ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Baligh-ur-Rahman has said that Pakistan needs graduates from its higher learning institutions who are not only thorough professionals but also possess a good character and ethical values.

He said that a university graduate should be highly skilled in his/her area of studies and, at the same time should become better human being after leaving the university. The minister asked HEC management to ensure that ethics become part of each curriculum.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 22nd Faculty Professional Development Programme that concluded at HEC Islamabad on Thursday. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, and Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Executive Director HEC, were also present on the occasion.

Congratulating the participants on successful completion of the programme, the minister said that this was actually a start of a greater activity for them to disseminate, whatever they have learnt, among colleagues in their respective institutions. He reiterated that, among other things that students have to be taught, character building of learners should be an important aspect of teaching. He said it was good to see representation from the private sector institutions in the programme.

He reiterated his Government's commitment to increase budget for education in the coming years. "We must remember that only those countries are progressing in the world, which are building their economies on the basis of knowledge.

As many as 28 faculty members from 28 public and private sector universities from across Pakistan attended the programme.

Dr. Mukhtar said that our faculty members have great potential and HEC is making every effort that they are provided up-to-date knowledge and skills to compete at international levels.

Noor Amna Malik, Director General, Learning Innovation, HEC, briefed the audience about the achievements of Learning Innovation Division, HEC during the last decade.