Govt enhanced scholarships from Rs 2 to 5 billion during last two years

ISLAMABAD, August 18 (APP): The Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the directions of Federal Government enhanced the amount for Need Based Scholarships Program for undergraduate studies from Rs.2.00 billion in FY 2018-19 to Rs.5.0 billion in FY 2019-2020 through assistance from Ehsaas Program.

According to the report launched on two year performance of PTI government here Tuesday, Need based scholarship funds has also been released in last week of June 2020 and disbursed amongst 119 public sector universities.

HEC following the policies of incumbent government has established a national Centre of Cyber Security to deal with emerging challenge of cyber security.

The report further added that HEC will automate operational processes at 50 universities over a five year period. It will cover learning management systems, admissions, course management, grading, transcripts, scholarships, tuition fees, classroom assignments, staff recruitment and promotion, finance, HR, procurement and inventory. This will improve quality of education as well as financial reporting. Automation of the first set of 10 universities completed, it added.

Under the aegis of the Higher Education Development in Pakistan the project is in the process of creating a national level Higher Education Data Repository (HEDR) at HEC, consisting of granular level data related to students, faculty and staff for all universities. HEDR will ensure that HEC will have access to up-to-date and correct information – personal as well as academic about the student body in the country. It will have details about all the faculty members, their academic background, research interests and publications. This data will enable HEC to make data-driven decisions.

The Human Resource Development initiative-MS leading to PhD Program of faculty development for engineering universities focuses on promoting innovative and relevant research, strengthening quality of education in affiliated colleges and connecting them to Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) for use of modern technologies, developing Higher Education Management System (HEMIS) and Cloud Infrastructure.
National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) has been set up to invest in continuous professional development of faculty members in order to improve quality of teaching. An amount of Rs.8205.302 million has been utilized so far for this human resource development initiative, it mentioned.

Two year report stated that the joint HEC China project, “Smart Universities: transformation through smart classrooms” will establish 100 smart classrooms in 50 universities and 50 sub-campuses through a PC-I costing 100 million Chinese Yuan received as grant assistance (Rs.2.273 billion) from China.

Under the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) project a consortium Of China-Pakistan universities has been established to promote collaboration and exchange. The number of participants has recently been expanded from 19 to 40 universities including China-09 top universities.

The incumbent government through HEC has proposed and implemented the Online and Distance Learning (ODL). Recently because of the Covid-19, the ODL policy was developed by HEC. It has been circulated initially in the form of a guidance note, and is being converted into a regulatory framework. However, development of online contents of 10 courses prepared, the report said.

During the first two years of present Government, a detailed look at the need, rationale, international comparisons and competency gaps has led to a first-ever draft of an integrated PhD policy.

HEC’s under its plagiarism policy has closed some loopholes through administrative changes under the policy of incumbent government. Others are being examined with a view to drafting a revised policy in line with the vision of present Government.

HEC has examined the flagship degree program of post-secondary education, namely the 4-5 year basic degree. After extensive consultations with over 1,000 faculty members and university leadership, the program has been redesigned on a rational and forward-looking basis, ensuring that graduates leave with the appropriate combination of competencies that enable future success.

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