Press Releases



Climate Action: Education Roundtable Focusses on Need for Universities to Play a Bigger RoleClimate Action: Education Roundtable Focusses on Need for Universities to Play a Bigger Role<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 6, 2021: The British Council together with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan on Wednesday hosted a roundtable entitled "Education for climate action: How universities can steer the climate crisis."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The higher education sector is enabling the world to understand the impact of climate change on the environment. However, there is still a long way to go before policy and citizen action catch up with the scientific evidence of what is happening to the world's climate. As the country that is fifth most affected by climate change, there is a need in Pakistan to identify gaps, opportunities, and pave developmental pathways and thought leadership towards building a greener Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">With COP26 (UN Climate Change Conference) taking place in the UK later this year, the Education for Climate Action roundtable aims to bring together stakeholders, academics, civil society, and development changemakers from Pakistan and the UK to a platform together to discuss where we are, what more needs to be done and what we can learn from each other. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr. Shafqat Mehmood, Development Director British High Commission Pakistan Ms. Annabel Gerry, and British Council Country Director Pakistan Amir Ramzan spoke in the opening session. Other speakers included policymakers, Government officials, higher education leaders from Pakistan and UK, vice chancellors, researchers and academics, international development organisations, research partnership grantees, UK alumni, and students. The event was hybrid with attendees joining both online and offline </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Shafqat Mehmood said, "Climate situation calls for up-close attention and immediate action and I am glad that international organizations like the British Council are initiating and actively pursuing ways to engage the youth and policy makers on shared platforms to give the cause the push it rightfully deserves through Roundtables as such this in Pakistan." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director HEC, speaking on a panel about roles and responsibilities in building a sustainable future said, "Universities have to take the charge of informing policy and practice. 261 Pakistani scholars have been funded to pursue higher education in environmental themes. Universities can give focussed, well informed and well researched information on issues that are causing climate change such as manufacturing of bricks or burning of crops." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Amir Ramzan, Country Director British Pakistan said, "I am hopeful that the conversations taking place here will help us learn from each other, and together we can find a path to mainstream sustainable practices in Higher Education in Pakistan. I am also positive that this seminar will contribute to the national environmental discourse in Higher Education and HEC's strategy on taking charge of our sustainable future through academic leadership."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">To prioritise climate action and achieve real results in Pakistan, there is need to learn from and strengthen links with the UK sector. The UK is at the forefront of climate change research and climate action. It is home to three of the top three universities for Environmental Science (University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The British Council is working with partners worldwide to support the success and legacy of COP26 by creating opportunities for cooperation, dialogue and action in arts, education and science that address the shared challenges of climate change.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">One of these efforts is supporting research links between Pakistan and UK under the HEC-British Council managed Pak-UK Education Gateway. Under these links we have researchers like Sofia Akbar Tahir at the Government College University, Faisalabad experimenting clean and efficient ways of energy generation and distribution with the support of research teams at the University of Oxford. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>07-10-2021 04:54:58<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC to Enhance Sports Facilities in Universities under Kamyab Jawan ProgrammeHEC to Enhance Sports Facilities in Universities under Kamyab Jawan Programme<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 2, 2021: The first Steering Committee of the project entitled, "Kamyab Jawan Sports Academies (High-Performance Sports Academies and Resource Centres) National Youth Games" was held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat. It was chaired by the Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the meeting, the Executive Director HEC briefed the participants on the projects planned under the umbrella of Kamyab Jawan programme. She underlined that the project is aimed to develop facilities and infrastructure of Sports Academies, including a separate lecture/meeting hall and hostel/dormitory facility for at least 50 to 60 players and six members of the coaching/support staff. These facilities, she added, will into full-time modern training and resource centres. She emphasised that the long-term objective is to develop HEC's team to compete at national and international competitions. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Shaista Sohail said that the project will produce professional players in particular sports and help initiate youth sports movement and develop a sports culture. The sports academies to be established in the higher education institutions across the county will provide scientific support and modern skills to players for developing sports in Pakistan, simultaneously promoting sound health, safety, and physical fitness. She informed the meeting that the capital cost of the project was Rs. 1,937.429 million with FEC Rs. 103.851 million, while the execution period of the scheme is 36 months. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">She said that the Sports Academies will provide opportunities for youth to get involved in physical activities as a participant and as a professional player, coaches, leaders, and volunteer. She maintained that the academies will provide cutting-edge expertise to champion players to further improve their skills scientifically. She asserted that the Sports Academies will play a key role in player development considering fitness, psychological and biomechanical parameters, including coaching and training. