Press Releases



Universities will continue to operate as per HEC GuidelinesUniversities will continue to operate as per HEC Guidelines<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 26, 2021: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has clarified that all universities will continue to operate as per guidelines issued by the HEC earlier. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The recent announcement of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training is about resumption of a regular school week of 5 days for urban centers of Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, and Peshawar. Earlier schools in these cities were restricted to a 3-day school week by NCOC in view of a high prevalence of COVID-19. NCOC has removed these restrictions following a fresh assessment of the prevailing situation in these cities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is reiterated that all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will continue academic and research operations in accordance with the relevant instructions already provided by the HEC in the following Covid-19 guidance notes. (a) HEC Policy Guidance Note # 8; Further Guidance w.e.f. November 26, 2020 which is available at <a href="/english/HECAnnouncements/Documents/nCoVirus/Further-Guidance-HEIs.pdf"></a> and (b) Strategy for Gradual Opening of HEIs, revised September 2, 2020 available at <a href="/english/HECAnnouncements/Documents/nCoVirus/Reopening-of-HEIs.pdf"></a> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Health and safety guidelines communicated by the HEC or prescribed by the Government should be implemented strictly and will remain effective until and unless modified. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Universities are advised to seek further guidance, if required, from the Chair or the provincial/regional members of the Covid-19 Oversight Committee or email at <a href=""></a></p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>26-02-2021 12:59:36<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
NTC to Formulate Recommendations for National Education PolicyNTC to Formulate Recommendations for National Education Policy<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 19, 2021: The National Technology Council (NTC) has decided to formulate recommendations regarding technology education and associated skills for assimilation in the upcoming national education policy.       </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This was decided in a virtual meeting of NTC, headed by Chairman NTC Mr. Imtiaz Hussain Gillani. A large number of Vice Chancellors, Rectors, and technology experts attended the meeting. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It was decided that a meeting will be held at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Taxila in March, with Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar, Vice-Chancellor National Skills University (NSU), Islamabad in the chair to formulate the recommendations. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the meeting, Chairman NTC Mr. Gillani said that a joint committee of the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training, Higher Education Commission (HEC), and NTC was developing a career path for creation of job opportunities for Engineering Technologists in the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The technology education experts highlighted the importance of technical education, stressing the need for integration of the NTC proposals in the national education policy being formulated by the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training. In view of the government's deep interest in technology education and the emerging global demands, they stressed that technology and skill education must be on top of the government's agenda.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>19-02-2021 13:53:38<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
NAHE holds Capacity Enhancement Session for IPFP FellowsNAHE holds Capacity Enhancement Session for IPFP Fellows<p>Islamabad, February 12, 2021: The National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) on Thursday held a capacity enhancement session "Reflective Practice in Teaching and Learning" for Fellows of the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP). Over 200 IPFP Fellows from higher education institutions across Pakistan attended the virtual workshop.</p><p>As the IPFP Fellows go through their placements at universities and institutions across Pakistan, NAHE intends to touch base with them, refresh parts of their learning through the National Faculty Development Programme and assess effectiveness of this Programme. To this end, NAHE collaborated with members of NFDP 2020 instructional team to conduct this session and draw reflections on the NFDP with successfully placed IPFP fellows.</p><p>The session was attended by Rector NAHE Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali, Lead Consultant Fellowship and Academic Leadership Programme, NAHE, Dr. Shazia Awan, and Assistant Professor Dr. Sana Waheed. </p><p>Sessions like this are part of the continuing professional development approach adopted by NAHE. Fellows were given mini-workshops on reflective practice, teaching, student-centered learning, and learner-engagement in online classes.</p><p>During the event, fellows shared their unique experiences of working through a pandemic and navigating courses online. They also participated in learning activities and reflective sessions with Dr Shazia Awan (NAHE/Dalhousie University) and Dr Sana Waheed (NUST). One of the NFDP graduates reflected on how she relied on WhatsApp to conduct classes and learning activities and keep her students engaged. Fellows shared their stories of creativity and dedication. </p><p>Dr. Sana Waheed assured fellows that the NFDP has provided them with the tools they need to deliver student-centered learnings in their work; she further advised them to take a look, consult their network of IPFP fellows and adapt. Dr Shazia Awan took the participants through what it meant to be a reflective practitioner and how being one can help them think through the wider impact of their teaching practice. </p><p>In 2020, NAHE conducted a rigorous academic teaching course, the National Faculty Development Programme (NFDP), for almost 500 freshly graduated PhDs. The month-long course was designed to prepare NFDP Fellows for teaching and research duties required by their places of work under the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs (IPFP) programme.</p><p>The IPFP was launched in 2009 with the objective of providing opportunities for employment to selected fresh PhDs for one year as Assistant Professors against vacant TTS (Tenure Track System) positions in public or private universities. During the placement, the host universities are expected to advertise these positions and give equal opportunity to the IPFP faculty for securing permanent positions in BPS/TTS pay scales. The program also supports universities in attracting emerging scholars, reducing search costs and providing necessary experience to potential candidates. </p><p>NAHE is established as a stand-alone, autonomous institution operating under the auspices of HEC to improve the quality of teaching, research, and governance in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Pakistan. This series of workshops is one of multiple ongoing NAHE endeavors to facilitate capacity building of faculty in HEIs.     </p><p> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>13-02-2021 16:45:27<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC, USAID Celebrate 16 Years of Need-based Scholarship ProgrammeHEC, USAID Celebrate 16 Years of Need-based Scholarship Programme<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 3, 2021: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the 16<sup>th</sup> anniversary of Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme (MNBSP), which is administered in partnership with the United States Government. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In this connection, a virtual interactive session was held with the MNBSP scholarship recipients, in which the HEC and USAID also recognised the academic and professional achievements of the programme beneficiaries.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Under the MNBSP, over 5,300 scholarships have so far been awarded to students since the inception of this programme in 2004. More than half of the scholarships have been awarded to female students. The programme also trained over 400 financial aid staff from these partner institutions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The MNBSP awards scholarships to study agriculture, engineering, medical sciences, and social sciences. Recipients are eligible to study at 30 private and public partner universities across the country.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the participants, Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri said that the HEC's vision and resultant endeavours are aimed to boost a trained and skilled human resource and to unleash the creative potential of Pakistani youth for developing a knowledge-based economy. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I am pleased to share that USAID has been our partner in achieving our goals. Most importantly, the programme is in consonance with the HEC's mission for provision of quality, affordable and accessible tertiary education to the youth." He hoped that the level of cooperation with USAID in higher education sector will continue. He assured the USAID that HEC will diligently continue to play its part in supporting all such future endeavours. He wished the MNBSP alumni and scholarship recipients success in their study as well as professional endeavours. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In her remarks, Mission Director USAID Julie Koenen observed that: "Individuals make healthier, more economically advantageous life choices and are more likely to engage in their communities when they have access to the quality education." She said that the partnership with HEC for the past 16 years through the flagship MNBSP has opened opportunities for financially deserving students. She mentioned that 53% scholarships are awarded to females, thus increasing confidence and employability of young people from low-income settings.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I would also like to thank the leadership of Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, for its dedication and efforts in implementing the programme successfully for the past 16 years." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The event also contained short remarks by six scholarship recipients, who described the challenges, as well as their personal and professional achievements. The event also included discussion on several themes, including the challenges and opportunities of women's education in Pakistan, particularly in rural areas; the importance of education in women's empowerment; and the USAID's role in supporting higher education in Pakistan.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>04-02-2021 06:59:46<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
PERN hosts 51st Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) meetingPERN hosts 51st Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) meeting<p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Pakistan's IT Pros Capable of Contributing to National Development: President Alvi</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 1, 2021: President Dr. Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan is on the path of rapid growth of e-commerce, tele-health, and e-finance, and is moving towards a robust digital economy. He said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the five-day 51<sup>st</sup> Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) meeting virtually hosted by Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Pakistan is hosting the APAN meeting for the first time. APAN meetings are organized twice a year where its members and other interested participants come together in working groups, workshops, technology sessions, committees and plenary sessions to demonstrate and discuss advances in technology and applications, research collaboration, knowledge discovery and sharing for a better future. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The President said that Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) had already spread to every social and economic sector, but the Covid-19 pandemic has made them even more essential. To respond to this challenge, Pakistan has a comprehensive liberalization policy for the development of ICTs. As a result, all indicators have registered rapid growth. Pakistan has achieved a tele-density of 83 percent, with almost 176 million cellular phone users out of a total population of 220 million. At the same time, the number of broadband subscribers had risen to 93 million, while informational exports have increased by 35 per cent each year in the last three years. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Alvi appreciated the contribution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the promotion of ICTs in the country. Pakistan has over 300,000 English speaking IT professionals, 13 software development parks, and more than 20,000 IT engineers and graduates. "Pakistani IT professionals and graduates have the potential to work for country's development as well as serving companies abroad. And there is still a tremendous need for a large number of IT graduates in the country."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The President observed that situation arising out of pandemic has strengthened the IT-based communication through different platforms. Because of the level of institutional commitment, Pakistani universities were able very quickly to turn to digital means and distance learning modes of information delivery. HEC has provided students with access to over 60,000 books and other digital material. Besides enabling them to continue their educational activities during the pandemic, it also helped equip students with skills and knowledge necessary to keep pace with the world in the era of Artificial Intelligence, Block-chain technology, software technology, and cloud computing. He hoped that the HEC-APAN collaboration will grow further in all strategic areas, including commerce, communication, and education. As people are able, more than before, to communicate, exchange knowledge and to exchange financial information, so this will improve the country's economy in many ways.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri said that HEC is a proud partner of APAN, as the two entities were learning from each other's experiences to move forward during the information age, and especially in the situation caused by pandemic. He hoped that the 51<sup>st</sup> APAN meeting will come up with a proactive agenda for education. "We will learn together and move forward, while not only dealing with these challenges but also prospering amidst them." