Task Force on Improvement of Higher Education
By The Task Force (see
Acknowledging individually all of the many contributors to the
discussions of the Task Force is a difficult undertaking, as there
is the danger of unwitting oversight. With that caveat, acknowledgements
are first and foremost due to all members of the Task Force for
the time and effort that they devoted to the task at hand. Everyone
actively contributed to the deliberations and enriched the final
We thank the seminar participants from across the country who provided
valuable insights, and their inputs worked as a guide to the Task
Force in remaining focused on the issues of concern and keeping
the ground realities in mind.
We are very grateful to the Federal Minister for Education, Ms.
Zobaida Jalal, whose initiative resulted in the formation of the
Task Force. The Minister participated in several meetings and provided
support and valuable guidance throughout. We also acknowledge the
participation, encouragement and advice provided by the Governors
of Sindh and Balochistan, the Federal Minister for Science and Technology,
the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, the Sindh Minister for Finance,
Planning, and Development, the Punjab Minister for Education, and
numerous other officials.
The convenors and members of the Task Force Committees (Appendix
4) put in many additional hours deliberating on issues of central
importance, especially those deliberating on governance and management
of higher education. Their outputs served as working documents that
provided grist for the Task Force deliberations. Captain U.A. G.
Isani and Dr. Latif Virk provided useful information and analysis
on higher education in Pakistan. The latter also carefully recorded
the proceedings of the meetings. Dr. A.Q. Mughal and his colleagues
at the University Grants Commission were generous in providing institutional
The Task Force appreciates the contributions and the extensive
work done by The Boston Group(1)
and presented in its report "Higher Education in Pakistan:
Towards a Reform Agenda". This was an important input, and
we expect this to be a precursor of future collaborations between
expatriate Pakistanis and local efforts.
The Task Force secretariats at the Aga Khan University and the
Lahore University of Management Sciences facilitated the work of
the Task Force. Thanks are especially due to Dr. Arif Ali Zaidi
who co-ordinated the functions of the Task Force and Dr. Robert
Maudsley, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Aga Khan
University for supporting the Secretariat.
The World Bank provided funds for the work of the Task Force. Its
report (co-sponsored with UNESCO) on 'Higher Education in Developing
Countries: Peril and Promise' triggered the process that lead to
the establishment of this Task Force, and often served as a guide
to its deliberations. The encouragement and inputs of Drs. Henry
Rosovsky and David Bloom, who participated in the initial deliberations
on higher education in developing countries at Lahore and Karachi
in February 2001, are deeply appreciated.
The Task Force acknowledges the many others who have played a critical
supportive role in facilitating its work.
Mr. Adil Ahmad's contributions for putting together the ingredients
of this report need special mention. And finally, Drs. Camer Vellani,
Tariq Banuri, S. Zulfiqar Gilani and Khalid Hamid Sheikh gave words
to the rich and complex output of the Task Force and attempted to
encapsulate all of that into the coherent whole that is before you.
Syed Babar Ali Dr.
Composition of the Task Force
Mr. Syed Babar Ali, Pro-Chancellor, Lahore University of Management
Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, President, The Aga Khan University, Karachi
Dr. Imran Anwar Ali, Dean, Research & Publications, Lahore University
of Management Sciences, Lahore
Mr. Tariq Farooq, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of
Dr. S. Zulfiqar Hussain Gilani, Vice Chancellor, University of Peshawar,
Captain (R) Usman A. G. Isani, Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University,
Mr. Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, Joint Educational Adviser (Higher Education
Wing), Ministry of Education, Islamabad.
Mr. Hunaid Hussain Lakhani, Chancellor, Iqra University, Karachi
Lt. Gen. (R) Arshad Mahmood, Vice Chancellor, University of the
Dr. S. Qasim Mehdi, Representative of the Ministry of Science &
Technology, Islamabad (Director General Biomedical & Genetic
Engineering Division, A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories)
Dr. A. Q. Mughal, Acting Chairman, University Grants Commission,
Dr. Najma Najam, Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women's University,
Justice (R) M. A. Rashid, Vice Chancellor, University of Baluchistan,
Dr. Zafar Saied Saifee, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi,
Dr. Khalid Hamid Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer, Babar Ali Foundation,
& former Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore.
