ISLAMABAD: A meeting of experts from universities and principals of affiliated colleges was organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for finalisation of draft Minimum Quality Standards (MQS) Manual for affiliated colleges. The manual contains guidelines for carrying out an objective assessment of affiliated colleges.
As many as 10 principals and 18 experts from Quality Enhancement Cells of universities attended the meeting, held at HEC Regional Centre, Lahore. The manual was finalised after incorporating suggestions and recommendations of experts. Once approved by HEC authorities, the manual will be used as a tool for performance evaluation of colleges affiliated with universities in Pakistan.
The Academics Division of HEC has been mandated to implement a component of World Bank’s Tertiary Education Support Programme (TESP) associated with college education. The main focus of the initiative is to achieve academic excellence by improving standard of affiliated colleges through quality of teaching and learning in collaboration with HEIs and provincial authorities.
The meeting was chaired by Fida Hussain, director general (Academics) of HEC. He apprised the participants of different steps taken by HEC for uplift of higher education in the country. Dr Zahid Majeed, assistant professor, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), and Dr Tahir Ali Shah, deputy director (Academics) were resource persons and focal persons, respectively.
Under MQS, different standards have been developed and each one of these articulates a specific dimension of the institutional quality. All of these standards are equally important to be met by affiliated colleges in order to improve their quality and align their undergraduate programmes with those of the affiliating universities. These standards include setting goals, academic programmes and evaluation, student admission and progression, faculty and non-academic staff, physical infrastructure, academic facilities and learning resources, organisation, governance and financial management, research, public disclosure and transparency, and community link and outreach.
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