Flourishing The Higher Education in Pakistan: An Exploratory Analysis of The Role of Higher Education Commission (HEC)
Keywords:Higher Education, Reforms, Budget, Human Capital, University, Quality
The paramount aim of the underlying study is to explore the efficacy of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) through evaluating the effectiveness of the key initiatives which have been taken by the HEC to flourish the higher education and research environment in Pakistan. Using exploratory analysis, the study unleashes that the higher education and research culture has improved since 2002 owing to the HEC’s effective initiatives. These include, but are not limited to, increasing the capacity of in-service teaching faculty, induction of PhD faculty in public and private sector universities, award of indigenous and foreign scholarships, and provision of research grants, all of which had a positive influence on higher education through capacity building. A commendable increase in the number of universities along with the induction of highly qualified faculty has been witnessed, specifically the induction of indigenously produced PhDs. Apart from these, the HEC has played an instrumental role in helping to improve the gender parity by 45% in education sector. Moreover, in order to trace out what problems the HEC has been facing to implement its reforms, we conducted KIIs to the HEC officials who have been remained the part of policy implementation. The KIIs discloses that the deteriorating budgetary allocation, less cooperation from public sector universities, and questioning the HEC’s autonomy are the major challenges among others to the HEC in promoting an effective and inclusive higher education in Pakistan. The KIIs suggest that the autonomy of the HEC should not be compromised, and the liaison between universities and the HEC should be increased.
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