Islamabad - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) amending its degree attestation policy has decided to end the requirement of previous academic record for verification of the certificate issued by any higher education institution.

Earlier, for the attestation of bachelors and masters degrees, it was compulsory for students to provide hard copies of their intermediate and matriculation academic record for the verification of the degrees.

The notification issued in this regard said that the HEC has decided to attest the degrees on merit and applicants will be no longer required to submit information of their previous academic record.

“It is notified that the competent authority has decided that every degree will be attested solely on merit i.e whether it has been issued by a recognized institution and whether the institution has the legal authority to issue such a degree,” said the notice.  The notice also stated that “applicants for attestation will no longer be required to submit information about previous or subsequent academic qualifications”.

The notice further said that all degrees from HEC recognized institutions in subjects where they are authorized to issue such degrees and from campuses and colleges authorized to offer the relevant programs will be and unauthorized campuses or colleges and/or in unauthorized subjects will not be verified/attested/equated.

“All other codal formalities are to be adhered to as per prevailing SOPs for processing cases of attestation or equivalence,” said the notice.  An official talking to The Nation said that following the previous degree attestation policy, the HEC had found a number of parliamentarians’ degrees bogus during the process of verification.

The fake degree scandal of the parliamentarians had led to the disqualification of number of parliamentarians.

The courts had also ordered to register the cases against such parliamentarians who were found holding fake degrees. The official said that several times the degree issued by higher education institution was authentic but degrees of intermediate and matriculation were found fake.

“One of the reasons of changing the policy was to end the suffering students had to endure for the attestation procedure,” said the official.

However, after the implementation of new policy the students will only have to provide their degree issued by the higher education institution attended by the student.

“It will be the responsibility of the university or college to verify the previous academic record of the student before giving him/her admission in the institution,” added the official.

Spokesperson HEC Aayesha Ikram talking to The Nation said that the decision has been taken for the facilitation of students keeping in view their complaints in the verification process.

 She said that universities or degree awarding institutes will have to verify the previous academic record of the student and HEC will later verify the bachelors and masters degree on that authenticity.

She also said that the new attestation policy will have no impact on PhD degrees attestation as it has separate procedure of registration and attestation.

HEC spokesperson also said that the new HEC attestation website portal will be retained and the academic profile of the student will be kept in record.

“The attestations under new policy will likely start during this week and students will be not asked to bring hard copies of intermediate and matriculation documents,” she confirmed.

HEC had recently introduced a new web portal for the attestation of degrees to reduce the work burden and end the queue culture at HEC.