ISLAMABAD - The 17-member governing body of Higher Education Commission (HEC) in its meeting has expressed concern over the opening of new universities and grant of charters without obtaining NOC from the HEC.

The Commission said Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for establishment of a new university / institution of higher education approved by the federal cabinet should be practiced in letter and spirit.

The 28th meeting of Commission, governing body, of Higher Education Commission HEC held here at Islamabad. The meeting was chaired by Dr Javaid R Laghari Chairperson HEC and attended by Qamar Zaman Ch, Federal Secretary Ministry of Education and Training, Ikhlaq Tarar, Federal Secretary Ministry of Science & Technology, Prof Dr AQ Mughal, vice chancellor Sindh Agriculture University Tandogam, Prof Dr Ihsan Vice Chancellor Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Prof Dr Nilofar Shaikh, Former Vice-Chancellor SALU Khairpur, Engr Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, Vice Chancellor KPK UET Peshawar, Engr Ahmed Farooq Bazai, Vice-Chancellor BUITMS Quetta, Lt Gen Agha M Umar Farooq, former President NDU Islamabad, Senator Razina Alam Khan and Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director HEC.

The commission referred its earlier decision in its 24th meeting held on November 30, 2010 wherein it was strongly recommended that the universities/DAIs established, must meet the Cabinet Criteria/Guidelines for the establishment of a new University/Institutions of Higher Education and get the NOC from HEC otherwise the degrees of Institutions not meeting the said criteria will not be recognised by the Higher Education Commission”.

The Standard Operating Procedures for Establishment of a New University / Institution of Higher Education have been approved by the Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on February 27, 2002 and assented to by the chancellors’ committee in its 1st and 2nd meetings, headed by the president of Pakistan should be practiced in letter and spirit.

The commission felt that good governance, effective management, quality standards and necessary infrastructure are the basic parameters that determine academic and research performance of higher education Institutions in particular and guarantee promotion of higher education in the country in general. To make an effective start, it is imperative that institutions of higher learning at the stage of their establishment in Public and Private sector must meet all requirements of Federal Cabinet Criteria. The provincial governments and the offices of the universities Chancellor’s ensure that the process of establishment of new university/DAI is carried out in light of the Cabinet Criteria and HEC guidelines.

The commission also approved MOU between Higher Education Commission and Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) aiming at enchaining the quality of law education in Pakistan. 

Through this MOU, HEC in collaboration with PBC will be responsible to develop and furnish policy guidelines to revamp and strengthen the process of accreditation of Programs in law conducted in all Institutions of higher education in Pakistan recognized by the PBC and will develop criteria for recognition of Programs in Law at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, curriculum of Programs and Criteria for appointment of faculty. 

The Pakistan Bar Council will establish a Legal Education Accreditation Committee (LEAC), which will be responsible for execution of the policies and criteria. The provisions of  “Good Practices for Quality Assurance for Accreditation Councils in Pakistan” approved by the Higher Education Commission and that of rules framed by the Pakistan Bar Council shall be binding on the Legal Education Accreditation Committee (LEAC).