Press Releases



National Technology Council Committed to Improving Quality of Technology EducationNational Technology Council Committed to Improving Quality of Technology Education<p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/NTCC.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 28, 2020: The National Technology Council (NTC) is committed to working for the betterment of engineering technologists and improving the overall standards of technology education and curriculum in the light of contemporary challenges.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This was stated by Chairman NTC Imtiaz Gilani while chairing the 6<sup>th</sup> NTC meeting held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri also attended the meeting through video link. The meeting was also attended by newly appointed members, including Vice Chairman Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar and other ex-officio members.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman NTC said that the significant issues of engineering technologists needing immediate attention include approval of their service structure. "The service structure needs to be based on a vertical growth, opportunities to compete for research, and technologically oriented positions in the country, including entrepreneurship in technologies relevant domains." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The NTC meeting participants appreciated HEC's initiative for announcement of 200 scholarships for technologists. They took important decisions with regard to streamlining academic and governance activities at NTC. A committee was constituted to make the technology education in line with the HEC's Undergraduate Education Policy 2020. It was also decided to recommend the inclusion of one representative of technologist associations as the Council Member. "If the associations fail to recommend one person and give more than one name, the Chairman NTC may appoint the most competent and well-versed nominee as Member." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">With a realisation that the engineering technologists are not getting due recognition in Pakistan as compared to the developed world, where technologists have an edge of practical hands-on approach to problem-solving, the NTC Chairman and members expressed a resolve to take tangible measures for betterment of engineering technologists in the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting concluded with a resolve that NTC must go with its broader dimensions in emerging technologies benefitting humanity and boosting the national economy.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>28-10-2020 10:45:06<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
91 Sri Lankan Students Win Scholarship to Study in Pakistan91 Sri Lankan Students Win Scholarship to Study in Pakistan<p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/Picture.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 27, 2020: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has awarded Allama Iqbal Scholarship to 91 Sri Lankan students for Fall-2020 / Spring-2021 sessions to pursue higher education in Pakistani universities, under Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The selected students have started arriving in Pakistan and so far 27 students have reached Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Sukkur to join their respective universities. As many as 525 Sri Lankan students had applied for Medical, Engineering, BS, MS, and PhD programmes in response to HEC announcement for Fall 2020/Spring 2021 admissions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">A selection board was constituted for online interviews, which comprised officials from HEC Pakistan, Pakistan High Commission (PHC) Colombo and University Grants Commission (UGC), Sri Lanka. A total of 172 applicants were shortlisted for interview, out of which 91 students have been finally selected.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Spread over five years, Allama Iqbal Scholarship provide an excellent opportunity for 1000 Sri Lankan students to visit Pakistan and pursue undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral degree programmes in Engineering Sciences, Basic and Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The scholarship aims to promote an effective exchange of knowledge and better understanding of cultures and tradition between Sri Lankan and Pakistani students. Allama Iqbal Scholarships are part of HEC's internationalization initiative to encourage international students to study in Pakistan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Sri Lankan students will study in their respective programmes in COMSATS University, Islamabad; Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi; Government College University, Lahore; Hazara University, Mansehra; Islamic International University, Islamabad; Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar; Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro; NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi; National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad; Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur; University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila; and University of the Punjab (UoP), Lahore.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>27-10-2020 11:27:50<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC makes and improves policies on basis of evidence: Chairman HECHEC makes and improves policies on basis of evidence: Chairman HEC<p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/PressConference.jpeg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 24, 2020: Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Tariq Banuri has said that HEC has always protected rights of teachers and students, with the goal of continuous enhancement in the quality of education.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"We are reviewing all past policies for flaws or redundancies in order to improve, modify, amend, or revoke, as needed, but all this has to be based on evidence, analysis, and a proper rationale, not random observation. That is the approach we have established at at HEC."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">These remarks were made after the Chairman met with a few representatives of university teachers' association who were protesting outside HEC. He said that HEC has been continuously devising and developing policies for all the stakeholders, after due consultation with experts from all across Pakistan and nothing is prepared or finalized in haste. