiterate our zero-tolerance policy towards women harassment," he maintained. He said HEC has also signed an agreement with Pink Ribbon to create awareness among girls about the hazards of breast cancer.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">He informed that since inception of HEC in 2002, the rate of access to higher education among females has remarkably increased. "In 2002, the access rate among women was only 32 per cent, however, it has now reached to 48 per cent," he revealed. He also shared that Pakistani universities have as many as 18 female Vice Chancellors at present.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the first segment of the ceremony named<em> "Hum Nahin Bhoulay"</em>, the parents of Ms. Marium Mukhtar, a fighter pilot who was martyred in a fighter jet crash, and Ms. Arfa Karim, the late youngest Microsoft certified professional, also shared their views and narrated stories of the two legendary daughters of the nation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the second segment, <em>"Hum Kisi Say Kam Nahin"</em>, Dr. Aalia Sohail Khan, Principal Government Postgraduate College for Women (GPGCW), Rawalpindi described the achievements of visually impaired students of the college in archery. She stressed the need for promoting girls education as well as training of females to meet the challenges facing them in life.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed and Ms. Seema Mughal, Vice Chancellor Greenwich University, Karachi announced Rs. 50,000 each for the GPGCW students for their skillfulness in archery despite being visually impaired.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the occasion, notable females from various fields including Ms. Shabana Farooqi, Assistant Professor GPGCW, Mrs. Masarrat Misbah, beautician at Depilex, Mrs. Shehla Javed Akram, Founding President Women Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Riffat Shah, Founding President Human Resource Planning Sector, Ms. Sumaira Sajjad, Assistant Professor Department of Fashion and Design, Iqra University and other noteworthy figures also shared their life stories and achievements in their respective fields.​</p>09-03-2017 11:11:03<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Directs Universities to Ensure Raising Minimum Qualification for LecturersHEC Directs Universities to Ensure Raising Minimum Qualification for Lecturers<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, March 7, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has directed the universities and degree awarding institutions to ensure implementation of the Commission's decision to raise minimum qualification to 18 years of education, for appointment of Lecturers.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In a letter issued by HEC to Vice Chancellors and Rectors, they have been asked to ensure that minimum qualification for appointment of Lecturer should be MPhil / MS or equivalent degree i.e. 18 years, or Masters from a foreign University. Deadline given for decision's implementation is June 30, 2017.    </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Universities which have already adopted and implemented the decision have been appreciated and advised to continue implementing the decision. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Moreover, HEC has also extended the cut-off date for raising minimum qualification of Assistant Professors in universities/degree awarding institutions to the level of PhD, to January 1, 2018.  </p>09-03-2017 11:08:54<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC, Hungary Sign MoU for Award of 200 Scholarships to Pakistani StudentsHEC, Hungary Sign MoU for Award of 200 Scholarships to Pakistani Students<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 21, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and the Government of Hungary have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Programme under which Hungary will provide 200 scholarships to Pakistani students to study in Hungarian universities.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, was chief guest of the ceremony. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Mr. Szabo Istvan, Ambassador of Hungary to Pakistan signed the MoU. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Mr. Waseem S. Hashmi Syed, Adviser HRD HEC, Dr. Mazhar Saeed, Director General Planning and Development, Mrs. Emilia Szabone Nagy, wife of Hungarian Ambassador, and other representatives of HEC, Embassy of Hungary, and European Union were also present. Mr. Nandor Mullner, a Hungarian student studying in International Islamic University Islamabad also attended the MoU signing ceremony.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Out of 200 scholarships, 125 scholarships will be awarded in Bachelors programmes in addition to 50 scholarships in Masters and 25 scholarships in PhD programmes. Earlier at the onset of a three-year programme in 2015, Hungary announced 240 scholarships and the first batch of 80 students was sent to Hungary while Pakistan announced 30 scholarships for Hungarian students to study in Pakistani higher education institutions. However, following the MoU, the number has been increased from 80 to 200 per year.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the increase in scholarships from 80 to 200 an incredible development. This measure will help bringing the two nations closer, he asserted. He held out assurance that the Government of Pakistan will extend all-out support to Hungarian students to come and study in Pakistani institutions. He said the Government of Pakistan is keen to further improve relations with Hungary. He appreciated the role of HEC in facilitating students and availing themselves of opportunities to pursue their education in countries like Hungary. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Expressing his grief over the recent spate of terrorism incidents, the Minister said Pakistan is committed to overcoming the menace of terrorism and energy crisis. He observed that the situation is far better than the past owing to Zarb-e-Azb Operation and other Government initiatives. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his welcome note, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed described the background of Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Programme between HEC and Hungary. He informed more than 3000 students had earlier applied for the scholarships awarded by Hungary. "The mobility of students between the two countries will create more opportunities for the two nations to come closer," he said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He said HEC is planning to expand research collaboration with Hungarian universities. He informed that Hungarian institutions have offered their support in setting up a Sport university in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Szabo Istavan said the increase in number of scholarships indicates that the Government of Hungary gives great importance to bilateral relations with Pakistan. "Investment in education is indeed investment in future," he said, adding that the two countries have a long history of diplomatic relations spanning over half a century. He hoped that the academic linkages will build strong bonds between Pakistan and Hungary.