Press Releases



VCs Urge Government to Protect Higher Education BudgetVCs Urge Government to Protect Higher Education Budget<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, June 2, 2022: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanvir Hussain have held out assurance to the heads of public sector universities that the Government will not cut the higher education sector's budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2022-23.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Ministers were addressing the Vice Chancellors Committee meeting held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad. Vice Chancellors of all the public sector universities and the Commission (HEC's governing body) members attended the meeting.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Vice Chancellors conveyed their concerns about the Indicative Budget Ceilings (IBC) of only Rs. 30 billion for higher education's recurring grant for the FY 2022-23. However, they welcomed the assurances of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif with regard to protection of the higher education sector's budget. They emphasized that HEC had presented a rationalized demand of Rs. 104.983 billion for the next financial year worked out together with the Ministry of Finance which needs to be protected. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Ahsan Iqbal affirmed that the Government is cognizant of the importance of higher education and universities in the development of a nation. He underlined that the country needs to bring the universities to the forefront to help tackle its challenges by fully utilizing the potential of youth. "The States unable to provide education to their youth lose their right to survival," he stated. He said Pakistan has rich endowments and it will turn around the tide of economic hardships. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister said that the universities carry-out mentoring of almost two million youth, who are the future of this country. He termed classrooms and laboratories of the universities as national security frontiers while calling the Vice Chancellors the corps commanders. He highlighted that it is up to the Vice Chancellors as to how they prepare the youth for future challenges. "We have to provide a platform to our youth to bring Pakistan to the position it deserves and inculcate the principle of unity in diversity" he stressed.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Minister for Federal Education Rana Tanveer stated that he stands by the universities in their valid demand for allocation of Rs. 104.983 billion. He stressed the need for promoting quality of education, innovation, and research activities in the universities to equip the country's youth with education and skills. He said that the Government will take steps to improve the financial management of universities. He expressed his approval of a recommendation by Vice Chancellors that the budgetary allocation to higher education should be linked to the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail underlined that the public sector universities are already under a financial stress, as some universities have gone short of funds to even pay salaries and pensions. She said that HEC presented a rationalized demand of Rs. 104.983 billion for the FY 2022-23, while the proposed allocation is 45 per cent less even than the current year's allocation of Rs. 66.25 billion.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She acknowledged the Prime Minister's assurance following the issuance of IBC and called it as a welcome gesture. However, she emphasized that the Government must fulfil its promise, in addition to releasing the additional grant of Rs. 15 billion promised by the previous Government for the current fiscal year. She said that HEC funds 100 public sector universities, 50 Research Centers/Institutes and 18 new universities (eligible for funding). It will be impossible to run universities if any cut is enforced, she warned.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She said that the Federal Government provides around 34% of the funds needed to run universities and the provinces allocate 6-8 percent, adding that the universities themselves arrange for the rest of its monetary requirements. She said that the public sector universities are bound to keep the semester fee within a limit in order to ensure that the students of low-income families may also acquire education. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier, Engr. Ahmed Farooq Bazai, Commission Member and Vice Chancellors BUEITMS and Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali, Chair of the VCs' Committee and Vice Chancellor QAU expressed their concern over serious shortfall in higher education funding and impressed upon the Government to restore the funding to the rationalized demand of Rs.104.983 billion. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Muhammad Asghar Commission Member as well as several other Vice Chancellors expressed their views on the occasion. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p>03-06-2022 16:08:21<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC to Launch Online Mechanism to Facilitate Cashless PaymentsHEC to Launch Online Mechanism to Facilitate Cashless Payments<p><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/DSC_7168.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, May 30, 2022: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s 1LINK to launch an online/automated mechanism to facilitate cashless payments for its services.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The collaboration with M/s 1LINK, the lead authorised service provider for online payment services in Pakistan, will facilitate cashless payments for all types of HEC services through 1Bill via mobile phones or the internet and the students and all other users of HEC portals will be enabled to make rapid, online payments. