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Parliamentarians from Federally Administered Tribal Areas briefed on Higher Education Commission initiatives for Tribal Areas

Islamabad, November 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): A group of Parliamentarians from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) visited Higher Education Commission Secretariat here on Monday to discuss HEC initiatives for promotion of higher education in the tribal areas. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, briefed them in detail about Commission’s core activities, particularly different initiatives for FATA region.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Muhammad Nazir Khan, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Mr. Muhammad Jamal ud Din, Mr. Alhaj Shah Jee Gul Afridi, Mr. Nasir Khan, Mr. Sajid Hussain Turi, Mr. Ghalib Khan, and Syed Ghazi Ghulab Jamal. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Dr. Ghulam Raza Bhatti, Member (Operations and Planning) HEC and other senior management of the Commission were also present.

Briefing the parliamentarians on HEC’s core aims in general, and initiatives for promotion of higher education in FATA in particular, the Chairman said that HEC is committed to ensuring development of FATA through increased access of tribal students to higher education. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that so far 6633 FATA students have benefited from Prime Minister’s Fee Reimbursement Programme for MPhil and PhD studies, while 2750 students from FATA have been awarded scholarships under HEC’s programme for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

He informed the guests that over 3000 student from FATA have also been provided scholarships under HEC Merit and Need-based Scholarship Programme, while a number of scholars have also availed foreign scholarships for PhD studies as well as Cuban Government’s scholarships for medical studies. He further said that so far 1800 FATA students have been provided laptops under Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme. “HEC believes in a holistic approach towards development and ensures that quality is not compromised at any level,” he said.

Addressing concerns of parliamentarians over location of FATA University, the Chairman said that location for establishment of FATA University had been controversial for years, however HEC proposed that the University campuses should be set up in each Agency once the University is established. “Our proposal was admired and now we have FATA University on the ground,” he said while assuring that campuses of the University will be established in each Agency.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, while describing HEC’s overall endeavours for promotion of higher education in the country, said that HEC has made remarkable progress in increasing access rate, ensuring equity, improving quality, and focusing on relevance of education and research in the country. He revealed that before the inception of HEC in 2002, the number of higher education institutions was only 59, but now the number of universities has reached 180.

He further said that HEC, with support of the Government, is working on establishment of university campuses in every district. He said HEC is following no-compromise policy on quality of education, for which universities’ faculty requirements are being fulfilled through various capacity building programmes. Similarly, he said, strict measures are being taken to curb plagiarism.

He also informed the lawmakers that number of journal publications has reached 10,000, which was around 800 in 2002. He said only 11000 faculty members of Pakistan’s higher education institutions are PhD while Pakistan currently requires more than 30,000 PhD faculty. “HEC is following the target through its various scholarship and human resource development programmes,” the Chairman affirmed.

For more information, contact:
Director (Media)
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC)
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-90402404, +92-51-90402412
Email: aikram@hec.gov.pk
Website: www.hec.gov.pk

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