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Sharing his experience in Pakistani university, Mr. Nandor Mullner said Pakistani students, faculty and the university's administration welcomed him on his arrival. "I feel at home while studying in Pakistan," he said. He expressed a wish that more Hungarian students should come to Pakistan and benefit from the opportunity. </p>22-02-2017 06:25:54<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Launches Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR)HEC Launches Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR)<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 17, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has achieved another milestone by launching Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR) through e-portal system so that stakeholders of HEC can view online those programmes of Pakistani Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions that have been approved by HEC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">PQR is an online database which contains information regarding accredited higher qualifications and institutions recognized by HEC of all public and private sector universities including their sub campuses and affiliated as well as constituent colleges. PQR is aimed to provide clearly defined levels of knowledge, skills and competencies to be acquired by every graduate.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC started developing a Qualification Framework for higher education sector in 2009 and took necessary steps to develop tools for implementing the framework covering all HEC chartered public and private higher education institutions in the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">PQF is a level-based and outcomes focused mechanism. It sets out the levels on which a qualification can be recognized in Pakistan. It encompasses a comprehensive list of all quality assured qualifications in Pakistan. Each accredited qualification has been assigned a level. It consists of Entry Level-1 to Level-8, describing the difficulty of qualifications at each level.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">PQF has been structured to help learners to make informed decisions about the qualification required, and will help employers to assess what qualification a candidate has achieved. It will help in establishing the national standards of qualifications as well as provide a basis for comparison of qualifications at national as well as international levels. Further, it will help in international recognition of academic qualifications, facilitate trans-national mobility of graduates and learners, in addition to be used as an instrument for qualitative reforms in education system.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The first announcement for nomination of Focal Persons for PQR and populating the data by universities was made by HEC in October 2016. The response of universities on PQR has been encouraging and till date 144 HEC recognized universities and degree awarding institutions, out of total 183 institutions, have nominated their Focal Persons. It is worth mentioning that till date 15098 programmes have been listed in the PQR portal . </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​The universities have been informed that PQR is going to be linked to HEC initiatives such as attestation system of degrees awarded by the universities, appointment of HEC approved supervisors, award of national research grants for universities, thematic research grants for social sciences, indigenous/overseas scholarships, etc.</p>22-02-2017 06:23:37<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC, IPO Workshop on Establishment of TISC NetworkHEC, IPO Workshop on Establishment of TISC Network<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 1, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Pakistan and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized a workshop on Access to Technology for Innovation and Establishing a Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) Network in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC was chief guest in the closing ceremony held at the Commission Secretariat, Islamabad. The workshop provided hands-on practices and awareness about technical tools and strategies on patent databases as well as intellectual property. The awareness sessions were attended by over 70 participants/focal persons from higher education institutions and R&D institutions across the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The workshop covered different topics including Promotion of Innovation: The Usefulness and Value of Patent Information for the Public and Private Sectors, WIPO's Project on Establishment of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs), Search Tools and Strategies for Patent Search, Patent Filing Trend in Pakistan, International Patent Classification (IPC) for Searching, Searching Patent using PATENTSCOPE, Searching Patent using Espacenet, and Overview of TISC Resources: Website, e-TISC Platform, E-Tutorial, WIPO Academy Distance  Learning Courses, Patent Landscape Reports.​</p>02-02-2017 09:21:58<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
29th South Asian Network Operators Group Meeting Concludes at HEC29th South Asian Network Operators Group Meeting Concludes at HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 30, 2017: The closing ceremony of the week-long 29th South Asian Network Operators Group meeting, jointly organized by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), was held at HEC Secretariat here on Monday.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training was the chief guest. Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, Dr. Ghulam Raza Bhatti, Member (Operations and Planning), HEC and Dr. Philip Smith, Chair, SANOG Programme Committee were also present.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the holding of 29th SANOG meeting in Pakistan a welcoming development and said that the meeting has surely provided a great learning opportunity to participants. "It is believed that the world has witnessed three industrial revolutions i.e., invention of steam engine, mass scale productions, and digital revolution, however the fourth revolution is taking place now in the form of availability of networking capability," he said.