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting was also attended by Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, Member (Operations and Planning) Dr. Fateh Marri, Adviser (Administration and Coordination) Mr. Awais Ahmad and Director General (R&D) Dr. Zain ul Abdin.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Every policy has gone through a number of phases, namely identification of a problem (often by aggrieved persons), collection of evidence, in-house analysis, review by external experts, and thorough consultation with faculty members, university leaders, and other professionals from all across Pakistan. This leads to drafting of detailed proposals, with proper justifications, for the consideration of HEC's governing body. The Commission then takes appropriate decisions after considering all aspects of the issues, and on the basis of the best interest of students, teachers, and the society in general," the Chairman said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The main concerns raised by the delegation pertained to the service conditions and benefits of university teachers. These had earlier been discussed with the representative associations of both TTS and BPS faculty members, both of which had been assured of HEC's commitment to and sympathy for the demands of the teachers. It was also emphasized that these matters had long-term implications, and policies and structures could be modified only after due deliberation, and never in haste. He urged university teachers to make constant improvement in teaching and research their foremost cause.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The faculty members were assured that all their legitimate concerns would be taken care of. They were also informed that one of the fundamental principles of HEC's policy reform was that no change would be applied retroactively, and that all benefits achieved by anyone on the basis of an old policy would be respected under the new policy. Only their future actions will need to conform to the new policy. This principle was introduced to protect the interests of the faculty. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This principle was central to the new HJRS policy, and all progress achieved by faculty members until June 2020 would be acknowledged and evaluated under the old policy framework. HEC will once again clarify to the universities that all papers published before June 2020 would be evaluated in accordance with the old system, and will be counted towards faculty benefits, and that only the papers published after June 30, 2020 would be evaluated under the new policy. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The faculty members asked for a relaxation of the requirement of post-PhD experience for purposes of promotion. It was explained that the policy could be reviewed only on the basis of proper evidence, and a justifiable rationale that relaxation of the policy would not affect the quality of education. In May 2020, HEC had requested FAPUASA to provide such evidence. The faculty representatives offered to collect the statistical data and evidence and submit a written rationale. A deadline of 31 March 2021 was agreed for the review of the policy on the basis of the evidence and rationale, and that the existing policy would be suspended until this deadline. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Similarly, faculty members asked for a relaxation of the minimum qualifications required for appointment as a lecturer or assistant professor. Their argument was that people of the requisite qualifications were not available in Balochistan. It was agreed that HEC will convene a meeting with the Vice Chancellors of universities in Balochistan within the next two weeks, to which representatives of FAPUASA will also be invited. The meeting will review the recruitment record and also the arguments in favor of and against minimum educational qualifications of new faculty members. The Association will assist by sharing data in support of their assertion that there is dearth of MPhil/MS in Balochistan requiring relaxation of MS qualification for appointment as Lecturers and Assistant Professors in universities in Balochistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">FAPUASA representatives also demanded the enactment time scale promotion policy for BPS faculty members. The Chairman said that this issue had also been agreed with representatives of the BPS faculty. He said that as a regulatory authority, HEC was equally mindful of the concerns of BPS as well as TTS faculty. To resolve the issue of time scale promotion, it is necessary to prepare comprehensive service statutes for BPS faculty members, after weighing their full implications. The representatives of BPS faculty members had already been asked to propose their concrete recommendations regarding these statutes. The same offer was made to FAPUASA. These recommendations will be reviewed and analyzed as per HEC's procedures and submitted to the Commission for consideration at its 39th meeting scheduled in March 2021. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The delegation raised a number of issues pertaining to TTS faculty members, especially to ensure that there was no discrimination between various faculty members. The issues raised were: (i) inadmissibility of honorarium,  (ii) exemption from working on the administrative posts, (iii) one-time waiver for tenure track to allow faculty not covered under 6-9 period under the new policy, (iv) exclusion of additional publication requirement during the extended tenure period, (v) implementation and endorsement issues, (vi) uniform application of early tenure once in a career, and removal of ban imposed on CUI on TTS recruitments, and endorsement of faculty. These had already been discussed with representatives of the TTS faculty association. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, in the spirit of dialogue and inclusion, It was agreed that HEC will convene a joint meeting with representatives of both the associations during the 3<sup>rd</sup> week of November to address the question of discrimination between different faculty members. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It was also emphasized that HEC policy was to ensure that faculty members should not be penalized on account of delay/other considerations on part of university in the tenure and selection/promotion process. Backlog of Comsats University's TTS endorsement cases will be cleared within a fortnight and an exclusive meeting will be held with new Rector CUI during next week to review the recruitment issues. However, the University will be allowed fresh recruitments only when its system is put in order.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>27-10-2020 11:24:44<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
