All Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Vice Chancellors’ committee has issued a joint declaration in which they reposed their confidence in the leadership of the Higher Education Commission chairman.

The declaration was issued after a meeting of the committee held at University of Swat. The meeting was chaired by Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Javed Leghari. The vice chancellors declared their continuous support to the Higher Education Commission and its functioning according to its Act as per decision of the Supreme Court. They showed confidence in the leadership of the HEC chairman who worked what they said under tremendous pressure during the past government. They said that he unequivocally stood by the HEC and protected its mandate through difficult times.

The vice chancellors appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to provide funds to the universities to cover the recurring expenses to enable them to pay raises in salaries that the government announces annually. They said that the new universities established through the country be given recurring and development funds. The vice chancellors asserted that the HEC Regional Centres be further strengthened and that the projects universities submit to the HEC be vetted and finalised for onward submission to the Planning Commission of Pakistan.

“This issue should be placed on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Commission for an immediate decision,” they demanded. The HEC ought to nominate a Vice Chancellor for this purpose and direct its Planning and Development, and Monitoring and Evaluation Divisions to assist the Regional Centres in this exercise. Universities ought to develop Distance Education Programmes to maximise access of the masses to higher education.” They stated that there was a greater need for academic interaction between the provincial education departments and the universities. The committee recommended that the provincial higher education department and universities ought to coordinate and offer associate degree programmes in government colleges to provide skilled labour to the market.

They recommended that an independent and autonomous commission in line with the HEC be established for schools in the province.