Press Releases



NAHE, HEC to Begin Capacity Building Trainings for EmployeesNAHE, HEC to Begin Capacity Building Trainings for Employees<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, December 21, 2020: The National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) is organizing a series of trainings under its capacity building programme. This includes trainings for HEC staff in collaboration with the National Information Technology Board (NITB). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The trainings will begin on Tuesday, 22nd December, with a comprehensive session on E-office procedure. E-office is an electronic system of office and operational management which will help make functions more efficient and improve accountability at HEC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The programme is being implemented across various ministries in the government, and has been approved by the Federal Cabinet and the National e-Government Council.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The capacity building programme will have weekly workshops for HEC employees. It will last for next four weeks, and is expected to train more than 600 individuals. This will help support staff as services increasingly move online and ensure efficiency, consistency and transparency across the board. </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 across Pakistan. It is envisioned as the premier institution for quality research and teaching related to all aspects of higher education in Pakistan. This series of trainings is one of multiple ongoing NAHE endeavours at HEC'.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>21-12-2020 12:01:48<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Hybrid Education Vital to Build Non-Elitist Society: PresidentHybrid Education Vital to Build Non-Elitist Society: President<p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/english/news/news/PRPics/ESP.jpeg"><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/ESP.jpeg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></a><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, December 17, 2020: President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan is moving towards developing a non-elitist society and in this pursuit the hybrid mode of learning can play a vital role. He said that Pakistan is quickly transitioning into an era, wherein hybrid education is changing the whole spectrum of society by opening new possibilities and opportunities. It has made knowledge dynamic and non-static. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He made these remarks while addressing the closing session of the 3-day Pak-UK Education Gateway virtual conference entitled "Rethinking and Reshaping a Resilient Higher Education System" that concluded on Thursday. The conference was jointly organized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the British Council. Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Mr. Shafqat Mahmood and Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri also attended the session.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The three days of conference brought together scholars and higher education experts from the UK and Pakistan to share how universities in both the countries have responded to COVID scenario, and discussed further strengthening of strategic transnational education partnership between the two countries. Various sessions of the conference focused on building a sustainable future for international higher education, role of higher education leadership during COVID, international collaborations and internationalisation of higher education, future of distance learning, and mobility programmes.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The President appreciated the HEC-BC partnerships, which have led to development of Pakistan's first Open and Distance Learning Policy. He emphasized that COVID, besides its catastrophic impacts on all the spheres of life, will leave strong imprints on the education system, and that the situation has created opportunities by making institutions adopt new highways towards progress. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Alvi asserted that the hybrid learning has made it easier for women to get educated and empowered, adding that it is one of the Government's priorities to make education less expensive and less-elitist. He said that the Pakistani universities are providing virtual and open learning much cheaper, compared to the rest of the world, and stressed the need for teachers to adapt themselves to the new teaching requirements. "The faster we move, the sooner we will make it easier for people to acquire education in the prevailing situation." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He also highlighted the need for development of a certification system to examine and assess students. He also underlined the significance of the Pakistani diaspora in the UK and across the world, especially professionals, in terms of their role in the uplift of systems in the country.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that 1.5 million Pakistani youth are critical asset of the country, and the Government is committed to investing in youth development to position them in the global market. Acknowledging the paramount importance of UK's education system, he said that Pakistan is also putting strenuous efforts to make its higher education system compatible with the best higher education sectors of the world. "In this pursuit, the contribution of partners like the UK government and the British Council, who are consistently lending their hand to us, are highly valuable." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister said that Pakistan appreciated the openness of the British people towards the Pakistani diaspora. He said the programmes like Pak-UK Education Gateway can prove to be very helpful in rethinking and reshaping a resilient higher education sector. He admired the role of this programme in developing the Pakistan's Open and Distance Learning Policy. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri congratulated the conference participants on the second anniversary of Pakistan-UK Education Gateway. He emphasised that it is high time to strengthen international collaboration to share not only the best practices but also the challenges the entire world is facing in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. "We have to learn from each other and advance our educational agenda forward." He said that as the COVID has changed the world, including the higher education sector, the HEC adopted an eight-component approach to mitigate the disruption. He also dilated on the measures taken for technology preparedness, teacher preparedness, student preparedness, course development, laboratories and libraries readiness, examination and evaluation mechanism, and student access to higher education.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his remarks, Minister for South Asia, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Tariq Mehmood Ahmed said the HEC-BC partnership has ushered a new era of bilateral engagement and productive outcomes. He said that the UK government attaches high importance to supporting education in Pakistan. He informed the participants that 35000 Pakistani students have completed their degrees in the past few years in the UK universities, while 60,000 students are currently pursuing their degrees. "These numbers will continue to grow, as we building on the success of the bilateral partnership." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Pak-UK Education Gateway, launched in 2018, aims to further enhance partnership between the higher education sectors of Pakistan and the UK under a structured programme jointly sponsored by the Government of Pakistan and the British Council Pakistan. Key areas of collaboration are innovative and collaborative research, higher education leadership, quality assurance and standard setting, distance learning, international mobility, community engagement and transnational education. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the first year of execution, 21 travel and exploratory grants have enabled 50 plus faculty to meet relevant partners, seven large scale projects between UK and Pakistan have been shortlisted to embark upon crucial research ventures, strategic relationships have been developed between National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) and Advance Higher Education  UK to help enhance the governance systems and Quality Assurance Agency of the UK is closely working with HEC to help establish quality mechanisms for the higher education sector of Pakistan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>17-12-2020 13:56:32<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
3-day Moot on Pak-UK Education Gateway to Begin on Tuesday3-day Moot on Pak-UK Education Gateway to Begin on Tuesday <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, December 14, 2020: As COVID-19 has transformed the entire world systems, the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and the British Council, Pakistan will hold a three-day virtual conference on December 15-17 to discuss the future of the higher education sector in the post-pandemic world.   </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">The conference entitled “Pakistan-UK Education Gateway: Rethinking and Reshaping a Resilient Higher Education System” will discuss key issues facing the sector in the ‘new’ normal, the role of leadership in building resilient HE systems, and lessons learnt from the pandemic. It will celebrate some of the concrete contributions that the Pak-UK Gateway programme has made so far. </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri, Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner, Director Education, British Council, Nishat Riaz, Vice Chancellors, faculty, and students from both the UK and Pakistan will attend the conference.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">The British Council in Pakistan and the HEC launched the Pak-UK Education Gateway in 2018, with an aim to enhance partnership between the higher education sectors of Pakistan and the UK. The key areas of collaboration under the joint programme include, innovative and collaborative research, higher education leadership, quality assurance and standard setting, distance learning, international mobility, transnational education, and community engagement.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">In addition to bringing partners from the Pakistan and UK together to share best practices and lessons learnt during the pandemic and promote cooperation and partnerships between both countries, the recipients of the HEC-British Council joint Research Grants shall be announced along with the upcoming British Council Scholarship schemes for young women in Pakistan.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="color:#1f497d;">===============</span></p>14-12-2020 18:16:26<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Pakistan to Cooperate with SAARC Universities on Covid ResponsePakistan to Cooperate with SAARC Universities on Covid Response<p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/news/news/PRPics/Picture%2005.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />​</p><div style="text-align:justify;"> </div><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Islamabad, December 10, 2020: Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri has said that all the SAARC Member States have similar experiences in terms of the use of different applications and software for online education, governance of e-learning system, capacity building of faculty, poor internet connectivity, and power breakdowns and need for technological infrastructure. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">“All of them have addressed different issues with different degrees of success and all of them will benefit from sharing of information, pooling of resources and collaboration in capacity building as well as research. Pakistan is fully committed to regional cooperation and would be happy to arrange capacity building programmes for regional partners and support collaborative research and exchange.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">He said this while chairing a meeting of the Vice Chancellors and representatives of Higher Education Commission (HEC), University Grants Commissions (UGCs) or equivalent entities of the SAARC Member States. Hosted by HEC Pakistan, the two-day online meeting concluded on Thursday. It discussed in detail the issues and challenges pertaining to the online mode of learning amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">During the two-day meeting, the delegates from all the SAARC States shared how the universities and other higher education institutions in their respective countries are functioning in the current situation, and what solutions are being adopted to cope with the multifaceted challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">The sessions of the meeting covered topics such as the technological infrastructure for online learning, effective teaching through online mode, quality assurance for online education, and evaluation and assessment for online education.  </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">The participants noted that online education is altogether different from conventional teaching. There was a consensus that sharing of experience of the shift to online education will be highly beneficial for all the Member States. The Vice Chancellors also discussed various approaches being adopted to make sure that the quality of education is not compromised, besides ways and methods for proper monitoring of online examination and evaluation.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">In her welcome address, Director Education, Security and Culture, SAARC Secretariat, Ms. Varuni Muthukumarana said that education has always been one of the core areas of cooperation among SAARC member countries. She stressed the need for harnessing the efforts to ensure the quality of online learning. She proposed to set up a platform to ease up mutual sharing of measures taken by different SAARC countries so as to make the online system of education more effective.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">Mr. Banuri appreciated all the participants for their commitment to enhancing cooperation among higher education institutions of SAARC countries, especially with regard to Covid-19 situation. He thanked the SAARC Secretariat and other participants for their valuable insight and recommendations for overcoming different challenges of online education. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">“I would like to reflect the collective feeling of participants that there is a need for immediate cooperation in all the areas discussed. Though all the countries are making a varying level of progress in different categories, we will all benefit from the sharing of spheres, including technology usage, bringing efficiency in blended teaching and learning, online assessment and evaluation of students, and quality assurance mechanisms.” </span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="font-size:12pt;">He further added that the ‘content of new pedagogical enterprise’ needs to be pooled, while curating the courses, giving the students an easy access to education, lowering the cost of online e-learning, and developing content and making it easily available to students. </span><span style="font-size:13pt;"></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="color:#1f497d;">===============</span></p>10-12-2020 12:56:11<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Forms Transition Committee for Medical & Dental EducationHEC Forms Transition Committee for Medical & Dental Education<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, November 27, 2020: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan has constituted a Transition Committee with representation of relevant stakeholders for a smooth transition to the regulatory framework governing medical and dental education under the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) Act 2020. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Pursuant to the promulgation of PMC Act 2020, the uniform minimum standards of basic and higher medical education, training and recognition of qualifications in medicine and dentistry will be formulated and implemented. PMC and the HEC will work together and closely coordinate to define the regulatory scope.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Transition Committee has been constituted to ensure that there will be gradual transition in terms of setting standards, devising mechanisms/policies regarding curriculum, faculty and inspection of medical and dental colleges. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Committee will ensure that there will be no abrupt change and existing standards shall remain in force till adoption of new standards/policies. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>03-12-2020 10:36:34<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
HEC Issues New Policy Guidance for Universities’ Online, Hybrid OperationsHEC Issues New Policy Guidance for Universities’ Online, Hybrid Operations<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, November 26, 2020: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan has announced a new Policy Guidance for the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), following the Government's decision regarding continuation of education during the 2nd wave of COVID-19. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As per the Government directions, all academic institutions shall be closed from November 26, 2020 until 24 December 2020. However, they shall continue to deliver education through online or hybrid means or through assigning homework (especially if there are problems of connectivity). The Winter Holidays shall be scheduled from December 25, 2020 to January 10, 2021, and all academic institutions shall remain closed during this period. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Academic institutions are scheduled to open on January 11, 2021. However, a review meeting will be held during the first week of January 2021 to assess the situation, and authorise opening of academic institutions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the light of the Government directions, the Vice Chancellors have been authorised to allow small groups of "essential" individuals on campus, subject to implementation of scrutiny mechanisms or safeguards. Only certain categories of students may be allowed on campus. These categories may comprise low income students who may have connectivity problems at home because of lack of access to the Internet or the availability of proper devices, foreign students, those PhD or MPhil students (or final year students) who need to use the laboratories to complete their thesis work, or third year or higher medical students who need to obtain clinical training. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The total number of the students permitted to come to campus should not exceed 30 per cent of the total enrollment, or a lower number if dictated by the campus conditions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Similarly, the Vice Chancellors may require the faculty members to come to campus for delivering or preparing their online lectures.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">All the large examinations planned for December 2020 have been postponed, with exception of assessment examinations, such as MDCAT, other entrance exams, recruitment exams, or prescheduled small examinations (e.g., less than 30 students). These may be conducted, if absolutely necessary, with strict observance of all health and safety protocols.    </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As for hostels, the new Policy Guidance says that the Vice Chancellors have the authority to allow limited occupancy of hostels, subject to the instructed restrictions. Only the students in the "essential" categories will be allowed. The total number of students shall not exceed 30 per cent of the design capacity of the hotels (or a small number if so dictated by health considerations). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">All SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) shall be implemented strictly and diligently. The universities will put in place appropriate measures including isolating hostel residents (i.e., treating the hostel as a safe bubble) to protect them from external infection. Besides, the universities shall draw up rules regarding the presence of faculty members or staff on campus.    </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"All the Vice Chancellors and heads of institutions shall ensure that the flexibility granted by the government is exercised in a judicious manner, authorised at the highest level, and monitored and managed effectively and efficiently," reads the new Policy Guidance.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC has also released Rs. 10 million each to all public sector universities to help them establish any supportive arrangements needed to improve the quality of the online education process. Besides, the universities may recruit senior, tech-savvy students to assist faculty members in technology related problems involved in online education.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Furthermore, HEC has constituted a COVID Response Oversight Committee to collaborate with the Vice Chancellors in their respective regions, clarify questions or concerns, share best practices, and oversee implementation. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Committee is headed by Dr. Niaz Akhtar, Vice Chancellor Punjab University, and comprises Dr. Tabassum Afzal (for ICT), Vice Chancellor COMSATS University Islamabad, Dr. Aslam Uqaili, Vice Chancellor Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (for Sindh), Dr. Abid Ali, Vice Chancellor Peshawar University (for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Engr. Farooq Bazai, Vice Chancallor BUITEMS (for Balochistan), Dr. Kaleem Abbasi, Vice Chancellor AJK University (for AJK), and Dr. Naeem Khan, Vice Chancellor Baltistan University (for Gilgit-Baltistan). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Committee will also interact with the respective provincial governments to ensure synchronized and cooperative action.      </p><p style="text-align:justify;">===============</p>27-11-2020 09:27:16<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
VCs Committed to Deterring Disruption in Education as COVID-19 ResurgesVCs Committed to Deterring Disruption in Education as COVID-19 Resurges <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, November 18, 2020: The Vice Chancellors of all universities across the country have reiterated their commitment to ensure adherence to the SOPs and government guidelines in view of the situation evolving out of the COVID-19 resurgence in the country. The 34<sup>th</sup> Vice Chancellors Committee meeting held online on Wednesday was attended by a large number of Vice Chancellors and Rectors.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">The university heads reviewed the situation on campuses with regard to the COVID-19, especially in the perspective of the feared second wave of the pandemic. They said that the universities have taken a number of steps to cope with the situation, including strict enforcement of SOPs on campuses, reducing the numbers of students in classrooms and hostels, and shift to hybrid modes of instruction. </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">“In fact, while the adherence to SOPs has dropped significantly in most other public places, universities have tried hard to maintain their level of vigilance and provide good examples for others,” said the Vice Chancellors. </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">They expressed their total commitment to adhering to the guidelines issued by the NCOC (National Command and Operation Centre) and the health authorities. Majority of the Vice Chancellors said that they can switch to online or hybrid instruction, and limiting those who are allowed to enter the campus, in case the re-emergence of the virus requires curtailment of public interaction. </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">The meeting also discussed other options for action, including enhancing counselling services for students as well as the general public, sharing of information and technical resources, and mutual learning from best practices. They also demanded that PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) arrange better data packages for students and faculty members in order to facilitate online interaction and instruction.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;">During the meeting, Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri apprised the university heads of the decisions made in the last NCOC meeting. He emphasized, “We need to do the best we can to deter any disruption in the education system being caused by the situation evolving due to the COVID-19 recurrence.” He stressed that the universities need to prepare and look ahead as to how they can deal better any evolving situation.    </p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span style="color:#1f497d;">===============</span></p>19-11-2020 11:02:05<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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