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting participants deliberated a project implementation strategy and reflected upon development of Governance & Business Model for Sports Academies. The Committee endorsed the meeting agenda item pertaining to holding an International Conference on Sports Tourism by Karakoram International University, Gilgit-Baltistan in June 2022. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is pertinent to mention here that the HEC and higher education institutions, where the Sports Academies are to be established, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Academies. HEC expects the higher education institutions to designate a proper land for the establishment of Sports Academies, develop robust governance and business plan for the self-sustainable model, and create the sports fund designated for sports activities. The universities will also be expected to carry out proper marketing by formulating branding strategies for revenue generation. The designated HEIs will hire/allocate professional human resources for management to run the sports academies.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Another important segment of the project is the National Youth Games with Youth Rally. In this regard, organizing sub-committees will be constituted to be responsible for all operational matters of games for the timely and orderly arrangement of all events in the region. This sub-committee will recommend any administrative/financial/technical/Operational matter to Steering Committee for consideration and decision. They will ensure that all participating universities may keep informed about all necessary technical and other arrangements. They will be responsible for the financial disbursement and subsequently reconcile the allocated budget for Audit and Accounts, with overall responsibility for organising, managing, and concluding the games.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting was attended in person or through video link by Vice Chancellors of different universities, including Vice President International Islamic University, Islamabad; Vice Chancellor, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan; Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore; Vice Chancellor, Bahauddin Zakriya University, Multan; Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, Karachi; Vice Chancellor, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam; Vice Chancellor, Karakoram International University, Gilgit Baltistan; Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Vice Chancellor, BUITEMS, Quetta; Vice Chancellor, NED UET, Karachi; Vice Chancellor, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Karachi; and Vice Chancellor, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore; Representative of University of Peshawar;  alongside Mr. Shahid Islam Dy. Director General, Pakistan Sports Board, a representative from planning, Development & Special Initiative (S&T), and a representative from KJ Youth Development Programme along with various Director Sports of the Universities of Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">From HEC, Advisor A&C HEC Mr. Awais Ahmed, In-charge Director Sports & Co-Curricular Division, HEC Javed Ali Memon, and Director Monitoring & Evaluation, HEC, Mr. Naveed Shah, a representative of HEC Planning and Development Division and other HEC Officers attended the meeting. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>04-10-2021 06:45:46<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC has no association with Higher Education CityHEC has no association with Higher Education City<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, September 30, 2021: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan categorically denies any association of HEC with the so-called housing project named as 'Higher Education City'. Therefore, the impression that this is an HEC's housing project is entirely incorrect. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Launching or operating of such housing scheme has never been approved by HEC authorities or taken up with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for registration. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Marketing and advertising of this housing project with the association of HEC or any member / employee of HEC is not authorized. HEC has nothing to do with any Agreement, if ever signed between some individuals with HEC employees, nor does it owe legal, financial or any other liabilities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As Higher Education Commission (HEC) has no association with the 'Higher Education City', therefore the general public, investors, builders etc. are cautioned that bookings, purchases and investments in this housing project will purely be at their own risk, and HEC owes no liability. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>02-10-2021 16:38:42<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC, LUMS hold Consultation on National Twinning of UniversitiesHEC, LUMS hold Consultation on National Twinning of Universities<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, September 27, 2021: The National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE), HEC in collaboration with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) organised a two-day consultative workshop on 'National Twinning of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)' at LUMS.    </p><p style="text-align:justify;">A large number of Vice Chancellors from across Pakistan attended the event and expressed their views on an innovative concept of 'National Twinning of HEIs to increase teaching effectiveness of HEIs.' </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Following its focused and highly engaged discussions, the forum brought about the first-ever national agenda on 'National Twinning of HEIs', where the Vice Chancellors agreed to collaborate in five significant areas. These areas include: a pedagogy course for all PhD programmes; a national certificate of teaching required for new or junior faculty; a shadowing/mentoring exchange programme to work in a learning/teaching centre; development and delivery of exemplary online courses; and, capacity building of teaching and learning centres.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the occasion, Rector NAHE Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali and Vice Chancellor LUMS Dr. Arshad underlined the potential areas for collaboration under the concept of 'National Twinning of HEIs'.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali elucidated the plan for conducting a series of NAHE collaborative conferences, wherein smaller group panel discussions will be hosted in all the provinces. The discussions will focus on the themes, including Leadership Development, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Pedagogical Partnerships, etc. The first of this series will be held in Islamabad in December 2021.