Mr. Mazhar-ul-Haq Siddiqui, Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh,
Jamshoro. [Before July 2001, Dr. R.A. Shah, the then Vice Chancellor
of Sindh University, was a member of the Task Force].
Dr. Camer Vellani, Rector, The Aga Khan University, Karachi
No society has prospered without significant and sustained investment
in higher education. Today, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected,
higher education is considered critical for the achievement of economic
progress, political stability and peace. However, in Pakistan, higher
education ill-prepares the society for the challenges that lie ahead.
Of course, it must be acknowledged that the effectiveness or ineffectiveness
of higher education cannot be determined independently of the state
of education as a whole.
Thus, it is heartening to witness a firm commitment on the part
of the Government to improve education generally; the plan for Education
Sector Reform (ESR) 2001, of which higher education is a component,
is a signal of worthy intent. Unfortunately, realisation of the
intent is troubled with uncertainty.
Uncertainty results not only from doubt about the availability
of funds for investment in so vital a purpose as development of
human resources for the country but also about the willingness of
the play-actors, consisting of professionals and administrators,
to effect change, even when fortified with knowledge that improvement
will bring about better conditions for society.
Perhaps, seemingly unreasonable resistance to change is a natural
phenomenon and ours can be classified as a normal experience. Or,
is there another reality; that the phenomenon is a natural expression
of lack of conviction based on limited reasoning and consequently
stunted adaptability? If this is true, then we may expect different
behaviours in the future through appropriate education at every
level for all.
In response to the academic community's request, which was stimulated
by the World Bank publication of an International Task Force report
on Higher Education in Developing Countries, the Federal Minister
for Education constituted a Task Force, in April 2001, to review
higher education in Pakistan and recommend ways of improving its
quality. This move, notwithstanding the real threat of potential
redundancy due to insurmountable hurdles resisting change, is entirely
consistent with the Government's strategic plan for development
The Task Force has been privileged to undertake this assignment.
Its recommendations are essentially generic, the principles being
applicable to institutions in both public and private sectors. However,
of necessity the Task Force had to consider in detail the conditions
and operations of institutions in the public sector since they enrol
more than 85% of the students in higher education. This report has
been prepared for the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan,
after extensive consultation within the country, involving academicians,
students, parents, employers, administrators, Ministers and Governors,
and deliberation over seven months. Its recommendations were presented
to the President of Pakistan on January 11, 2002.
The Report records our understanding of the diverse interdependent
courses of the current hapless state of higher education and the
interventions required for improvement. These have been presented
in four sections, as follows: Section 1 indicates the need for restructuring
higher education for the future of Pakistan; Section 2 analyses
the situation of higher education in Pakistan; Section 3 presents
the recommendations of the Task Force; and Section 4 suggests a
way of moving forward with implementation.
Respectfully submitted by the Task Force on Improvement of Higher
Education in Pakistan.
1.1 The Government of Pakistan has demonstrated a heightened sense
of commitment to improving the effectiveness of education through
its programme of Education Sector Reform (2001) that includes higher
education, and this is further evidenced by the establishment of
the Task Force.
1.2 While universal literacy and primary education have been in
the forefront of development priorities in the past, the pressing
need to benefit from the new knowledge based economy has placed
an unprecedented premium on higher education.
1.3 Pakistan's higher education system, encompassing all levels
above grade 12, is proving unable to provide the skills necessary,
in the quantities necessary, to achieve the dual objectives of nation
building and global competitiveness.
2.0 THE TASK FORCE ON IMPROVEMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION
2.1 Stimulated by the World Bank-UNESCO Task Force Report, titled
'Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise' (2000),
the academic community assembled in Lahore and Karachi in February
2001 to consider its recommendations and felt the need for a task
force for improvement of higher education in Pakistan.
2.2 The Task Force was notified by the Federal Minister for Education
on April 29, 2001. The membership of the Task Force is a private-public
partnership comprising 17 leaders of higher education, Co-Chaired
by Syed Babar Ali (Pro-Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management
Sciences) and Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha (President of the Aga Khan
2.3 The terms of reference required an in-depth study of higher
education and recommendations for improvement, with special reference
to systems of quality assurance and accreditation, funding and financial
sustainability, effective governance and management.
2.4 The Task Force reviewed the recommendations of seven past education
commissions and policies and followed a consultative process through
seminars across the country, extending over seven months, and involving
more than 700 stakeholders including teachers, students, parents,
alumni, employers, and government officials.
3.0 KEY ISSUES
3.1 The stakeholders have identified a list of longstanding maladies
afflicting higher education in Pakistan. The most prominent amongst
the issues identified are:
a) Ineffective governance and management structures and practices.
b) Inefficient use of available resources.
c) Inadequate funding.
d) Poor recruitment practices and inadequate development of faculty
e) Inadequate attention to research and support for it.
f) Politicisation of faculty, staff and students.
g) Strong scepticism about the realisation of reform.
4.0 VISION OF HIGHER EDUCATION
4.1 Based on the observations of the participants of the seminars,
and the vision expressed in the programme for Education Sector Reform
(2001), the following vision statement has emerged:
Transformation of our institutions of higher education into world
class seats of learning, equipped to foster high quality education,
scholarship and research, to produce enlightened citizens with strong
moral and ethical values that build a tolerant and pluralistic society
rooted in the culture of Pakistan.
In the time available, the Task Force has identified for immediate
attention of policy makers the following crucial recommendations
that apply principally to universities and can bring about significant
change. The recommendations are based on principles that apply to
both public and private sector institutions.
5.1 University Governance and Management
5.1.1 Universities are the pillars of the higher education system.
They must have autonomy from all extraneous influences in order
to govern and manage their academic, administrative, and financial
functions. In particular, universities must have autonomy to develop
their academic programmes; recruit, assess, and develop their faculty;
and select, train and educate their students. The present organisational
structure, including the Senates and Syndicates, has too many weaknesses
of which the principal one is an inadequate separation of governance
from the functions and responsibilities of management.
5.1.2 In order to ensure accountability for institutional performance,
each university must have a strong and independent governing or
policy making body that may be called a Governing Board (GB) appointed
by the Chancellor from candidates nominated by a nominating committee
of the Board, and an independent system of management that is accountable
to it. The Chief Executive Officer of the university (Vice Chancellor
or Rector or President) must be identified through a formal and
open search process, and appointed by the Chancellor from a selection
of candidates recommended by the GB.
5.2 Central Coordination and Support for Quality
5.2.1 The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established in
1974 by an Act of Parliament for maintaining standards of education
and uniform policy aimed at bringing about national unity and cohesion.
Assessment of financial needs of universities, disbursement of grants,
and building institutional capacity are also amongst its functions.
With no control on funding the UGC nevertheless serves as a transmitter
of the universities' annual budgetary requests to the Ministry of
Education and distributor of Federal government's grants to the
universities, generally less than requested and not always delivered
on time. This has contributed to the erosion of its credibility
5.2.2 The Task Force recommends that a central body is needed for
facilitating quality assurance of higher education in both the public
and private sectors, and linking funding by the Federal Government
for public universities to the quality of performance, akin to the
principle used by the Higher Education Funding Councils in the U.K.
5.2.3 The central body is conceptualised as the focal component
of a network of independently governed institutions that provides
diversity of expertise and promotes synergy and efficient utilisation
of the country's resources for higher education and research. It
is conceptually different from the UGC and would replace it, and
would be called the Higher Education Commission (HEC), with the
following salient features:
a) To plan, develop and accredit public and private sector institutions
of higher education.
b) To raise funds for itself and for higher education.
c) The HEC would be governed and managed independently as an autonomous
body linked to the Ministry of Education.
d) HEC should have the capability of receiving, managing and being
accountable for block grants provided by the Ministry of Finance.
e) In order to ensure accountability for institutional performance,
the HEC must have a strong and independent Board of Governors appointed
by the President from candidates nominated by a nominating committee
of the Board, and an independent system of management that is accountable
f) The Chairman of the Board, functioning in an honorary capacity,
should have the rank of a Minister of State.
g) The appointment of the Chairman and members of the Board, as
well as the Chief Executive Officer, should be based on merit, free
from political, bureaucratic or other extraneous influence.
h) The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the only full-time Board member,
must be identified through a formal search process, and appointed
by the President from a selection of candidates recommended by the
Board of Governors.
