islamabad - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has constituted several panels of experts to review higher education institutions (HEIs) across the country with an aim to ensure adherence of universities’ policies and practices to the defined quality assurance criteria and guidelines for good governance.

Complying with the special directive of the prime minister, the HEC has so far reviewed quality assurance and governance mechanism of 100 universities, both in public and private sector, while 50 more universities will be reviewed in the coming weeks. It is hoped that current phase of this whole review will be completed by the end of March 2016.

The initiative will not only improve quality of teaching and research in the universities, but will also sensitize the higher learning institutions to contribute to the socio-economic priorities of the country. Chairman HEC Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmad has issued special instructions to expedite the process being carried out under the auspices of HEC’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Earlier, the HEC before starting this review process convened a brainstorming session in November 2015 with the expert academicians to finalize the parameters for review of the universities. The session, held at the Commission Secretariat, was chaired by the Chairman HEC and attended by a number of academic experts and quality practitioners from across the country, many of whom joined the session through video conferencing.

In this session, improving overall governance of universities and the broader context of aligning higher education system with the national priorities were discussed at length and after thorough deliberation, several parameters were finalised.