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The online payment facility will be integrated with HEC online system and the users of HEC portals will be able to submit online fee through M/s 1LINK for different services provided by HEC. The facility will cover online payment for local and foreign degree equivalence, national and foreign scholarship programmes, and Education Testing Council (ETC) tests in the first phase, and degree attestation in the second phase.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The main advantages of using online payment are to save time and introduce efficiency and transparency in line with the government's vision. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In-charge Accounts Section HEC Mr. Parvez Iqbal and Chief Executive Officer M/s 1LINK Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla signed the MoU at HEC Secretariat, Islamabad. The ceremony was attended by Adviser (Coordination) HEC Mr. Awais Ahmed, Director Operations (PERN) Ch. Adullah Fayyaz Chattha, Director General (Finance) HEC Mr. Ghulam Nabi, Mr. Fawad Raza, Deputy Director (IT) HEC, Mr. Faisal Rafiq, Deputy Director (IT) HEC, Mr. Muhammad Awais Javed Satti, Assistant Director (IT) HEC, Ch. Hassan Abbas Gondal System Engineer (IT), Mr. Muhammad Bashir Khan, Chief Operating Officer, 1LINK and Mr. Umer Ansari, Head of Business Development, 1LINK.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Agrawalla remarked, "The customers of HEC will be able to use mobile banking, internet banking and over-the-counter practices across Pakistan. The customers will be able to make instant payments. The best part about 1LINK is that it is subjugated to Bank-agnostic model, which relates to all the major banks in Pakistan."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Expressing his views, Mr. Ghulam Nabi said,<em> </em>"I am thankful to the 1LINK team for doing the signing ceremony and it would be a big change for HEC and for all the stakeholders of HEC. Through this, we hope that our attestation, equivalence, and scholarship related payment challenges throughout the world will resolve easily."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his remarks, Director General HEC IT Nazeer Hussain<em> </em>said that it is a big milestone in the direction of automation and facilitation for the public and was made possible with the support of dynamic leadership of HEC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p><p><br></p>01-06-2022 12:02:00<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Signs MoU with Five Universities in Collaboration with SMEDAHEC Signs MoU with Five Universities in Collaboration with SMEDA<p><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/Picture%20-%20MoU.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Islamabad, May 24, 2022:</strong> A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Higher Education Commission (HEC) and five Universities for National Idea Lab initiative pilot phase was held at HEC Secretariat on Tuesday. The universities include National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad, National Textile University (NTU) Faisalabad, Institute of Management Sciences (IMS) Peshawar, NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi, and Balochistan University of IT, Engineering and Management Sciences Quetta. Mr. Hashim Raza, CEO SMEDA, Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director HEC, and Vice Chancellors of the respective Universities signed the agreement.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The MoU is aimed to execute the National Idea Lab initiative which has been designed for enhanced cooperation on promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and incubation across Universities of Pakistan. The National Idea Lab will develop a co-creative and supportive environment – which will encourage students' entrepreneurial intent and at the same time support open innovation approach in collaboration between SMEs and universities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through NIL, the students and researchers will get the opportunity to develop and commercialize their ideas through entrepreneurship or in collaboration with existing SMEs. During this process student teams will have the opportunity to be mentored, guided, and advised through the NIL platform.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In her remarks, Dr. Shaista Sohail said that the National Idea Lab initiative will further strengthen the Innovation and Commercialization efforts of HEC, and will act as a platform for the youth of Pakistan especially the final year students and fresh graduates. They will be provided with an opportunity to convert their innovative ideas into scalable businesses and contribute actively to the socio-economic development of Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Hashim Raza reiterated the need for collaborative efforts to promote and upscale the development of SME sector in Pakistan by providing the young and fresh talent with mentoring and capacity building. He said that there is much potential in technology, agriculture, and tourism sectors in Pakistan that can lead to increased foreign-direct investment in the country through the innovative SMEs. The Vice Chancellors of the partnering HEIs showed their continued commitment towards the NIL initiative and hoped that this initiative will further the innovation and commercialization ecosystem in Pakistan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p><p><br></p>24-05-2022 13:12:59<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Chairman HEC Expresses Solidarity with Karachi UniversityChairman HEC Expresses Solidarity with Karachi University<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, April 28, 2022: Chairman HEC (Higher Education Commission) has expressed solidarity with the students and staff of the University of Karachi over the terrorist incident at the University's Confucius Institute. Condoling the loss of valuable lives in the blast that killed four people including Chinese faculty members, Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri conveyed his profound grief to the Vice Chancellor and extended full support to the University.