5.3.1 Universities in Pakistan require significantly more financial
resources than the current allocations. In the proposed higher education
system, with improved financial management, provision for funding
should be made through an annual review of a three year rolling
budget, and the development of permanent sources of support such
5.3.2 Further study is required to determine the financial requirements
for improving the quality of higher education in colleges.
5.3.3 Funding from the Federal Government to all public sector
universities for recurrent costs in 2001-2002 is Rs 2.9 billion
(salaries, 75%; utilities, 8%); in addition, the developmental grant
is Rs. 0.4 billion. The allocation for research is Rs 0.04 billion,
1.2% of the total grant. The self-generated income of universities
is approximately Rs 3.2 billion. Thus, the total funds available
are about Rs 6.5 billion. The Task Force recommends an enhancement
of the Government grant by Rs. 5 billion annually in order to improve
recruitment and retention of competent and qualified faculty and
staff; develop infrastructure for research; provide adequate libraries,
electronic access to information and communication, equipment and
maintenance; and refurbish the dilapidated physical facilities.
5.3.4 The Task Force recommends that the Provincial Governments
should also contribute to the funding of universities.
5.3.5 Creation of an endowment of Rs. 20 billion will provide about
Rs. 1.6 billion annually to support research, faculty and staff
development, and facilitate financial assistance to deserving students.
5.3.6 Tuition and fees, which currently cover a rather small portion
of costs, should reflect the real cost of an educational programme,
but should neither be the main source of institutional funding nor
an impediment to access for those who cannot afford the cost of
education and subsistence. The full cost of the academic programmes
should be stated in the student's bill, with institutional subsidies
clearly indicated, so that students and parents are made aware of
the extensive support they are receiving.
5.3.7 Fund-raising by individual universities must take place,
and the Government should provide matching grants as an incentive,
as is the case in most parts of the world.
5.3.8 To provide incentives for philanthropy, tax exemptions by
the Government for donations and endowments are recommended.
5.4 Faculty and Staff
5.4.1 Current emoluments are grossly inadequate to recruit and
retain good quality faculty and staff. Emoluments should be de-linked
from the Government's Basic Pay Scales, and should be appropriate
for recruitment and retention of quality teachers and staff. Provision
for in-service training is a critical requirement for improved performance.
5.5.1 Research is conspicuous by its absence in our seats of higher
learning. Research is a critical activity and must be assigned a
high priority by making a major allocation of funds, creation of
endowments and an enabling environment. The capacity of faculty
and students for research should be enhanced.
5.5.2 Linkages with business and industry are essential not only
for employment of graduates but also for relevance of curricula
and research, and should be accorded a high priority. In addition,
synergy should be sought through financial incentives provided by
the government to encourage funding of higher education.
5.6.1 Serious reconsideration should be given to the current practice
of early specialisation in schools (starting in grade 8), and the
inclusion of general education in programmes in order to prepare
candidates for critical and moral reasoning, effective communication,
and self-directed life-long learning. Such enrichment of curricula
will encourage good citizenship, adaptability, and innovation, thereby
facilitating the continuous renewal of economic and social structures
relevant to a fast-changing world.
5.6.2 There is a felt need to develop a long term strategy for
higher education if Pakistan, a nation of 140 million people, is
to become competitive in the rapidly emerging global economy, and
occupy its rightful leadership role in the Muslim Ummah. For international
comparability, universities should aim for awarding a Bachelor's
degree after 16 years of education instead of the current requirement
of 14 years. Initially, a 4-year Honours Bachelor's degree should
be an essential requirement for admission to a Master's programme.
6.0 RECOMMENDATIONS ON ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS
In addition to its formal Terms of Reference, the Task Force
was asked to consider the following issues by the Chief Executive's
Secretariat (Appendix 11).
