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National Consultative Conference on HEC Vision 2025National Consultative Conference on HEC Vision 2025<div style="text-align:justify;"> </div><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, May 29, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan organised on Monday the National Consultative Conference on HEC Vision 2025 to deliberate future plans for higher education sector and discuss further improvement in the reform process in line with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025.   </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform was chief guest on the occasion. Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Sanai, Minister for Education, Gilgit-Baltistan, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Engr. Jawed Salim Qureshi, Chairman, Pakistan Engineering Council, Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Mr. Shoaib Mir, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Vice Chancellors, deans and senior faculty, research scholars as well as representatives of different federal and provincial departments, industry and other stakeholders participated in the conference.  </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">HEC Vision 2025 is a comprehensive document, which has been prepared after extensive deliberation and consultation with eminent academicians, policy makers, business and industry leaders, and aims to consolidate HEC’s achievements during the last 15 years and carry on the reform process in a more ambitious and strategic manner while focusing on intellectual capital which is the way forward to build a knowledge economy.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">The Vision document has gone through a critical in-house evaluation of achievements and reform business for the last decade through analysis of available data. A team of eminently qualified national consultants was engaged to develop key thematic areas. Outcome of various consultative sessions with the stakeholders assisted in identifying priorities and direction for the higher education sector. Draft of HEC Vision 2025 was also placed on HEC website for wider and critical feedback. Response from a number of academicians, scholars, government functionaries, students and general public facilitated in improving the draft.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal revealed how quality higher education can play a vital role in turning the country into a knowledge-based economy. He observed that the world has entered into the fourth industrial revolution wherein big data cloud computing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, bio-technology, automation and robotics have evolved great significance. He maintained that competence in all these areas requires excellence in higher education. Terming the Vice Chancellors of Universities corps commanders of higher education sector, he urged them to concentrate on turning the universities into engines of innovation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister revealed that the outcome of HEC Vision 2025 hinges upon seven key guidelines including academic excellence, applied research in universities, academia-industry linkages, transforming universities to serve the community for socio-economic development, making universities technology-enabled, institutional excellence, and university products i.e., skilled human resource. He affirmed that excellence in education is a must to make Pakistan an Asian tiger. “Erecting buildings in the name of Universities is no achievement, the real task is to create thirst for knowledge and research,” he emphasised.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Referring to the budget 2017-18, he said the Government has earmarked Rs. 35.5 billion for the PSDP of higher education sector. He maintained that various new programmes are planned to be launched including Inter-University Olympics, Global Leadership Internship, training of ERP systems to 100000 students, certificate and diploma programmes for 10000 youth who have done Masters in subjects which have no relevance in the job market, and establishment of Technology Innovation Fund.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his opening remarks earlier, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed shared the role of HEC in blending the human resource development with the country's socio-economic growth, promoting ICT-embedded education programmes, inspiring universities to share experience with other educational institutions, enhancing quality of higher education and research, increasing scholarships and global connectivity, facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship, and encouraging universities for community development. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He said the strategic priorities of the HEC Vision 2025 include sustainability and consolidation of HEC; increasing equitable access; excellence in leadership; governance and management; research, innovation and commercialization; increased faculty with highest academic qualification; enhanced quality with curricular content for all levels of qualification offered; promoting ICT for education; and financial management and enhanced investment. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said that before the inception of HEC, students enrolment in universities was only 0.276 million, while the number has now been taken to 1.3 million. "It is a happy development that gender-wise enrolment has been balanced, as now the ratio of male and female student enrolment is respectively 52 per cent and 48 per cent," he revealed. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He informed that so far over 200,000 students have benefitted from HEC scholarships, adding that more than 130,000 students of 114 districts of the country have been reimbursed fee under the Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Programme. He said 41 per cent increase has been witnessed in research publications in the last five years, adding that the number of publications was 6401 in 2011, however 12000 research articles were published in 2016. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He said that HEC has set up 49 Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization in addition to 25 Business Incubation Centres in different universities. He informed that HEC was awarded 3G Excellence in Higher Education Award in 2016, while it has also grabbed the 3G Award of the Cambridge IF Analytica in 2017. Sharing the three-tier model of Tertiary Education, he said HEC aims at ensuring 40 per cent PhD faculty in universities by 2025 and reaching the less developed areas of Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Masoom Yasinzai presented a resolution on behalf of Vice Chancellors and Rectors of Universities. “We are grateful for all the support received from the Government of Pakistan particularly Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform. The HEC Vision 2025 has chartered an exemplary and ambitious roadmap for enhanced access, qualitative improvement of curricula and vibrant world-class research model for our institutions of higher learning. We affirmatively resolve that each and every leader of the higher education sector will play its vital role in achieving the aspirational goals and targets set in the HEC Vision 2025.”