ISLAMABAD - Implementation of decision on distribution of functions of the Higher Education Commission between federal and provinces is hanging in balance despite the Council of Common Interests (CII) decided the matter sixteen months ago, officials said on Friday.

Officials said the Council of Common Interests (CII) in its 35th meeting held in February 2018 had decided distribution of functions between Federal Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and provincial higher education regulatory bodies of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

After the 18th amendment in 2010, the devolution of HEC had become bone of contention between federal and provinces and the matter was taken to CCI.

As per the meeting minutes available with The Nation, twelve key functions of higher education were awarded to provinces while 08 were given to centre. The CCI also agreed that seven functions of higher education will be performed by both federal and provincial governments. The officials also said that the CCI had taken the decision of distribution of functions on higher education issue after three years of deliberations but its implementation is lingering.  

As per the documents, twelve key functions to be performed by the provinces include formation of  policy for the promotion and regulation of higher education in the province, preparing guidelines and issuance of NOC for the establishment of institutions of higher education in the province in line with minimum national standards, implementation of a system of quality assurance of institution in line with National Standards, quality enhancement and quality assurance of territory education in the province, policy advice on good governance and management of institutions of Higher Education, third party performance audit of Higher Education institutions.

advisory support to HEIs in raising funds from sources other than the government, encourage, support and facilitate training programs, workshops and symposium, Introduction of market oriented educational programs in institutions of higher education and advice to the institutions on proper balance between teaching and research in conformity to the minimum National Standards and coordination with federal bodies of higher education for promotion of higher education.