VCs unite against HEC devolution

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ISLAMABAD – Expressing serious concerns about the future of higher education in Pakistan if the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was devolved, the Vice-Chancellors (VCs) Committee representing all 133 public and private universities in the country decided on Thursday to write a letter to the primer minister and president to intervene in the proposed devolution of the HEC to the provincial level.
The decision was taken at HEC headquarters in an emergency meeting of VCs. The meeting was attended by more than 40 VCs of various public and private universities and it was chaired by University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Karachi VC Engineer Abul Kalam.
The participating VCs also unanimously passed a resolution against the devolution of HEC. After the meeting, UET Peshawar VC Dr Imtiaz Gillani – head of the VCs Committee – and Punjab University VC Dr Mujahid Kamran told a press conference that all 133 VCs of Pakistani universities had joined ranks to save the HEC from devolution.
“We, the Vice-Chancellors of 71 public and 62 private sector universities of Pakistan, wish to place on record our serious concern about the reported devolution and dissolution of the HEC,” said Gillani. He said that the VCs would not stage any protests in the streets, but would take up the matter at every appropriate place.
In a related development, Chairman of the Implementation Commission on the 18th Amendment Raza Rabbani budged from his earlier stance on the HEC’s devolution, saying that a limited role of the HEC would continue.
He told reporters after a meeting of the commission that the HEC was neither in the concurrent list nor was it in the federal list. He said higher education was the right of the provinces but some people were creating a controversy over the issue.