BPS Faculty Delegation Calls on Chairman HECBPS Faculty Delegation Calls on Chairman HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 21, 2020: A delegation of All Pakistan Universities BPS Teachers Association (APUBTA) called on Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri at the HEC Secretariat and apprised him about the problems and challenges faced by the BPS faculty of public sector universities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting was also attended by Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, Member (Operations and Planning) Dr. Fateh Marri, Adviser (Administration and Coordination) Mr. Awais Ahmed, and Director (Quality Assurance) Mr. Aqeel Akhtar Khan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The APUBTA representatives said that BPS faculty members comprise 88 per cent of the entire faculty in public sector universities, but were facing a systematic and multi-faced discrimination. They demanded that HEC should set up a service structure for BPS faculty, including promotion rules, performance-based incentives, and relaxation in the post PhD experience. They said that BPS faculty is laboring under a sense of deprivation and demotivation because of the absence of such rules, inadequacies in benefits, and the burden of additional administrative work.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Chairman HEC assured the delegation that HEC's role is to serve all faculty members, both BPS and TTS. He said that this was the first time that they had approached HEC, and that HEC will work closely with them to resolve the problems they faced, in order to promote the quality of teaching and research on an equitable basis. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Banuri asked them to translate their demands into a concrete proposal for the formulation of draft BPS Statutes. At the request of the Association, it was agreed that HEC will obtain the services of a qualified expert in administrative law to provide technical assistance to the Association for the drafting of the statutes. The HEC secretariat will review and refine the proposals before submitting their recommendations to the Commission for a decision. This work could be completed within a period of three months.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman also urged them to undertake consultations provide ideas on other critical issues, including the challenge of bringing about a convergence between the TTS and BPS into a single system, and how to encourage the best people to adopt teaching as a profession.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the issue of post-PhD experience, the Chairman requested Association members to provide concrete data so that a decision could be made after considering all relevant factors. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The APUBTA members expressed strong support for the range of initiatives introduced by the HEC to enhance the quality of education and research, including the new policies for undergraduate and graduate education, the new system for financing and promotion of research, and the new classification of research journals. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>21-10-2020 11:16:32<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Dr. Shaista Sohail Joins HEC as Executive DirectorDr. Shaista Sohail Joins HEC as Executive Director<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, October 8, 2020: Dr. Shaista Sohail, a BPS-22 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service has joined the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan as its Executive Director.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With a doctorate in International Relations from Geneva School of Diplomacy, Switzerland and Master's in Economics from Punjab University, Dr. Shaista Sohail brings with her a diverse experience of serving at national and international levels.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Starting her career as a Lecturer in Economics at Government College for Women Okara, she joined Civil Service of Pakistan in 1985 with her first assignment as Assistant Commissioner Karachi South. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Her key postings include Joint Secretary, Policy and Planning, Ministry of Industries; Member Estate CDA; Joint Secretary, Debt Management/ Japan EAD; Additional Secretary to the President of Pakistan; Special Secretary Cabinet; Secretary Statistics; Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Deputy Secretary Commerce WTO, Economic Counsellor to WTO, Geneva.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In WTO Geneva, her abilities were recognised internationally when she was made the consensus Chairperson of the Working Party on GATS Rules from amongst 150 countries. She also won the "Best Contributor" Award from ITC Geneva in 2007 Chamonix France. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>08-10-2020 13:27:08<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Approves IRSIP & Partial Support for PhD GrantsHEC Approves IRSIP & Partial Support for PhD Grants<p style="text-align:justify;">​<span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">I</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">slamabad, September 29, 2020: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has approved 224 cases of PhD scholars for International Research Support Initiative Programme (IRSIP), in addition to seven cases of Partial Support for PhD Studies Abroad. The Selection Committee's meeting was held at HEC Secretariat Islamabad, with Executive Director Dr. Fateh Marri in the chair.   </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Under IRSIP, HEC offers a six-month research fellowship abroad to full-time PhD students. The purpose is to enhance their research capabilities, and also develop linkages between Pakistani and foreign institutions. IRSIP provides exposure to PhD scholars in order to enhance quality of research conducted by them in Pakistan.