New HEC projects including women university reviewed

ISLAMABAD: The plans for the establishment of Federal Women University, National Skills University, and establishment of Seerat Chairs in universities across Pakistan came under review at a meeting held at the HEC Secretariat on Saturday.Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal chaired the meeting. Minister for Federal Education and Training Baleeghur Rehman and HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmed were also present. Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan stressed the government’s vision in prioritising the higher education sector to fulfil the development goals. He said that the importance of education and research cannot be stressed enough, adding that highest budget had been allocated for the higher education sector in the fiscal year 2014-15.The minister said that by 2017-18, the medium term goals should be achieved which consist of setting up a university or its sub campus in every district of the country. He stressed that the HEC should also ensure that the access to higher education is increased without any compromise on quality. Commenting on the presentation of the up-gradation of Federal Women College to a university, he hoped that all formalities would be completed in September. Speaking about the National Skills University, he said that the skills based training is a critical component of the national development. He said that the university would provide better employment to the youth. “This university would also certify and accredit the skill programmes across the country that would enable the youth to gain employment overseas.”Another project entitled ‘Technology Development Fund’ also came under discussion. The minister said that the project is aimed at ensuring that the returning PhDs should not only teach but also actively get involved in research in the relevant areas. He also asked the HEC to identify the disciplines that the PhD scholarships would be offered in the next five years. The minister also directed the HEC to complete all the formalities related to all these projects in September. Earlier, in his presentation, the HEC chairman gave an overview of all these projects.

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