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said that it was shocking to see that an institution of higher learning had been targeted in the attack, and especially that some of our foreign guests had also lost their valuable lives. However, the entire nation is united in its resolve to fight this evil through joint and coordinated efforts. HEC had already supported the smart university project through which security cameras had been installed at many universities. Work has started on developing and launching additional programs for harnessing technology, building capacity, and strengthening institutional cooperation in the service of campus security and student welfare.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>30-04-2022 08:10:16<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Issues Policy Guidelines to Varsities on Nursing Degree ProgrammesHEC Issues Policy Guidelines to Varsities on Nursing Degree Programmes<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, April 22, 2022: Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan has issued policy guidelines to all the universities/degree awarding institutions (DAIs) on Nursing Education, as the country's premier institution to regulate higher education continues developing and reviewing the curriculum standards at undergraduate and graduate levels.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In order to review educational pathways for nursing degree programmes, a series of consultative meetings of National Curriculum Review Committee (NCRC) in collaboration with Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) was held in the year 2021-22. Subsequently, following recommendations along-with the roadmap are approved and circulated for implementation by all universities/DAI imparting Nursing Education.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The eligibility criteria for admission in four-year BS Nursing (BSN) shall be HSSC/equivalent (12 years of schooling) in pre-medical group with minimum 50% marks. Admission in erstwhile three-year nursing diploma offered after SSC/equivalent (10 years of schooling) has already been stopped with effect from 31.12.2018.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As per recommendation of the respective National Curriculum Review Committee, the nursing graduates having qualified three-year nursing diploma, one year midwifery / specialization diploma and two-year Post-RN BSN / Post-RN BSM qualification are allowed equivalence of 16 years of education, irrespective of the sequence of qualification. Such equivalence is subject to passing of three compulsory subjects (I) Pakistan Studies (II) Islamic Studies / Ethics (for non-Muslims) and (III) English at erstwhile two-year conventional BA/BSc level or Post-RN level or offered separately by institutions at par with 14 years of education (NQF level 5) or 16 years of education (NQF level 6). Separate transcripts issued by institutions for passing of above-mentioned compulsory subjects shall also be accepted by HEC for the purpose. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Also, one-time waiver is granted for equivalence of 18 years of education in cases where nursing graduates completed one year midwifery / specialization diploma after MS Nursing (MSN) degree programme. The requirement of passing aforementioned three compulsory subjects at 14 years of education (NQF level 5) or 16 years of education (NQF level 6) shall remain the same.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Furthermore, students having qualified three-year nursing diploma and one year midwifery / specialization diploma are allowed equivalence of 14 years of education, irrespective of the sequence subject to passing of aforementioned three compulsory subjects at 14 years of education (NQF level 5). Separate transcripts issued by institutions for passing these subjects shall also be accepted by HEC for the purpose.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">To provide opportunity of further education to nursing diploma holders and to address shortage of nursing faculty in the country, student intake in Post-RN BSN / Post-RN BSM is allowed till 31.12.2026.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As per HEC policy, at least two PhD qualified faculty members specialized in the relevant field are required for launch of MS/MPhil/equivalent (NQF level 7) degree programmes. Considering the limited number of PhD faculty in the field of Nursing, the National Curriculum Review Committee has recommended the minimum requirement of two MSN qualified faculty members having at least five years of professional experience for launch of MSN programmes. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Quality Assurance Division (QAD) of HEC shall be required in this regard.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Similarly, the National Curriculum Review Committee has recommended the minimum requirement of 10 BSN / Post-RN BSN / Post-RN BSM qualified faculty members with at least five years of professional experience and one (01) MSN qualified faculty member in the department to initiate a BSN degree programme.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>22-04-2022 11:44:59<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Commission Unanimously Restores Chairperson HEC’s PowersCommission Unanimously Restores Chairperson HEC’s Powers<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, April 20, 2022: The Higher Education Commission's governing body, called the Commission, restored the powers of Chairperson HEC by a unanimous vote in its meeting held on Wednesday. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The decision overruled an earlier resolution, on which consent of the Commission Members was obtained without a formal meeting and through email, to delegate Chairperson's powers to the Executive Director HEC.