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The programme aims at creating a critical mass of highly-qualified manpower that could contribute towards socio-economic development of Pakistan. It facilitates assimilation, absorption and transfer of important and promising scientific and technological knowledge information to achieve rapid economic progress. It also provides training and research work opportunities to doctoral students at advanced research laboratories of reputed universities abroad.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Similarly, Partial Support for PhD Studies Abroad is an initiative aimed at providing financial support up to US $ 10,000 to Pakistani scholars who are in final stages of their PhD Studies abroad and need partial support e.g. tuition, thesis evaluation/submission fee, living expenditure, etc. without which their PhD degree programme will remain incomplete.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============<br></p>29-09-2020 14:15:39<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Universities All Set to Gradual Resumption of Operations from 15thUniversities All Set to Gradual Resumption of Operations from 15th<p style="text-align:justify;">​<strong>Chairman HEC Rebuts News About 'Single Policy for All Universities' </strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, September 11, 2020: Committed to upholding the  Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines shared by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the universities countrywide are all set to start a phase-wise reopening procedure, resuming their operations as per the Government's instructions  on September 15.    <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This was stated by Chairman HEC while addressing the 32nd Vice Chancellors (VCs) Committee meeting. More than 150 VCs, Rectors, or Presidents of universities participated in the meeting to discuss in detail the reopening plans and procedures.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the university heads, Mr. Banuri said the HEC as well as the government have full confidence in the VCs, that they will be able to adopt all measures needed for protection of the campus community without compromising the quality and delivery of education. He said COVID-19 has rendered almost all the academic operations harder, so it required the dedicated personal leadership of the Vice Chancellors to inspire both faculty and students, and ensure that educational standards are maintained and anti-Covid SOPs are strictly enforced. "I call upon all of you to resist any attempts to lower the quality of education," he emphasised.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman HEC affirmed that the universities will follow the HEC's guidelines -- available at HEC website -- to contain the spread of COVID-19 and will firmly implement their respective reopening policies. These guidelines include the permission to open universities on 15 September, measures to screen out potentially infected individuals, and the minimum SOPs to be followed on campus. These measures are to wear face masks in public places, maintain social distance, and undertake strict monitoring to identify and isolate any incidence of the disease. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Within these guidelines, universities have to adopt suitable policies regarding rotation of courses or other measures to ensure proper social distancing and manage population density.  <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">He strongly rebutted the news circulating in a section of press that HEC has directed all universities to adopt a 'single policy for rotation of courses or managing social density.  He said the universities should adopt the policies and measures that suit their respective circumstances, and in line with their local needs. "The most important responsibility of the Vice Chancellors is to announce clear and unambiguous policies, assign responsibilities to various key personnel (both faculty and staff members), establish proper lines of communication, refrain from arbitrary or ad hoc policy changes, and remain in personnel command of the evolving situation". He said that they must maintain total vigilance to prevent and control any incidents of virus recurrence, including through active surveillance of health conditions, earmarking isolation facilities, and facilitating access to medical and isolation facilities.   <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">He advised university leaders to keep in close touch with district administration officials, health departments, and medical universities in their vicinities to seek support in case of any need. He said that the government and health departments have assured of providing assistance all-possible assistance to universities, and that HEC was available to provide advice or ensure timely liaison with government entities.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Convener of the VC Committee, Dr. Muhammad Ali, VC of Quaid e Azam University, assured the HEC Chairman that universities are committed to complying with the government instructions, following all possible precautions, and implementing the safety protocols prescribed by HEC, even though he would personally have preferred a single policy in order to reduce the decision making burden on VCs. He proposed that a follow-up meeting be held in the near future to review progress. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the occasion, a number of universities provided details of the policies they had already announced and publicised. These include Punjab University, GIK Institute, Sukkur IBA; Women's University of Swabi; Karakoram International University, GCWU Sialkot, and others. Some VCs shared the unique challenges they faced, and asked for support to resolve them. A handful of universities hadn't yet announced their reopening plans or policies, but they promised to do so forthwith.  <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Chairman HEC appreciated all the universities that had demonstrated due diligence in adopting and publicising their reopening plans, and stressed upon the few remaining universities to do so immediately.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">===============</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><br></strong></p>12-09-2020 10:37:54<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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