THIS is apropos of the letter ‘HEC working’ (Feb 3). It seems that the writer is unaware of the facts about the subject.
The HEC model has shown such a success that it is being emulated by many other developing countries, including India. The model has been appreciated by advanced countries and is referred to as a ‘silent revolution in science’.
If anyone simply visits the HEC website and compares its working with the working of the older model of the University Grants Commission, he may know the difference.
The situation of higher education was at its worst before the advent of the HEC. Scientific research was going at its lowest level and our scientists were always in search of jobs in foreign countries.
There was no check on quality while quantity was very low. We only produced about 3,000 PhDs till 2002.
The HEC has revolutionised the scientific culture in the country. Not only that we find a remarkable increase in the number of universities, PhDs, research publications, research projects, etc, quality has also been improved greatly in each segment.
Accessibility of higher education to youngsters is also being increased to a certain level and expected to go up further. With the inception of new programmes, brain-drain has also been reduced to a significant extent.
In brief, for the first time a quality-based advanced system has been introduced to develop a nation with scientific thought that can excel to become a technologically advanced country.
Ironically, the writer is unaware of these facts and has mentioned funny things, especially about the foreign PhD programme of the HEC, which is beneficial to individual recipients as many of them never returned.
It is untrue to say that quality control and assessment mechanism for domestic PhD programmes do not exist at the HEC level.
This is not true. There are hundreds of fresh foreign PhDs currently inducted into various universities across the country.
The HEC has implemented very stringent criteria for new and existing programmes such as development of curricula for various degree programmes and the setting up of minimum requirements for initiation of new degree programmes and universities on international standards, mandatory foreign evaluation of PhD thesis and publishing at least one research paper out of PhD work in journals of international repute’ Accreditation of degree programmes and departments and many more that clearly shows that it is not only the quantity but also the quality that has been enhanced significantly by the HEC.
It has been suggested that the HEC should not resist any progressive change. If we analyse the progressive change being made towards the HEC, it is actually sabotaging the progress that has been achieved by the HEC in recent years.
Putting the HEC under a bureaucratic system would only inspire red-tapism. The traditional system is so slow that it takes forever in most of the cases to achieve targets.
The HEC is trying its utmost to provide a uniform system in the country to achieve excellence in every respect. We should support HEC programmes rather than criticise it without any valid reasons.
PROF AMER JAMIL Faisalabad