HEC to make higher education accessible in remote areas


The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has paid special attention towards increasing access to higher education in remote areas of the country.
Within the last few years, out of a total of 55 new university campuses, 31 have been established in rural areas throughout Pakistan, an official of HEC said in a statement here on Sunday.
In Sindh, 179 development projects amounting to Rs 27.142 billion have been approved so far.
Per agreed share of Sindh in National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, Rs 9.7 billion out of a total amount of Rs 43.9 billion, were released within the last five years, the statement pointed out.
On the request of the HEC, the federal quota policy had been applied over indigenous and foreign scholarship programmes that would enable and encourage the youth from Sindh province to avail scholarship opportunities exclusively available for them under faculty development programmes.
As many as 868 PhD scholarships have been allocated for the faculty members belonging to various higher education institutions of the province.
This step would also enable them to equip themselves with the latest knowledge and expertise at leading universities of academically advanced countries.
A total of 571 students from Sindh have benefitted from the HEC-USAID Merit and Need Based Scholarship Programme, out of a total of about 1,800 scholarships awarded till date. About 1,447 scholars and faculty members from Sindh presented their research work in leading international conferences abroad. Rs 164 million have been approved in this regard so far, the statement added.
It said that the HEC had funded a total number of 183 conferences and seminars so far.
Commenting on HEC initiatives for Sindh province, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari said that all the federal units have effective representation in 17 members’ governing board of HEC and National Scholarship Management Committeee-the main decision making body.
For effective coordination with provincial governments, HEC had established its regional centres at all the provincial capitals, where a large number of HEC activities took place, he added.
Laghari said that through the Steering Committee, which comprises of all provincial secretaries of education, HEC was closely working with the provincial governments to evolve a joint strategy for promotion of higher education in the country.
He informed that establishment of the country’s first ever Date Palm Research Institute (DPRI)/ Glass House, Herbarium and Botanical Garden at Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, the USAID funded Centre for Advanced Studies in Water Resources at Mehran University of
Engineering and Technology Jamshoro and National Institute of Liver and Gastro Intestinal Diseases at DOW Karachi, were some of the examples of how HEC was reaching out to the people of Sindh.