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, the Commission meeting held on Wednesday restored the powers to the Chairperson HEC. All participants of the meeting voted in favour of a motion to set aside the earlier resolution.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting was attended by Tariq Banuri, Chairman HEC, Dr. Bhawani Shankar Chowdhry, Former Dean and Adviser, MUET Jamshoro, Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, President SZABIST, Mr. Shamsh Kassim  Lakha, former Federal Minister for Education/S&T, Dr. Faisal Bari, CEO and Senior Research Fellow (IDEA) / Associate Professor LUMS, Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodi, Vice Chancellor, NED UET, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Asif Mumtaz Sukhera, former Surgeon General, Lt. Gen.(Retd) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant (CPEC) HEC, Ms. Naheed Durrani, Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Mr. Mira Mohyuddin Soomro, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology and Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director HEC.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>21-04-2022 06:30:09<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Universities Commit to Provide Core Courses to PakistanEdXUniversities Commit to Provide Core Courses to PakistanEdX<p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/news/news/PublishingImages/Pages/PakistanEdX/Picture.jpg" alt="Picture.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, March 5, 2022: The Higher Education Commission's Higher Education Development Programme (HEDP) hosted a consortium of nine universities at LUMS to identify high-quality asynchronous online courses as part of the new undergraduate core curriculum for the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The purpose of offering nationwide online courses is to ensure all students across the country have access to the highest quality of foundational education. PakistanEdX has been selected as formal name for this national platform. HEC PakistanEdx platform is developed by the same organization which has been a major developer for several international learning platforms like MIT/Harvard's edX, University of California San Diego, edX, and Wikimedia. The technology built by this firm has already served over 55 million students worldwide. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC will use the same technology to increase access to quality education and make it available for far-flung areas of Pakistan. The platform will be complemented by HEC's Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) which is expanding quality internet access to all universities and affiliating colleges. These initiatives are particularly important for provinces like Balochistan, interior Sindh, newly merged districts of KP and far-Punjab.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The consortium is formulated based on the expertise of these universities in developing and delivering quality online learning platforms. It includes Allama Iqbal Open University; Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences; COMSATS University; Habib University; Hazara University; Lahore University of Management Sciences; National University of Sciences and Technology and Virtual University of Pakistan.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The new curriculum adds 11 core courses drawn from five broad categories of HEC Undergraduate Policy courses. These universities will contribute courses on PakistanEdX by offering multilingual options in these five categories of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Quantitative Skills, Natural Sciences, and Expository Writing.<br>Discussions were led by Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director, HEC and Ms. Maryam Riaz, Project Coordinator, HEDP. "HEC aims to create a holistic vision of quality culture for online and blended learning," said Ms. Riaz. Lt. Gen. Javed Bukhari, Rector NUST said "Here is an opportunity where we can learn from each other, and I am very confident that all the stakeholders – not only faculty and students, but also the market, accreditation bodies will join hands with us." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Rector COMSATS University Dr. Tabassum Afzal, emphasizing the significance of using technology, added that globally education is now about clicks and not bricks. He said that HEC's efforts have taken us to this point and this endeavour will be a huge accomplishment in providing breadth of education for undergraduate students across the country." Dr.  Arshad Saleem Bhatti, Rector, Virtual University<strong> </strong>commented,<strong> </strong>"We are standing at a junction where the future of education in Pakistan is being decided." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The global offerings of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have skyrocketed demonstrating that online courses do not replace in-person instruction but rather provide complementary choices to learn anytime, anywhere" said Dr. Arshad Ahmad, VC, LUMS. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Halai, Vice Provost, Aga Khan University, emphasized the need for quality assurance and a rigorous review process to ensure relevance and high standards. Leading the discussions around Quality Assurance, special working groups are formulated to develop quality assurance and sustainability models of PaksitanEdx. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The consortium will meet on a regular basis to drive this project forward, invite other universities and work together to train faculty members across Pakistan to develop these courses. By pooling course offerings through PakistanEdX, all universities and their students stand to gain from more quality educational choices.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>17-03-2022 08:02:11<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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