</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The conference participants were provided an opportunity to take part in special breakout sessions on Human Resources Development in Areas of National Importance, Quality of Education at Undergraduate Level, Universities as Hubs for Innovative Research in National Priority Areas, Role of Universities’ Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORICS) in Discovery and Dissemination of Useful Knowledge, Information and Communication Technologies, Access to Digital Information and Advanced Programmes, Standards Compliant Teacher Education Programmes, National Institutions of Applied Technologies with specific reference to CPEC, Embedding Social Values and Ethics in Higher Education System, Community Colleges for Skill Development, and Good Governance in Higher Education Institutions. The recommendations of these sessions will be considered for making any change in HEC Vision 2025 document.</p><p class="yiv4896386197msoplaintext" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt;background:white none repeat scroll 0% 0%;text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12.5pt;font-family:"calibri",sans-serif;"> </span></p>30-05-2017 03:57:48<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Approves Research Projects for Returning PhD ScholarsHEC Approves Research Projects for Returning PhD Scholars <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Islamabad, May 18, 2017: The Higher Education commission (HEC) Pakistan organized the second steering committee meeting for final review and approval of project proposals submitted under the project “Establishment of Technology Development Fund (TDF) for HEC scholars returning from abroad after completing PhD to introduce new technologies in Pakistan.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC chaired the meeting. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC and Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser R&D were also present on the occasion. Project Steering committee comprised members from education sector of all provinces, AJK and industry to maintain transparency for final approval of project proposals.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed highlighted importance of the project, as this project will not only strengthen relationship between academia and industry, it will also help researchers to materialize their ideas into products/services to support country’s dream of knowledge economy. He said both academia and industry should come closer to explore new horizons for betterment of the country. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Dr. Gul Mohammad Laghari, Deputy Chief S&T Section, Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms said that this project is one of the priorities of the Government to achieve Pakistan’s Vision 2025. Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, UET Taxila highlighted that number of project proposals received from KP, Balochistan and Sindh were very few hence there is need to encourage provinces to apply under next calls.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Dr. Arhsad Ali also highlighted the role of HEC for taking such initiatives to provide researchers an opportunity to execute their ideas with industrial partners for socio-economic growth of country. He appreciated the support received from Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar, Chairman, Rastgar Group in identification of industrial experts. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser R&D and Ms. Noshaba Awais, Director R&D appreciated the contribution of expert panel for proposals’ approval as well as committee’s suggestions to further improve this project so as to facilitate more innovative ideas from all areas of Pakistan.    </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">The members of steering committee who attended the meeting included Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar, Mrs. Anjum Afshan Naqvi, Director, Education Colleges AJK Muzaffarabad, Mr. Ata Muhammad Kakar, Deputy Secretary from Balochistan, Dr. Gul Mohammad Laghari, Mr. Khurram Zafar, Executive Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lahore University of Management Sciences.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;color:#262626;">===============</span></p>19-05-2017 04:16:46<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC, ECOSF Forum Stresses Significance of Inquiry Based Science EducationHEC, ECOSF Forum Stresses Significance of Inquiry Based Science Education<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, May 11, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan in collaboration with ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) organised Forum on Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) -- <em>La main a la pate </em>to emphasise the importance of inquiry in science education and strengthening science base in schools. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Ameer Muhammad, Rector National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was chief guest of the occasion. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Mrs. Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Dr. Athar Osama, Member S&T Planning Commission, Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro, President ECOSF, Mr. Mosharraf Zaidi, Campaign Director Alif Ailaan and students of different schools were also present. Prof. Pierre Lena, Chairman <em>La main a la pate, </em>a French organisation, was the keynote speaker of the forum. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his welcome address, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said HEC deliberated on creating base of students in the country's school system in order to bring about creative minds to the higher education level. "Though the main objective of HEC is to facilitate universities, however, following complaints from higher education institutions, it decided to contribute to improvement of quality at school level," he remarked. The deliberation led to various initiatives aimed at supporting schools through universities, he added. He maintained the HEC started the project of hand-holding of schools through universities. He shed light on the need for training of school teachers in order to produce fertile minds of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Urging the students to increase their interest in scientific developments, he said, "the future of Pakistan depends upon you and, I believe, many Nobel laureates are sitting here." He directed teachers to encourage students taking part in science activities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his keynote address, Dr. Pierre Lena termed science education a key element for the future of a nation. He paid tribute to the scientists who struggled to change the science education to bridge the gap between science education and technological discoveries. He revealed the importance of curiosity, observation, language, self-confidence and creativity in the field of science education. "Providing science education to every student is a key to understand the world, find a personal future, develop own creativity and talent, foster national development, and avoid atmosphere of world unsustainability," he underlined.