Higher Education Commission (Pakistan)
The Higher Education Commission (HEC), is an independent, autonomous, and statutory institution of primary funding, overseeing, regulating, and accrediting the higher education institutions in Pakistan.
Preceded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2002 by promulgation of the Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2002, the universities were formerly accredited by the UGC established in 1947; the institution was revised 1974 and came its modern form in 2002 under the leadership of Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS its founding Chairman, with additional executive reforms granted by the constitution. It operates directly under the Prime Minister and is not subservient to the Ministry of Education. Under a new and revised reforms, the HEC is made responsible for formulating higher education policy and quality assurance to meet the international standards as well as providing accrediting academic degrees, development of new institutions, and uplift of existing institutions in Pakistan.
The major developments in the higher education sector occurred under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman,FRS, the founding Chairman, during 2002-2008. The remarkable transformation in the higher education sector was acknowledged in an article in the world's leading science journal, Nature, in which Rahman was called a "force of nature" After Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS resigned in protest in 2008 due to the suspension of scholarships of thousands of students abroad by the PPP government, the university development programmes slowed down due to cut in budget and introduction of cumbersome bureaucratic procedures.Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman was selected to receive the highest national award of China, the "International Science & Technology Cooperation Award" in recognition of his contributions of building strong collaborations between universities and science & technology institutions in China and Pakistan.See more