NA committee shown serious concerns over the non-compliance of quality assurance criterion in universities


The 19th meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training was held at Higher Education Commission Secretariat on Thursday.

The meeting, presided over by Mr. Amirullah Marwat, Chairman, NA Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, was also attended by Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, and Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, HEC.

The committee brought under consideration various academic issues including the Calling Attention Notice regarding stoppage of salaries of more than 60 teachers and staff members of Federal Urdu University, Islamabad; the Sir Syed (Centre of Advanced Studies in Engineering) Institute of Technology, Islamabad Bill; the Technical Educational Institutions, Medial Educational Institutions and Universities (Regulation of Fee) Bill; the Prevention of Malpractices in Academia Bill, 2016; and implementation status of the recommendations of the Standing Committee made in a meeting held at Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU).

The committee considered the issues placed on the meeting agenda. It expressed serious concerns over the non-compliance of quality assurance criterion in a few universities. It also showed concerns over the lack of timely appointment of Vice Chancellors. While discussing the issues of the University of Karachi and Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, it directed for starting the academic audit from the University of Karachi and FUUAST. The committee members also called the Vice Chancellors of the two universities to attend the committee’s next meeting to be held in Karachi.

Briefing the committee on various subjects under consideration in the meeting, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that HEC follows a strong policy to deal with plagiarism and it gives no relaxation on any plagiarism case. He informed that HEC has received 201 plagiarism cases since 2017 wherein 45 cases have been proved and blacklisted, 65 complaints have been proved wrong, and 41 other cases are under process. He also revealed that HEC recently conducted review of 171 universities in terms of governance and quality, adding that HEC has provided Turnitin to every university which is be being benefited from. Universities are certainly autonomous bodies, however this autonomy accompanies strict accountability, he stated.

The Chairman also shared the process of appointing Universities Vice Chancellors. He described as to what steps HEC has taken to enhance the prestige of teachers by following a one-grade-up policy so that the country’s higher education institutions have competent faculty. He informed the members about the plan to conduct academic audit of all the universities across the country.

The committee members who attended the meeting include Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Ms. Shaista Pervaiz, Ms. Amra Khan, Chaudhary Hamid Hameed, Ms. Surriya Asghar, Ms. Surraiya Jatoi, Ms. Shahida Rehmani, Dr. Imran Khattak, Ms. Shahida Akhtar Ali, and Ms. Shakila Luqman. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, Dr. G. Raza Bhatti, Member O&P, HEC, Prof. Ihsan Ali, Vice Chancellor, AWKU, Mr. Shah Ji Mohammed, Additional Registrar, Federal Urdu University of Science and Technology, and representatives of CASE, Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services, FUUAST, and ICT were also present on the occasion.