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the forum, Mrs. Martine Dorance admired the role of La main a la pate in promoting science across the world. She said promoting science collaboration with Pakistan is one of the top priorities of France, as France encourages wide dissemination and development of science. She appreciated the HEC for its generous support to activities focusing promotion of not only higher education but also education at school level. Giving example of PERIDOT, she said, "we, together, can have a good future for our children and the coming generations."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Amir Muhammad, Rector National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) described the efforts of HEC for promotion of higher education in the country. He said since the inception of HEC in 2002, the tertiary level education has marked a vital improvement. He said the base of education needs to be very strong to have a strong higher education. "A good quality of education at primary and secondary level lead to have a good quality of students at higher education level," he underlined. He also stressed the need for utilizing the modern way of science teaching at all levels in addition to improvement in the examination system.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier in the introductory remarks, Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro said Pakistan needs a workforce having strong foundation in STEM subjects. He said the potential of students can be channalised by promoting inquiry based science education, adding that the country's institutions should encourage learning by doing.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mahmood-ul-Hassan Butt, Consultant HEC urged the students to pursue four C's i.e., curiosity, critical analysis, constructive approach and consistency in their studies in order to develop practical understanding of topics. He said three elements, including knowledge base, interactive education, and new strategies of teaching should be part of teachers training. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his closing remarks, Dr. G. Raza Bhatti termed the forum to be a great learning opportunity for students. He emphasised that questioning is the most important part of school life. "Inquiry based education outside of educational institutions is also very necessary in the learning process," he concluded.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The forum also included panel discussion on how inquiry based science education can be promoted in the educational institutions of the country.</p>11-05-2017 13:59:56<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Organises Trainings for BPS 1-10 EmployeesHEC Organises Trainings for BPS 1-10 Employees<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, May 5, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan has organised a series of trainings for personal as well as professional development of its employees working in different cadres. In addition to holding specific sessions for people working at managerial positions, HEC has also organized professional development programmes for staff working in BPS 1-10.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The training sessions focus grooming of HEC employees and includes a variety of activities. These refresher courses are aimed to boost morale, devotion, and organizational commitment among the employees.  Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC graced the closing session of two training programmes as chief guest. He appreciated interest and enthusiasm of participants in the activities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The last programme of the series is being held from May 5-7, 2017. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC will be chief guest in the closing ceremony. It is pertinent to mention here that numerous professional development activities were approved for current financial year 2016-17. The wide range of programmes focuses philosophy of catering for diverse needs and ensuring experiential interactive learning for development of individual, professional and teamwork skills. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p>06-05-2017 17:57:33<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Wins Global Good Governance AwardHEC Wins Global Good Governance Award<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, April 26, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan has won the Global Good Governance (3G) Award of Cambridge IF Analytica, an international organisation based in Cambridge, UK. The award distribution ceremony was held in Dubai, UAE.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The 3G Awards are presented to government organisations, corporations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for excellence in transparency, good governance and social responsibility. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The awards are given in three streams including government and politics, corporate sector, social sector and philanthropy. From the four nominations in each category, the winner is selected by a global poll. In order to maintain the highest standards of integrity, nominations are subject to multiple levels of independent review by a selection committee consisting of eminent personalities drawn from government, industry and academia. This is the second year running where HEC has bagged the award.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The 3G Awards are based on a proprietary methodology, "3G Methodology", developed by the organisation. The 3G Methodology has a score card called 3G Card, which has five pillars including transparency, social responsibility, sustainability, impact and innovation. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Cambridge IF Analytica is a financial services intelligence house that specialises in developing and utilising powerful cutting edge analytical tools to evaluate business data, assess macroeconomic indicators and understand market trends, leadership positioning and brand development relevant to the development of the financial services industry globally. The HEC, Pakistan has been recognised for its achievements in increasing access to technology-embedded higher education and diligently creating a culture of innovative and useful research in higher education institutions in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Cambridge IF Analytica reviewed the HEC Vision 2025 and its inspirational goals to collectively improve quality of higher education to prepare increased number of qualified and productive human capital who will create a knowledge-based economy.</p>26-04-2017 11:08:43<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
3-Day Data Science Workshop Begins at HEC3-Day Data Science Workshop Begins at HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, April 18, 2017: Opening ceremony of 3-day Data Science Workshop was held at Higher Education Commission Secretariat here on Tuesday. The workshop will provide networking and collaborative opportunities to local community and extend a platform to share thoughts and learn from domain experts, foreign professors, researchers and industry experts from US, China, UK, New Zealand and Australia.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC was the chief guest on the occasion, while Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Dr. Edward Seidel, Director National Centre for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, and Dr. Ayub Alvi, Chairperson National Computing Education Accreditation Council were also present. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed emphasized the need for promotion of constructive sciences which lead to welfare of mankind. "Let's work together for the well-being of humanity," he underlined. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He said that fiction of today is tomorrow's reality. He observed that science has made rapid progress and scientific miracles are a beauty of nature, however destruction caused by misuse of science is also a bitter reality. He urged the scientists and the community associated with Data Science to focus the betterment of human beings in their work. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his keynote address, Dr. Edward Seidel shed light on the emergence of Data Science as a new paradigm. Describing the data-enabled transformation of science, he revealed the role of Data Science in various scientific fields. He also discussed topics like Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Big Data, Long Tail of Science, Materials Genome, Big Data Hubs, material innovations, and fundamental observations that scientists have communicated by sharing data. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Seidel shared the basic vision of opening data and publication services while describing new dimensions in modern publications. He stressed the need for a concrete policy to ensure effective use of Data Science in every field.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his welcome address earlier, Dr. Arshad Ali informed that HEC plans to set up five Data Science Centres in Pakistan -- one in each province and one in the federal capital. He said the purpose of organizing the workshop is to train faculty on teaching Data Science so as to prepare workforce for the future Data Science Centres. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He underlined that Data Science has an important role not only in Computer Science but in almost all the disciplines including medical, engineering, and agriculture. He said the advent of digital facilities has made it easy to collect and save a huge data, adding that the Data Science has also generated enormous job opportunities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Data Science is an emerging field that has gained significant attention in academia as well as industry for last few years. Huge amount of data is being generated by industry, government, telecommunication and private setups, however there is a dire need for professionals who can work on data generated for betterment of local businesses and community alike.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Due to inadequate training opportunities and awareness building programmes, professional expertise in harvesting Big Data is limited and it is difficult to capitalize on flourishing opportunities of Data Science available across the globe. HEC has taken the initiative of promoting Data Science activities in collaboration with national and international partners both from industry and academia.</p>18-04-2017 12:09:09<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Inks Pact with Overseas Technology for Online Courses, CertificationHEC Inks Pact with Overseas Technology for Online Courses, Certification<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, April 11, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan has signed an agreement with Overseas Technology Private Limited to acquire services of digital content, subsidized online courses and certification of high ranking renowned institutions to the recipients of Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The signing ceremony was held at the Commission Secretariat here on Tuesday. Ms. Leila Khan, Chairperson, Prime Minister Youth Programme was the chief guest. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, and other senior officers of the two sides were also present.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Leila Khan appreciated the managements of both HEC and Overseas Technology Pvt. Ltd. for taking measures to provide students with opportunity to secure internationally acclaimed specialization in diversified disciplines leading towards certifications through an online platform. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">She said the courses will enhance learning capabilities of students in their professional career. She urged HEC and Overseas Technology to facilitate students at the time of registration in this programme and throughout their courses. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Welcoming Ms. Leila Khan to HEC, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said the Government is paying due attention for promotion of higher education in the country. He said HEC is effectively implementing Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme and Prime Minister's Fee Reimbursement Scheme the Prime Minister's Youth Programme. He maintained that laptop assembly plant has now been set up in Pakistan making the execution of PM's Laptop Scheme easier. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said over Rs. 6.5 billion has so far been reimbursed to students from less developed areas of Pakistan under the Fee Reimbursement Scheme, adding that HEC has also set up Education Testing Council to ensure free of cost entry tests for admission to universities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Referring to Smart University concept, he underlined that HEC has so far enabled 15 universities with Wifi-enabled campuses linked with Safe Campus Project to not only facilitate students but also ensure their security. 'HEC intends to rollout this concept at all public sector universities by 2018," he added.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier, briefing the Chairperson PMYP about significance of the agreement, Dr. Arshad Ali said that HEC is determined to improve effective utilization of modern technology, adding that improvement in the quality of education and access to education cannot be achieved without use of technology. He said the agreement is a step forward towards creating a learning environment for students. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The agreement will provide students with an opportunity to secure certifications from renowned institutions and will enhance their skills. A verified certificate from authentic online platform can serve as a proof for an employer that someone is abreast with cutting-edge tools and skills needed for a competitive career internationally. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​MS and PhD level laptop recipients can sign up and enroll in 70 specialization and associated courses, initially offered under the programme. They can earn a completion certificate upon successful completion of their specific course.</p>18-04-2017 12:06:38<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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