Stories about Higher Education Commission

Am I a qualified PhD if I paid someone else to write my thesis?

If you were to imagine a PhD student, what would you think? Well-educated? Well-versed in the language of instruction? Well-spoken? Well-read? Well, some problems become worse than you initially expect them to be. To detect this problem, you don’t have to look any further than at the present lot of PhD degree holders in most of the private and public universities in Pakistan. PhD holding faculties exists in several universities, in big and small cities, where the incumbents can hardly even construct one correct sentence in English. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) seems to be emphasising on inducting raw MS and ...

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Can LUMS still be considered apolitical?

This has not been a great week for Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Fresh off the sexual harassment case and an online petition to remove the Vice Chancellor, the university was embroiled in another controversy when an event featuring a talk session by Asad Umar was cancelled by the university. LUMS has since issued a public apology to Umar acknowledging that permission was granted to the Law and Politics Society at LUMS to invite him to speak to the students. The permission had been sought from the university and the topics of discussion were approved. However, just a couple of days before the event, LUMS revoked ...

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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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Karachi Board of Education: What happened to the sanctity of honest earnings?

Recently, I had to pay a visit to the Karachi Intermediate Board of Education in North Nazimabad because I had lost my original Intermediate admit and enrolment card, without which my Intermediate Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) could not be issued. In other words, I knew that I was bound to suffer that day at the hands of inept and inconsiderate government workers. I took a day off from work to run my errand and headed towards the Karachi Board Office, where numerous students were sitting on the side-path, waiting for the administration office to open. Apparently, mornings at the Karachi Board ...

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Copy culture: Degree holders who can’t read or write

The youth, of any country, is always considered its greatest strength and an educated youth is an even stronger pillar for the state. However, these pillars cannot remain strong if young students start looking for shortcuts in their educational life. If such a situation does occur, a decline in a nation’s progress will be the inevitable result. Sadly, this process of decline is already in motion in Pakistan. Cheating culture is increasingly prevalent in our education system and it has become a pervasive phenomenon over here. Despite high claims and solemn promises, respective authorities have failed to curb the rampant and blatant cheating culture ...

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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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With elections looming, suddenly education is a priority!

“Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.” – Aristotle Elections are around the corner, and the national assembly seems to have taken it upon itself to save the worst for last. The past month has seen a number of odd bills rushed through without following proper procedure. Among the examples are the eight universities — mostly in Islamabad — that have been approved during the last month. While adding to the number of education institutions available would normally be seen as a good sign, the fact that the bills were rushed through without input from ...

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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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Budget cuts mar higher education

Heads of the public sector universities have warned the government of protest if the finance division fails to provide an additional Rs8 billion to the cash-starved Higher Education Commission (HEC). The university heads and HEC officials say that without the additional funds, the commission will not be in a position to ensure payment of 65% salary raises for employees of the 70 public sector universities under its domain. Cuts in the commission’s budget have already affected research and development projects, when a major chunk is being diverted towards the employees’ salaries. Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in Friday’s meeting gave ...

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