A few months ago while in Islamabad, I had the opportunity to meet several official so the Higher Education Commission (HEC). I must say I found each one of the individuals to be professional, courteous, and exceedingly competent in their respective jobs. This, for any Pakistani dealing with government institutions, was a rare experience. I people I interacted with to be dedicated about their jobs and about the larger mission of the HEC.
As an academic based in the US, during the last decade I have experienced, first hand, the contributions made by the HEC in the field of higher education as the number of highly qualified and well prepared graduate students finishing their degrees in the US has increased dramatically. In the domestic sphere, HEC has been crucial in developing not only the institutional standards but also in promoting a culture of scholarship and research across the board. As an expatriate, anytime someone asks me a question about the higher education in Pakistan, I am always very confident to refer them to the HEC website as I know that they will be able to find help and guidance about their projects in Pakistan, no matter where the institution of their interest was located in Pakistan. HEC provides not only a central quality control for higher education but also a centralized institution with the domestic and global reach needed for an increasingly internationalized higher education.
It is extremely hard for the developing nations to build such wonderful institutions, especially in this era of IMF instituted structural requirements. Pakistan has spent a lot of energy and resources in creating and sustaining this wonderfully useful institution.
In my humble opinion, to destroy this institution for the sake of political expediency is unacceptable and the dissolution of HEC will certainly harm the long-term interests and goals of Pakistani higher education.
I, therefore, strongly urge all those involved in higher education to vice their opinions against this dismantling of HEC. Please take a few moments to sign our petition, a collated version of which will be sent to the government of Pakistan: