Senate body directs HEC to stop unauthorized higher education institutions

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training has directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for establishing an effective mechanism to stop unauthorized higher educational institutions from ruining future of Pakistani students.
The directions were given during the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, National Heritage & Culture held under the Chairmanship of Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui here at Parliament House.
Chairman Committee expressed his reservation regarding unauthorized institutions offering degree programs in Pakistan without approval of HEC or any other regulatory body. Chairman Committee said “what HEC has done to stop this practice and save future of students”.
HEC officials replied that commission has published list of approved institutions on its website and student or parents should go through the list before applying for admission. Commission also issues parents alerts and advisories from time to time and blacklists the institutions which do not fulfill the criteria set for accreditation and recognition of degree programs.
Chairman committee expressed his disconcert on the performance of HEC in this regard and suggested that more should be done to stop these unauthorized institutions from ruining the future of Pakistani students.
“It is very disappointing that in presence of FIA and other investigative agencies action is not taken against such organizations. More needs to be done and HEC should take a leading role in order to discourage such practices. There is lack of coordination between Pakistani public institutions and students are suffering due to this. Supervision and oversight is responsibility of HEC,” said Irfan ul Haq Siddiqui.
HEC officials informed the committee that Pakistan students going abroad for studies take admission on their own and there is no mechanism to stop them from taking admission in unrecognized foreign universities and medical colleges.
The meeting was also given detailed briefing/presentation on the steps taken by the Ministry/HEC for recognition of educational degrees and skills in the fields of Engineering, Medical, Law, I.T and Technicians.
Chairman Committee questioned as to what has been done by HEC for recognition and accreditation of Medical Degrees of Pakistani Students internationally and in Pakistan.
To which HEC officials apprised the committee members that commission’s responsibility is to facilitate the students and at the same time maintain quality and uphold the standards. HEC ensures entry of qualification into UNESCO database so that graduates from Pakistan are able to serve overseas. HEC also refers to this database for accreditation and recognition of foreign degrees in Pakistan.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan commented that a system should be developed to register students going abroad for education.
Committee moved onto agenda item number two regarding service structure of the technologists in the country. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan briefed the committee members about the history of this case.
“There is no service structure for technologists. Every year about 10 thousand degree holders are passing out and there is uncertainty regarding their future. This issue has been raised multiple times in different standing committee meetings and nothing has been done so far.
Task forces and committees were established to solve the issue but to no avail. Technologists have been suffering due to this since inception of State of Pakistan. Pakistan Engineering Council has played a negative role in this regard. National Technology Commission Act should be passed as soon as possible. – APP