SWABI: The Higher Education Commission Chairman, Professor Mukhtar Ahmed, said here on Wednesday that the HEC planned to spread its outreach to every district of the country in the next four years to secure the future of young generation as education was panacea for all ills.

He was addressing the prize distribution ceremony of the three-day GIK Institute Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference at the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology here.

The conference was organised by the Society for Promotion of Higher Education in Pakistan (SOPHEP). Delegates from all over the country were in attendance.

Professor Ahmed said that as 60 per cent of the total population were youngsters, the government had given top priority to provide modern education to them.

He said that the HEC had changed the landscape of higher education in Pakistan, adding that more and more female students were getting education in engineering which was previously a male domain. “It is a good sign because 50 per cent of our population comprises women,” he said.

The HEC chairman said that Pakistani youth had great potential and if opportunities were given to them they could deliver more than the expectations.

He said that the HEC had played its due role in improving the quality of education and increasing the number of universities. “When HEC was established in 2002 there were only 56 universities but now their number has reached 160,” he added.

Another milestone the HEC had achieved was that Pakistani universities were now among the 300 top varsities of the world, he maintained.

During question and answer session, Mr Ahmed while replying to a query of a Nigerian student, said that the HEC had been striving to bring more foreign students to Pakistan provided they met the set criteria.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2014