Press Releases



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;" />
HEC, APUBTA to Jointly Work for Long-term & Effective Policy for BPS TeachersHEC, APUBTA to Jointly Work for Long-term & Effective Policy for BPS Teachers<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, March 8, 2022: A meeting of the Academic Committee of the Commission was held at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad on Tuesday, where the representatives of All Pakistan Universities BPS Teachers Association (APUBTA) presented the proposed policy for appointment and promotion of BPS faculty to the Academic Committee of the Commission. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">After thorough deliberation, the Committee and APUBTA delegates agreed to jointly work for the future course of action and produce a fair, effective and merit-based policy for appointment and promotions of BPS faculty.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is pertinent to mention that APUBTA's first draft of the proposal was presented in January 2021, which was reviewed by HEC followed by several meetings with the Association. The initial proposal was revised jointly by a Committee having representation from Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) and APUBTA. The revised proposal was then circulated among all the Vice Chancellors for their input in December 2021, though only one university provided its comments. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The proposal was presented before the Commission, HEC's governing body, in its 39<sup>th</sup> meeting held on December 16-17,2021. The Commission assigned the proposal to its Academic Committee for thorough review and recommendation. Given vast scope of the proposed policy, its administrative, financial, operational, and quality related implications, a broad and comprehensive consultations are required to finalize the recommendations. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>09-03-2022 11:52:22<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
NDU & NUML Win ICT Regional Round of Pakistan Universities Debating ChampionshipNDU & NUML Win ICT Regional Round of Pakistan Universities Debating Championship<p><img src="/english/news/news/PublishingImages/Pages/ICT-Regional-Debating/DSC_5888.JPG" alt="DSC_5888.JPG" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, March 4, 2022: ICT Regional Round of Pakistan Universities Debating Championship was held at HEC Auditorium on March 03, 2022. The National Defense University (NDU), Islamabad won the first prize for English Debate, while National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad won the first prize in Urdu Debate.    </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail graced the closing ceremony of the debate championship as chief guest, while Adviser Administration HEC Mr. Awais Ahmed, and Adviser Academics & Accreditation HEC Engr. Muhammad Raza Chohan were also present. The panel of judges in English debate included Dr. Arif Javed, Dr. Mujib Rahman & Mr. Munawar Naqvi. The panel of judges for Urdu debate included Dr. Anjum Hameed, Dr. Naeem Virk & Dr. Tariq Mehmood Hashmi.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the participating teams from various universities of Islamabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, Dr. Shaista Sohail asserted that the Pakistani youth have the potential to change the country's fate through knowledge and innovation. She termed the youth bulge in Pakistan as a national asset and said that the students, once enter their practical life, can cast a positive impact on the country's economy by bringing in foreign exchange and creating jobs. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"You are the chosen few acquiring the higher education, as only 11 percent of the country's youth, of 17-24 years of age bracket, could enter the higher education system in Pakistan," she said. She advised the students to utilize their time to the best of their capabilities as it is the 'unique' period of their life. "Do take care of those less-than-thou," she emphasised while urging the students to practice ethics and empathy throughout their life. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Adviser Academics & Accreditation, Engr. Muhammad Raza Chohan thanked Dr. Shaista Sohail for her commendable leadership in testing times and also for gracing the closing ceremony despite her busy schedule solely to motivate the young participants.  Shedding light on the HEC's initiative of holding debate championship, Engr. Raza Chohan said that HEC has been organizing speech competitions for years, however HEC has launched debate competitions for the first time this year. This shift is aimed at inculcating the art of persuading in youth and help them become successful speakers in Public Forum having technical proficiency and eloquence while respecting the views of other people. He hoped that the activities like Pakistan Universities Debating championship will help in the overall personality-and-character-building of the students. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He underlined that taking part in a competition is a major achievement, as one team is destined to win while the other loses when it comes to a competition. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on this occasion, judges Dr. Arif Javed and Dr. Tariq Mehmood Hashmi highlighted the significant qualities that make a debate different from oratory. They said that a debater must have confidence, ability to argue, good pronunciation, fluency and accuracy, energy and potential, rhetoric, and rehearsal. They also pointed out some gaps needed to be overcome by a debater. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the English debates of the ICT Regional Round, NUML clinched the third position, while National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) obtained the second position. Institute of Space Technology (IST) remained third and NDU on the second position in the Urdu debate contest. The position holders were awarded trophies, certificates of appreciation, and cash prizes.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">At present, HEC is holding the regional level contests. The students who win the intra-varsity and inter-varsity will compete at the national round of the championship to be tentatively held on March 30. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>06-03-2022 08:14:17<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Denies Allegations of Dr. Tariq Banuri regarding Funds DistributionHEC Denies Allegations of Dr. Tariq Banuri regarding Funds Distribution<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 21, 2022: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has refuted the allegations levelled by Dr. Tariq Banuri in a television programme that disbursement of funds to country's universities is not done on the formula set for this purpose and that some universities are given preference over the others. