Islamabad - The newly-appointed chairperson Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Tariq Banuri on Thursday said that the commission will be not be a bottleneck on the growth of higher education but will empower universities to strengthen the education standards.

Newly-appointed chairperson Dr. Tariq Banuri said this while addressing HEC employees on the first day of assuming charge of his office.

In his maiden address to HEC employees, Dr. Tariq Banuri extended his gratitude to Prime Minister and the selection committee for putting their confidence in him for the esteemed position of HEC head. “The first challenge ahead of me is to live up to this confidence and trust,” he stated.

He stressed the need for identifying the key issues facing the sector, setting targets for the next four years, and brainstorming on how the HEC procedural deficiencies can be addressed. “HEC has to play a supportive role for higher education institutions, faculty and students at large, as it is a service organization meant for facilitating all the stakeholders,” he underlined.

The Chairperson emphasized that HEC has to go beyond numbers towards quality of higher education and constantly safeguarding the rights of academia. He said that HEC will not be a bottleneck on the growth of higher education, but it is a problem-solving entity that will empower universities and realize the HEC vision.

He said that trainings will be held for HEC employees time to time for their capacity building so that they may improve their potential and work smarter. “HEC will invest in its employees ensuring that every individual sees their potential growing with the passage of time,” he pledged.

Dr. Arshad Ali welcomed the new chairperson on behalf of all HEC employees and assured that all HEC employees will honestly make their contribution to the development of higher education sector under the leadership of Dr. Tariq Banuri.

He appreciated the government for making a well-deserved selection and said the higher education fraternity hails this merit-based appointment.

Dr. Tariq Banuri, a PhD from Harvard University has joined HEC as its fourth chairperson. He has an extensive experience of working in academia, civil society and national as well as international organizations.

Dr. Banuri was the member of Steering Committee on Higher Education Reforms, the body that played a vital role in inception of HEC in 2002. He has also worked as Professor of Economics at University of Utah, USA.