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Future funding must be linked to the performance of universities: Rana Tanveer Hussain

Islamabad: Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain on Wednesday directed “Future funding must be linked to the performance of universities. This he said in a bid to encourage universities to enhance the quality of their teaching and research.The minister said this after a briefing about the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The minister said that the higher learning institutions need to focus on enhancing the skills of students. He advised adopting special measures to impart technical education as per latest industry trends.

The minister visited the HEC Secretariat where Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed briefed him on the commission’s performance. Chairman apprised the minister about challenges faced by HEC for the last 20 years as well as the steps taken to improve the quality of higher education.

According to the official press release, the education minister acknowledged the fiscal pressure that the HEC was facing and appreciated its performance despite challenges.

“We are here to support you. Education is one of our top priorities and I will make sure that the higher education sector does not suffer because of financial constraints,” the minister said.

Mr Hussain, however, emphasised introducing more stringent steps to ensure quality at all levels of higher education through regular monitoring. And institutions violating quality parameters should be strictly advised to fulfill all basic requirements.

The chairman informed the minister that the HEC helped increase the number of higher education institutions to 249. It has also put in serious effort to ensure quality of education and increase volume and quality of research in Pakistan.

“Our universities are now technologically equipped as per the modern standards and Pakistan is emerging as a rising star in Asia”.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed also elaborated scholarships projects the HEC had been offering to make education accessible to students, particularly those from far-flung and less privileged areas.

He also highlighted the international scholarship opportunities provided by the HEC that enable Pakistani students to pursue higher studies in best universities of the world.

“Over 40pc of the government’s total investment in higher education sector has been on human resource development and we have maintained the most transparent and cautious approach for selection of students,” he said and added that as a result of all these initiatives, one of country’s recent achievements is that Pakistan won the greatest number of Erasmus+ Scholarships while India remained on the second number,” the chairman added.

Talking about the challenges faced by the higher education sector, the chairman said: “Though we understand the financial challenges that our country is facing, still we request the Government to keep the higher education sector among topmost priorities while disbursing the funds.”

The briefing was also attended by HEC Executive Director Dr Shaista Sohail and other senior officials of the commission.

Zahra Sikandar
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