Islamabad, April 2, 2019: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has started the new cycle of Progress Review Meetings and training activities of Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs). The HEC has established QECs in 184 higher education institutions in order to strengthen their Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) mechanism and develop a quality higher education system relevant to national needs and compatible to International Quality Assurance Standards enabling the higher education institutions to demonstrate excellence in teaching, learning and research.
The activity was kicked off here by Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). All the QECs have been divided into 10 groups and two-day activities will be held for each group.
The activity of first group was attended by 17 QECs representatives. They also delivered presentations on their last year's performance. The second day activity will include training of QECs' Heads on modalities of Institutional Performance Evaluation, MS/MPhil and equivalent programmes review, PhD programmes review and Yearly Progress Report of QECs.
The activity for the second group will commence on April 4-5, 2019 followed by activities for the rest of groups till May 3, 2019.
Ms. Noor Amna Malik, Adviser Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), HEC was chief guest of the ceremony. Addressing the participants, she shed light on the HEC's vision regarding quality enhancement. She emphasised the need for steps to turn the QECs into statutory bodies wherein the head of a QEC should have a statutory position. She also highlighted the significant role of Directors at QECs in achieving the real aim of setting up these Cells.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Nadia Tahir, Managing Director (QAA), HEC briefed the participants about the current scenario and future plans of HEC pertaining to quality assurance. She stated that it is high time to gauge the impact of QECs with respect to employability and skills enhancement.
Under the umbrella of HEC, the QAA is striving hard to promote quality culture in the Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs). For this purpose, QECs have been established in 184 DAIs to strengthen their Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) mechanism. These QECs are annually assessed by QAA for their performance against the defined parameters. Whereas, for External Quality Assurance (EQA), different mechanisms have been devised at institutional level as well as programme level.
Since establishment of QAA in 2005, the Quality Assurance mechanism of Pakistan is ranked amongst the most stable systems of neighbouring countries. Considering its importance and internationally acclaimed best practices, quality experts of Pakistan have pointed out the need for bridging the gap between IQA and EQA by linking them along for performance assessment of QECs.