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HEC resets strategic direction of higher education

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to reset the “strategic direction” of higher education to bring improvement to the sector.

An official letter dated October 23 addressed to all vice chancellors stated: “The role of HEC and higher education institutions is, therefore, of crucial importance only for generation of knowledge, for imparting education, and for ensuring training and grooming of the required human capital for the assigned task of socioeconomic development of Pakistan but also to focus on producing quality teachers, leaders and philosophers for intellectual and ethical guidance of Pakistani populace.”

It said cognizant of the overall objectives stated above, the higher education sector needs to formulate and follow a balanced and practical “Strategic Action Plan” to achieve the purpose of its existence.

The HEC said it had decided to constitute a Strategic Committee to realign the strategic direction of HEC with core strategic aims of producing world class graduates, enabling the transition towards technology-driven knowledge economy and inculcating moral and ethical values among students. The committee would also have a set of concrete recommendations that the commission had adopted at its 40th meeting.

Engineering universities told to focus on technical education

“It is suggested that the same may be done in higher education institutions by defining elaborate and bespoke Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for their faculty and administrative staff and then gauging and rewarding them accordingly. For the faculty, the KPIs could be allotted weightages of 40pc for teaching, 40pc for national need-driven research and 20pc for other professional/administrative duties.”

Technical education

Meanwhile, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed in a letter urged all engineering universities to focus on technical education as well.

“The universities of engineering and technology in Pakistan have for long focused on engineering programmes alone with little realisation that technologists work hand in glove with engineers.

While this approach looked sustainable in the past, it certainly does not commensurate with the requirements of the present world which is that of striking a balance between knowledge and applied skills.

“Today, around the world, it is generally understood that engineering practice includes not only engineers, but also technologists and technicians who complement each other with unique skill sets to achieve desired results.

“Therefore, it is about time that we in Pakistan also align ourselves with the concept. Doing so would require a concreted effort by all the stakeholders, including HEC, Pakistan Engineering Council and National Testing Council and most importantly the engineering, technology and skill universities. It is equally important the universities step ahead and analyze, develop and launch undergrad programmes in technology streams under different disciplines such as applied sciences, engineering, IT, health sciences,” added the letter.

“To that end, I ask you to actively embark upon this task and prepare comprehensive plans for the same and share them with HEC within two weeks,” the letter concluded.

Title : HEC resets strategic direction of higher education
Author : Daily Dawn
Type : News
Role Performer : Corporate Author
Subject : HEC's directive: Enhancing technical education in engineering universities
Publisher : Daily Dawn
Publication Place : Islamabad
Date : 2023-10-28
Language : English