Pakistan Part I: Higher Education Reform

Written by: Muhammed Adnan Mughul, HEEM student
Map of Pakistan.
The Higher Education sector in Pakistan has undergone a dramatic revival in recent years. The establishment of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on September 11, 2002, repealing the University Grants Commission (UGC), was in recognition of the contribution of higher education to the socio-economical development of Pakistan. The aim of this revival is to reform higher education and transform Pakistan from an agriculture-based economy to a “knowledge-economy”. To improve the state of higher education, HEC has defined a strategy that identifies the core strategic aims for reform as: 1. Faculty development; 2. Higher Education infrastructure development; 3. Focus area support; 4. Industrial linkages; 5. Higher Education Quality Assurance/Assessment; and 6. Higher Education sector reforms. Accordingly, over the past four years, Pakistan’s higher-education budget has increased more than sevenfold, to about US$449million.

In 2003, HEC conducted a survey of over 50 public sector universities and degree awarding institutions to assess their needs of foreign qualified PhDs in their faculty. According to the survey, almost all public sector institutions of higher education were in desperate need of foreign faculty for their graduate programs. The HEC received a massive demand for experts from universities in all areas, especially in management sciences, engineering, bioinformatics, telecommunication and computer sciences. In response to ease this critical shortage of qualified and experienced local and foreign teachers, HEC initiated the following faculty development programs:
– Foreign Faculty Hiring Program – FFHP (For one year or more)
– Short-Term Foreign Faculty Hiring Program – SFHP (For three to six months)
– Placement of Fresh PhD Scholars Returning from Abroad Program (HEC)
– Short Term Teacher Exchange Program (local)
– Hiring of Eminent Educationists/Researchers having PhD (Expansion Program)
– HEC Distinguish National Professor

Adnan worked as a Vice-Principal for two years at Sindh Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital in Pakistan. Additionally, he was also teaching a course on Speech Communication at this college, and for his contribution towards the cause of community education and welfare he was awarded the ‘Great Vice Principal’ shield from the college student union. Prior to joining the HEEM Programme, Adnan had been working in his family’s printing and publication firm as an Executive Director. He hold’s a BA degree with major in Economics and International Relations and an MBA degree in Management from the University of Sindh, Pakistan. He also possesses a certificate in Web Development, and has created a number of websites.