Islamabad - Higher Education Commission remained unsuccessful in resolving issues of higher-education institutions during the previous year, a report said.

The short report, State of Higher Education in Pakistan 2017, was released by Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, Institute for Democratic Education and Accountability and Civil Society Network Pakistan in collaboration with other organisations.

President FAPUASA Dr Kaleemullah Barech and others while sharing findings of the report said that the HEC had not delivered up-to-the-mark despite huge budget. The report mentioned that during the last three years, out of 149 new development projects reflected in the annual budget/PSDP, the HEC could only get approval for 66 projects, leaving public-sector universities unable to undertake steps towards improving the existing facilities and fulfilling the growing needs. 

The HEC’s 18-member governing body has been made non-functional due to non-appointment of more than 8 regular members. Violating the HEC Act, all important policy decisions are made by HEC administration itself without approval by the HEC governing body or the Prime Minister, the report said.

Protests including by foreign/local PhD holders were reported against ‘discriminatory policies’ of the HEC administration and more than 1,400 PhD holders had to suffer due to delay in verification of their degrees. Most of them could not get jobs due to this delay, the report added.

Implementation of 18th Constitutional Amendment could not be done in higher education sector despite the lapse of 7 years. The sub-committee formed by Council of Common Interests could not reach any conclusion, the report noted.

Permanent vice chancellors could not be appointed in more than 20 public-sector universities throughout the year which encouraged the ad-hoc culture. In Balochistan, instead of advertising for fresh appointments of the vice chancellors, the culture of extensions continued even in University of Balochistan, the largest and oldest university of the province, the report said.