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The Minister said that the country has made visible progress during the last few years despite economic pressures, terrorism, and other challenges. He maintained that Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme has played a vital role in ending digital divide and provision of Evo devices to students has increased connectivity.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Admiring the establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) by HEC, he said it has immensely improved connectivity among universities. He said the Government has remarkably increased the budget of higher education sector and it is committed to promotion of tertiary education.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Appreciating the collaboration between HEC and PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah revealed that 29th SANOG meeting addressed all the issues relevant to internet including connectivity and cyber security. He said the number of internet users as well as data usage has increased in the country. These facilities need to be used for service of humanity, he emphasized.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">In his welcome address, Dr. Arshad Ali briefed the audience on the proceedings of 29th SANOG meeting and informed him about the launch of Pakistan Internet Exchange Point at HEC. He said the meeting was a great learning opportunity for participants from academia, industry and IT sector. He urged the faculty members to ensure optimal utilization of networking information disseminated during the 29th SANOG meeting by data networking experts.</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">  </span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The Executive Director lauded the collaborative endeavours of all the partners of the meeting. He said promoting higher education and research and benefitting from internet and technological advancements is a key goal of HEC.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;"> event was jointly organized by HEC and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN). 29th SANOG consisted of conference presentations, tutorials and hands-on workshop tracks. The first three days consisted of conference and tutorial presentations from diverse local and international community, and focused on current technology updates, trends and challenges related to data networks, while the rest of days sessions contained workshops.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes. It is a regional forum to discuss operational issues and technologies of interest to data operators in the South Asian Region, scope of SANOG is in line with established practices like NANOG in North America, RIPE Meetings in Europe and APRICOT in Asia.</span></p>02-02-2017 09:19:37<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 27, 2017: Pakistan's first Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) has been inaugurated at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad, under the headship of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and support of HEC as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ms. Anusha Rehman, State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication was the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony held at Commission's Secretariat here on Friday. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC were also present.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The hardware equipment required for the establishment of Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has been donated by Huawei Technologies, Pakistan. Pakistan Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) will serve as an exchange point for all local ISPs that will help in reducing latency rates for all domestic traffic. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The primary purpose of PKIX is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more third-party networks. It will also enable local networks to efficiently exchange information at a common point within Pakistan rather than exchanging local Internet traffic with outside world. More than seven national telecom and internet carriers  have become part of Pakistan`s First Internet Exchange Point. The first Internet Exchange Point has been established in Islamabad. The way forward is Regional Internet Exchange Points in other cities like Lahore, Karachi and Quetta.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, the Minister congratulated the HEC, PTA and the audience on inauguration of the first Internet Exchange Point in Islamabad. She said that IXP was mandated by telecommunication policy which contains various steps aiming at promotion of ICT in the country. "Steps being taken under the telecommunication policy will take Pakistan to its ultimate destination of leading the world as a key player in IT," she said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ms. Anusha Rehman said the policy which has a critical one-point agenda to connect the unconnected is being strictly followed for improvement in connectivity in the country. She stressed the need for cooperation between public and private sectors to remove hurdles in the way of increasing connectivity. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister informed the audience about her Ministry's initiatives for development of IT sector in Pakistan including the plan to establish National Incubation Centre and setups on artificial intelligence and robotics. She said the Ministry is pursuing a comprehensive programme as an enabler and supporter to facilitate other ministries as well as other organizations in benefitting from the development in the IT sector. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his opening remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed briefed the Minister about the 29<sup>th</sup> South Asian Network Operators Group Conference being held at HEC. He said MoIT, HEC and PTA have to work together to get benefits of IT tools and technologies. He said the Government is putting its resources through various programmes for promotion of higher education in the country. He said HEC is dedicatedly playing its part to facilitate the higher education institutions with ICT services aiming at the country's socio-economic development.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Dr. Ismail Shah lauded the MoIT and HEC for their efforts to promote utilization of new technologies in their respective spheres. He said the country has witnessed a great improvement in the use of internet. The number of broadband users has reached 40 million in Pakistan, he informed. He termed the inauguration of IXP as a milestone in the IT sector and hoped that such Internet Exchange Points will soon be launched in Lahore, Karachi and other cities as well. </p>02-02-2017 09:17:04<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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