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Banuri has tried to portray the special supplementary grant given to financially distressed universities, which was provided after Court orders and all necessary approvals, as favoritism to these institutions. It is important to highlight that the figure of six billion rupees supplementary grant, quoted by Mr. Banuri in the television programme, is not correct. The ECC approved Technical Supplementary Grant of two billion rupees for financially distressed universities, after the Court Order and not as a favour to any institution.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since its inception, HEC has been distributing funds allocated by the Federal Government to the public sector universities as per the laid down funding formula. As far as the special grant for financially distressed universities is concerned, the detail is as follows.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In response to a writ petition filed in the Peshawar High Court by few pensioners/employees of the University of Peshawar against non-payment of pension/salaries, the University pleaded that the problem occurred due to inadequate recurring funds provided by HEC. The Court desired personal appearance of the Federal Minister for Education along with Chairman HEC, as well as Federal/Provincial Secretaries for Higher Education and Ministry of Finance.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On appearance in the Court, representatives of the Ministry and HEC explained that 90% problems of these universities are due to poor resource management and historical overstaffing. The Court directed that the officials concerned of the Ministry and HEC should sit together with the Vice Chancellors of public sector universities and come out with viable solution to the economic problem, and it should be reported to the Court within a month.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In compliance to the Court Order, an online meeting was held on March 17, 2021 with representatives of Ministry of Federal Education, Ministry of Finance and selected VCs of all the provinces wherein short, medium and long term solutions were proposed. The meeting was followed by another consultation on March 19, 2021 of the Federal Minister of Education and Chairman HEC with the Governor KP and VCs of the four public universities in Peshawar that have major pension liability of Rs. 1.95 billion. These universities include University of Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology (UET), University of Agriculture and Islamia University, Peshawar. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the meeting, it was agreed that aforesaid universities will submit their restructuring/reform plan to ECC whose implementation will be supported through provision of a bailout package. Accordingly, HEC requested the Ministry of Federal Education for provision of supplementary grant to 11 distressed universities in the KP, Sindh and Balochistan provinces.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The ECC approved Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 2.0 billon for the financially distressed universities with the direction that funds shall not be utilized for pension purposes. The funds were disbursed to seven most distressed universities of KP and Balochistan province at agreeable amount to each institution based on analysis of the financial data undertaken in a meeting held under chairmanship of Federal Minister for Education in the presence of VCs of universities and representatives of the Ministry of Finance. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Detail of fund distribution to these universities is as follows. University of Peshawar, (Rs. 520 million), Islamia College University, Peshawar (Rs. 204 million), University of Agriculture, Peshawar (Rs. 284 million), UET Peshawar (Rs. 292 million), University of Balochistan, Quetta (Rs. 350 million), BUITEMS, Quetta (Rs. 300 million) and Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences, Quetta (Rs. 50 million).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Furthermore, previously Mr. Tariq Banuri has also given incorrect statements to the press that he was removed from office because he tried to have the accounts of some research Centers in Karachi University audited that he claimed are supervised by Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman. The facts related to these Centres are as follows.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman has held no administrative position in any research center or university for the last 20 years. No centers have been operating under his administrative or financial control since the year 2002.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC had requested for academic and financial audit of International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences. The requests were strongly welcomed by the Center in writing.  The only requirement of the Center was  in connection with the academic audit----that it  should be carried out by  experts in the relevant fields of chemistry and biology, which was reasonable. An academic audit of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences was conducted by 11 international experts in 2018. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Science and Technology and in their report all the 11 foreign experts were unanimous in their praise of the high quality of research work being conducted in the Center, and had recommended additional financial support for it.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Ministry of Education objected to the funding formula proposed by HEC for all university research centers and pointed out that it was not suitable, without precedence and that it would  badly damage research. The issue therefore was never about the auditing of accounts or transparency, as has been wrongly portrayed by Chairman HEC in statements to the Press.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC had proposed to take away the autonomy and merge the budget of the International Center of Chemical and Biological Sciences with that of the University of Karachi. This was not possible as the government has a formal agreement with UNESCO that its financial autonomy will be maintained. This was pointed out by the Ministry of Education to HEC in writing. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This Center is the UNESCO Center of Excellence , the TWAS Center of Excellence, OIC Center of Excellence and the WHO Collaborating Center. Its faculty members have won more civil awards and international prizes than any other academic Center in Pakistan, including 1 Nishan-i-Imtiaz, 4 Hilal-i-Imtiaz, 13 Sitara-i-Imtiaz and 8 Tamgha-i-Imtiaz and many honorary doctorate degrees from foreign universities including the University of Cambridge UK. The work of the Center has been praised by many Nobel Laureates <a href=""></a>  The accounts of ICCBS are regularly audited by the government and are well maintained. The Center is headed by Prof. Iqbal Choudhary, a leading scientist of Pakistan, since 2003.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">==============</p>22-02-2022 10:31:11<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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