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The consultative workshop was attended by Vice Chancellors from reputable national HEIs including Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Government College University Lahore (GCU), Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad, National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Rawalpindi, Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Beaconhouse National University Lahore, University of Education Lahore, PAF-IAST Haripur, Aga Khan University and other universities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>28-09-2021 06:26:14<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Times Higher Education(THE) UK team congratulates Education Minister for brilliant performance of Pakistani UniversitiesTimes Higher Education(THE) UK team congratulates Education Minister for brilliant performance of Pakistani Universities<p><img src="/english/news/news/PublishingImages/Pages/THE-UK/THEPC.jpg" alt="THEPC.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:center;text-decoration:underline;">Times Higher Education (THE) team led by its Chief Knowledge Officer Mr. Phil Baty held an online meeting with the Federal Minister Mr. Shafqat Mahmood on Thursday and hailed the brilliant performance of Pakistani Universities in the World Universities Rankings 2022</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad- September 2, 2021: Times Higher Education (THE), UK, which is the World leading universities rankings agency, met the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr. Shafqat Mahmood today to present the latest rankings of Pakistani universities.   THE team was represented by Mr. Phil Baty, the Chief Knowledge Officer and Dr. Liz Shepard who is the Chief Data Scientist at THE. Mr. Phil Baty congratulated the Minister for brilliant performance of Pakistani Universities in the World Universities Rankings 2022. The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Commission.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>For 2022 THE Rankings, the Times Higher Education (THE) team analyzed </em><em><strong>108 million </strong></em><em>citations and </em><em><strong>4.4 million </strong></em><em>research publications. </em> In addition, <strong><em>around 430,000</em></strong><em> data points from </em><em><strong>2144</strong></em><em> participating institutions were also analyzed.  Times Higher Education conducts an annual academic and research repute survey and its results are also used for rankings. For 2021 survey there were </em><em><strong>140,000</strong></em><em> reputation survey votes from </em><em><strong>22,000</strong></em><em> respondents from around the globe. Based on this analysis only </em><em><strong>1,662 </strong></em><em>institutions from 99 countries were allowed to compete for the Times World Universities Rankings.  </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Achieving a ranking position in the THE World University Rankings is a great achievement for an institution. To appear in these rankings, HEI(s) must be one of the world's leading research university meeting strict criteria against 13 indicators. </em>Pakistani universities have made major strides in the field of research and teaching over last three years and this is reflected through THE latest universities' rankings. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As per THE analysis, Pakistan is one of the <strong>world's fastest improving </strong>nations on a range of key metrics and is one of the <strong>top five of nations </strong>globally for improvements in research citations, international outlook and industry links. Times analysis also shows that this is not a one time achievement for Pakistani HEI(s) but this upwards trend in noticeable over last three years performance. Twenty one Pakistani universities make the 2022 edition of the World University Rankings, including five newly ranked this year. The total number of ranked universities has risen to 21 from just two in 2016 (the oldest ranking under the same methodology). Eleven Pakistani universities make it into the elite world top 1,000 list in 2022, up from eight last year and just two in 2016. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Quaid-i-Azam University, leading public sector university, is ranked first among the Pakistani HEIs with an international rank between (501-600) for a second consecutive year. In addition, five Pakistani universities appear for the first time, in the world's top 800 list. </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">An analysis of the seven universities that have appeared in all of the last five annual editions of the rankings from 2018 to 2022 reveals very positive trends. These HEIs have improved their scoring twice more than the rest of the world. There has been significant improvements in research and academic reputation. In addition, the citations for Pakistani research publications have increased significantly indicating that Pakistan is not only producing more research papers but that that the researchers are engaged in quality research and publishing in high impact journals. Pakistani universities show strong growth in the areas of Business & Economics, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences, Computer Science. Likewise, the international co-authorship of research in 2021 is also very strong. For more details on these rankings, one may refer to Times Higher Education website. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This remarkable progress in the field of higher education would not have been made possible without proper policy and planning by the government of Pakistan and the unprecedented dedication and hard work of the HEC team currently led by the Minister of Education and the Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been taking remarkable steps for the empowerment of higher education sector through investment in human resource, raising academic and research standards and development of physical and technological infrastructure of the universities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over last three years, HEC has placed special emphasis on professional development and enhanced research opportunities for faculty members. Research grants worth billions of PKR have been offered to high quality research proposals through a careful review process involving reviewers from national and international experts. This includes research grants like Grand Challenge Fund, Local Challenge Fund, Rapid Research Grants, etc. Around 50 Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORICs) have been established in universities around the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Times Higher Education started publishing Impact Rankings since 2019. These rankings measure university contribution to community, society and the world through its work on SDGs. 36 Pakistani universities appear in THE impact rankings out of which 3 are among top 200 universities. <em>These include </em><em>University of Agriculture Faisalabad which holds 24</em><em><sup>th</sup></em><em> place in the world for Climate Action. National University of Sciences and Technology holds 67</em><em><sup>th</sup></em><em> position in the World for Affordable and Clean Energy</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister thanked Times Higher Education team on sharing the data and analysis with the Ministry and the HEC team. He expressed delight at the increasingly positive performance of the Pakistani universities in the World University Rankings. He emphasized the fact that the universities of Pakistan must aim to go higher in the rankings and for that the Ministry and HEC will work together to identify gaps in performance and support the higher education institutions in overcoming the hurdles. HEC team will also be working with the Times Higher Education to hold awareness seminars for the universities to guide them on how to participate in these rankings. </p><p>………………………………….