The Higher Education Commission (HEC) due to lack of quality has closed almost about 110 Ph.D. programmes in public and private sector universities.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Chairman HEC stated during his address to a seminar titled “Higher Education in Pakistan: Status, Trends, and Prospects” by Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the prevailing scenario, upcoming opportunities, and challenges faced by higher education in Pakistan. They also discussed steps and strategies that have been taken up by HEC to accommodate the issues. Vice chancellors, deans, head of departments and research supervisors were among the participants of the seminar.

The chairman said that the no compromise on academic corruption in spite of all the pressures from influential quarters national institution had to face. HEC, he said, is to improve the quality of higher education and standard of academic research. If the real impact of knowledge creation is absent race for rankings and impact factor is of no use.

Ahmed said that HEC acquires an international engineering membership with the combined efforts of the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) in 7 years.

“We are working on several partnerships and refining the overall standard of education rather than focusing on the numbers game in Pakistan. If the students are not well equipped for the professional life numbers do not mean anything,” said Ahmed.

He also shared in past few years with record 12,000 publications coming out in the year 2016. “We have adopted a strict no tolerance policy on plagiarism and the research culture is finally prevailing in Pakistan. However, to compete with western standards still, have a long way to go,” he viewed.

Ahmed also highlighted the performance of HEC stating that there was a total of 59 universities in Pakistan confined to cities before its start in 2002.