Stories about HEC

Will the victims of the Balochistan University scandal get justice?

A month ago, the Balochistan High Court directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to look into the sexual harassment reports which had emerged from Balochistan University. According to FIA findings, both female and male students “were being blackmailed by some staff members through ‘objectionable’ videos of them, recorded through CCTV cameras hidden at various places on the campus including its washrooms.” These reports are bound to have repercussions not just for the educational institution under question but also on women’s education in Pakistan as a whole. Whether or not those responsible for blackmailing, harassment and an evident breach of privacy will be ...

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The downfall of Bahria University: From a prestigious institute to the “six-inch university”

“Men and women are to maintain a distance of at least six inches while sitting/standing together.” Imagine reading this somewhere, or hearing about it. What would your first reaction be? Perhaps something like, “Oh my God! The Taliban are back! They must have started enforcing their version of Shariah, and are probably planning to bring the days of terror back to the country!” If so, relax! This notice wasn’t issued by those fanatics, but by a renowned semi-government university, and is applicable only within its premises. It all began when a notice was issued by Bahria University’s (BU) director, requiring male and female ...

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A pro-poor budget with the rich in mind? Cute, Mr Ishaq Dar, cute!

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” – Joseph Goebbels Goebbels was one of the most prominent propagandists during Hitler’s era; the man was a magician. I mean, if someone can sell Hitler and his ideology to millions of people at a time, then he definitely deserves respect. And therefore, I virtually have the same respect for our long line of finance ministers, who have the guts to come on television every year, present a horrendous budget for the common man, and then dub it “ghareebon ka budget” (poor people’s ...

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Congratulations, Pakistan

The 16th Annual All Pakistan Inter-University Bilingual Declamation Contest for the Allama Iqbal Shield award concluded on April 29, 2014. It is an annual exercise that the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) conducts, in order to promote a better understanding of socio-economic and political issues, critical thinking and communication skills among under and post-graduate students. The contest comprises three rounds. Students from various departments within a university compete in the first round. One top scorer from each university qualifies for the second round, where students from various institutions within an administrative division compete. In the third round, three top scorers (Urdu ...

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Dr Javaid Laghari: Plagiarist or political victim?

In the last few days a report surfaced in The Express Tribune that Dr Javaid Laghari, former Head of HEC and former Vice-Chancellor of SZABIST, was found ‘guilty’ of plagiarism by a three-member HEC committee. By virtue of a paper Dr Laghari was said to have co-authored in 2003 with Mohammed Nadeem, a member of the Faculty of the Computer Science Departmet at SZABIST, the committee used plagiarism software to check the contents of the paper and found that it was 30 per cent plagiarised from a European Union report, although a previous report in the Dawn from August 2013 ...

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A short guide to help you with the NTS-GAT exam for Pakistani universities

Graduate Assessment Test (GAT), which is also sometimes known as the local Graduate Record Examination (GRE), is a prerequisite test taken in order to get admission into any M Phil in almost all Pakistani universities. Moreover, it is required for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) scholarships. Naturally, students in the last semester/year of their graduation get worried about their GAT exams, as their future is dependent on how well they do in these papers. So what is the GAT really? As obvious by its name, it is a test which is designed to assess the skills and abilities gained in the 16 ...

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HEC University rankings: Why not Indus Valley, IBA or NCA?

The headlines are in, folks; scholars can stop holding their breath now. The HEC, or the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, has declared irrevocably who is the best in the business. The HEC has provided us with some very serious looking numbers that tell us which university is ‘fit’ according to its standards. It includes the analysis of how many HEC research and travel grants and HEC approved PhDs were included in the universities. It all seems kind of circular, but anyway. The problem with singular, all-powerful bodies such as the HEC is that there is no check and balance on their judgment. If institutions are ...

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Dear HEC, your degree attestation process is a nightmare

Getting a degree attested – sounds like a simple enough task, doesn’t it? Turns out, it can be an absolutely maddening task, trust me. I had been trying to apply for a visa to Canada, and as part of the process, I traveled to Islamabad from Peshawar to get my Bachelor’s degree attested. This is a necessary step for everyone who wants to apply for a visa to the US and Canada and even for those who are seeking jobs within Pakistan. Before leaving Peshawar, I went through all the necessary requirements listed on the Higher Education Commission (HEC) website. 8:00am I arrived at the HEC office ...

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Using IT for good governance

A few years ago my elder sister and I went to Islamabad to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to get her degrees attested. It was a scorching hot day and I remember sitting on a bench outside a small office awaiting our turn to meet the attestation officer. After three hours of waiting, our turn finally came and a grumpy old man handed my sister a few forms to fill. These forms were to be submitted at another window along with the attestation fee receipt which was to be obtained from a bank across the HEC building. After spending half ...

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We can ******* our education system ourselves, thank you

Universities are supposed to help open a young person’s mind to the world, exposing them to new ideas and concepts. Historian Richard Hofstadter felt that “a university’s essential character is that of being a centre of free inquiry and criticism — a thing not to be sacrificed for anything else”. Unsurprisingly, this concept is foreign to at least one of the country’s leading universities. Recently, Islamic International University Islamabad (IIUI) Rector Fateh Muhammad Malik took indefinite ex-Pakistan leave, allegedly after pressure was applied on the government by the ambassador of a ‘friendly nation’ for his removal. Now, IIUI is hardly a ...

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