</p>03-09-2021 08:40:24<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Deadline for USAT Registration ExtendedDeadline for USAT Registration Extended<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, August 31, 2021: The deadline for registration to appear in the Undergraduate Studies Assessment Test (USAT), conducted by Education Testing Council (ETC), has been extended till September 1, 2021.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Keeping in view the problems faced by students while registering and considering the tremendous interest garnered by USAT, the deadline has been extended. The test will tentatively be conducted, as announced earlier, on September 12, 2021.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The universities may freely choose to accept USAT result card as valid for their respective admissions by announcing it for their prospective undergraduate candidates. Being a universal test gauging the ability of a student, it can be used by all universities if they so desire. The test is however not intended for the candidates applying for MBBS/ BDS programmes. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The standardised admission test USAT offered by ETC is a competitive product that intends to carve out its own niche based on quality tests. USAT is developed from a standardised question bank with quality, equity, reliability, and validity of the product as well as integrity of the processes involved ensured at all levels of development, administration, grading and result reporting. Its validity will hold for a year. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p>01-09-2021 08:44:48<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC in Partnership with Coursera Launches DLSEI – IIHEC in Partnership with Coursera Launches DLSEI – II<p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/news/news/PublishingImages/Picture002.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, August 24, 2021: "Universities are supposed to be the centers of quality conventional and virtual education with highly qualified faculty". This was stated by Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood while addressing a gathering on Tuesday at HEC Islamabad, including Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director, HEC, Mr. Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO Coursera, Vice Chancellors, Senior faculty members and students at the launching ceremony of Phase-II of the Digital Learning and Skills Enrichment Initiative (DLSEI). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">DLSEI is an initiative of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan in partnership with Coursera. After the successful completion of the DLSEI Phase-I project, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has signed a contract with Coursera and officially launched the Program at a largely discounted pricing model. HEC through its initiative "Digital Learning and Skills Enrichment Initiative" (DLSEI) intends to enhance online learning and skills development among passionate students with 1000+ Courses and 28 Learning tracks. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the ceremony, the Minister said that Pakistan's education system is facing a plethora of challenges, particularly lack of quality and relevance, amidst rising demand for universities. He underlined the importance of interventions like Coursera for students and faculty. "There is a massive need for skill development in the country, and the courses offered through Coursera is a remarkable intervention especially at a time when Covid-19 has greatly enhanced the importance of online learning." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He also appreciated the National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) for offering training to university leadership, faculty, and administrative staff to enhance their capacity.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Mahmood said that many gaps were identified in the education system during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the digital divide in the country, faculty's inability to teach online, and students facing difficulty understanding online classes. He hoped that the online courses under DLSEI will make a huge difference by honing in the talent of Pakistani students and improving their employability, enabling them to contribute to the country's socio-economic development. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In her remarks, Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail said that DLSEI was launched in 2018 under an agreement between HEC and Coursera to enhance online learning and skills development among passionate students. The students, who benefit from the courses, will be able to access courses and certifications from top universities of the world and get an opportunity to enroll themselves into the highest ranked and most expensive online courses. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">She hoped that the initiative will help the country turn its youth bulge into an asset. She informed the audience that over 50,000 curated licenses will be issued under the phase-II of the initiative and 1<sup>st</sup> year HEC will distribute 24000 licenses to all public and private sectors universities as per enrollment basis. She said that two percent quota has been specified for people with special needs, in addition to formation of a subsidized model for public sector universities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Jeff Maggioncalda highlighted the significance of DLSEI for skill development in youth, stating that, "investment in youth is an investment in the future."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier, Mr. Nazeer Hussain, Director General IT, HEC presented the concept behind the launch of DLSEI. He said that HEC joined hands with Coursera to provide students and faculty with an opportunity to acquire certifications from world-class universities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>26-08-2021 11:53:13<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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