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Banuri highlighted HEC's ICT-based research initiatives, including establishment of PERN, smart classrooms, wide access to digital libraries, and rapid adoption of Learning Management System (LMS). "PERN has enabled Pakistan to rise to the challenge posed by the pandemic." He said that PERN has not only connected Pakistani universities with each other, it had also provided them with connectivity across the Asia-Pacific region. Efforts are now underway to connect colleges across the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his welcome address, Chair APAN, Prof. Jilong Wang reiterated the Network's vision for development of Asia-Pacific region. He said that APAN is promoting and facilitating network-enabled research and education activities, including research collaboration, knowledge discovery and sharing, tele-health and natural disaster mitigation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is pertinent to mention here that PERN links all universities and other academic and research organisations, and provides access to researchers to a fully integrated communication system, including accessibility to the global research and education networks through physical Trans Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) connectivity and community driven Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) membership. These networks have become a key driver for promotion and facilitation of network-enabled research and education activities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>02-02-2021 05:56:00<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
NAHE holds Roundtable on Developing Linkages for Faculty DevelopmentNAHE holds Roundtable on Developing Linkages for Faculty Development<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 1, 2021: The National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) has organized the first of a series of workshops entitled, "Collaboration for Excellence – A Roundtable on Developing Linkages for Faculty Development in Higher Education". The series of these workshops is one of multiple ongoing NAHE endeavours to facilitate capacity building of faculty in HEIs. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Representatives of 17 faculty development units and departments of higher education institutions from all provinces, ICT and Gilgit-Baltistan attended the workshop. In view of the necessary COVID-19 safety measures, some participants joined the workshop in person, while the majority joined it virtually. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the event, participants were able to debate and discuss urgent faculty development needs in Pakistan, as well as avenues for collaboration and support with NAHE in the future. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Welcoming the participants, Rector NAHE, Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali shed light on the importance of collaboration for excellence in teaching and learning in the higher education sector. She said that it was very important to seek the views of NAHE stakeholders, the academia overall, in order to make the Academy's work more effective. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">She asserted that NAHE would help provide a platform for faculty development units across the country in addition to working together with them to bridge gaps. "The pandemic has its costs but also provides an opportunity to improve and innovate."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Vice Provost Aga Khan University Dr. Anjum Halai said that NAHE could provide support in three key areas, including individual-level capacity building, institution-level capacity enhancement and empowering higher education institutions to self-regulate and deliver quality learning for faculty. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Dr. Tayyaba Zarif emphasised the need to contextualise trainings to ensure that they fulfilled the needs of universities to address their specific needs. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Vice Chancellor, Karakoram International University Dr. Attaullah Shah pointed out the urgent need for equipping faculty with technological and teaching skills in this new context of online learning including the need to train faculty on effectively conducting assessments beyond final and midterm exams. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Chief Executive, Advance HE in UK Alison Johns shared an international context of capacity building institutions which was debated by the participants. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">NAHE is established as a stand-alone, autonomous institution operating under the auspices of HEC to improve the quality of teaching, research, and governance in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Pakistan.  <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>02-02-2021 05:52:30<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Advises Universities to Conduct Exams based on their Capacity and Need for Fair AssessmentHEC Advises Universities to Conduct Exams based on their Capacity and Need for Fair Assessment<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 27, 2021: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has taken note of the concerns raised by students of some universities that their examinations should be conducted online. The apprehensions of students were reviewed carefully in consultation with the Vice Chancellors of all the provinces and regions, keeping in view the difficulties brought about by the pandemic and opening of universities from February 01, 2021.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC Guidance on Assessment and Examinations is available at the link <a href="/english/HECAnnouncements/Documents/nCoVirus/Assessments-Examinations.pdf"></a>. In this policy, HEC already allowed universities to use their discretion to conduct exams, either on-campus or online as long as the chosen mode provides a fair assessment of students' performance. Universities should take stock of their "exam readiness", i.e., technological readiness, managerial capacity, and the announced policy, and choose the best possible mode of assessment.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Online exams either can be used if the universities administer 'Open Book Exams' or establish an invigilation system in a supervised environment. In this mode, universities will also have to use Turnitin to check similarity index with Web and the answers of other students. Further, viva/oral exam may be integrated in the assessment where necessary. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On-campus exams can be used only under strict compliance with all Covid-19 health and safety protocols. Universities may also have to organize make-up classes for two weeks in case students consider the course coverage to be deficient. Assessment of all courses requiring psychomotor skills, such as medicine, engineering, subjects involving lab/studio work must be held on campus. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">All students in a single course will be examined in the same mode i.e., either on-line or on-campus. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since March 2020, HEC has been continuously monitoring the pandemic situation and coordinated with the universities to minimize academic disruption and continue online education with quality safeguards. The HEC Guidance on Online Readiness (#5) and Assessments and Examinations (#6) are available on HEC website and provide the requirements and minimum standards to be observed by universities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>27-01-2021 14:52:34<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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