6.1 National Education Testing Service (NETS)
6.1.1 The Task Force does not favour the establishment of NETS.
It feels that the long term and sustainable solution lies in reliable
assessment of school education. The current SSC and HSC examinations
test for memorisation and recall, thereby promoting rote learning,
which is detrimental for understanding and application of knowledge,
and poor preparation for higher education.
6.1.2 It would be more appropriate to provide a reliable alternative
examination system at the SSC and HSC levels that can significantly
improve education in general rather than to establish a national
testing service for the purpose of selecting candidates for higher
education. Such an initiative to promote improvement of school education
could be accomplished through a private-public endeavour.
6.2 National Council for Accreditation and Quality Assurance
6.2.1 The Task Force does not favour the establishment of the Council
and recommends that the HEC undertake the role of accreditation
as a component of its quality assurance function.
6.3 Ministerial Responsibility for Higher Education
6.3.1 The Task Force is of the view that education must remain
with a single ministry, the Ministry of Education, while drawing
resources from across the board. Education is a continuum across
primary, secondary, higher secondary, and tertiary levels. Its generic
purposes are not discipline specific. The support and accountability
for educational functions, whether in the domains of knowledge concerning
natural, biological, numerical, and social sciences, and humanities,
are logically the responsibilities of the Ministry of Education.
6.4 Conditions for Degree-Awarding Institutions in the Private
6.4.1 Considering the importance of the long-term viability of
institutions of higher education and their impact on society and
nation building, the Task Force recommends close scrutiny of the
credentials of sponsors of new institutions in the private sector,
effective provisions for accountability, transparency of governance
and management, and maintenance of their quality. Although the recommendations
of the Task Force were requested for institutions in the private
sector, the principles are also valid and recommended for application
to degree-awarding institutions in the public sector.
7.0 ISSUES REQUIRING FOLLOW-UP
7.1 The Task Force considers that the following important issues
need to be studied further:
b) Review of colleges with regard to their functions, funding, governance,
c) Professional education and its relationship to universities,
and quality assurance by the HEC and professional councils
d) Funding requirements of institutions of higher education in the
light of the restructured system
e) Requirements for supporting research in universities.
f) Assessment of academic achievement, and its use for the selection
of students for higher education
g) Development of a reliable database on higher education
8.1 The Task Force recommends the appointment of a Steering Committee
in order to develop a plan for implementation in accordance with
the recommendations, to oversee the drafting of necessary legislation
and establish the HEC.
8.2 The implementation should be phased, beginning with the establishment
of the HEC. While this activity is in progress, universities should
be encouraged to improve the efficiency of their management, and
review the membership of their structures under the current universities
Acts, and be provided appropriate guidance.
8.3 The search for identifying appropriate candidates for the Boards
of Governors of the HEC and universities should begin.
9.1 The Task Force firmly believes that implementation of the recommended
changes, the principles of which apply to both public and private
institutions, will result in significant improvement in the quality
of higher education in Pakistan.
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
1.0 The Economic Importance of Higher Education
1.1 Of all the economic growth initiatives available to the Government
of Pakistan, perhaps none holds more promise and the possibility
of large scale and sustainable returns than the effectiveness and
expansion of the Higher Education infrastructure in Pakistan. This
does not mean that the value of education is limited only to economic
development. Its value extends -- and is universally viewed as extending
-- well beyond its impact on economic performance, to encompass
greater social impact contributing to a just, democratic, and enlightened
1.2 In considering the case for investment in higher education,
the World Bank-UNESCO Task Force on Higher Education in Developing
Countries emphasised economic growth and better living standards;
development of enlightened leaders; expansion of choices, enabling
social mobility and helping the talented to fulfil their potential;
and the capacity to address local problems with appropriate solutions,
in such vital areas as environmental protection, prevention and
management of illness, industrial expansion and development of infrastructure.
The report observed further: "These benefits are not automatic.
They are linked to the character of higher education systems and
institutions as well as to the broader social, political, and economic
systems within which they are situated. Even a well-functioning
higher education system, operating under the most favourable of
circumstances, is not sufficient for social and economic development,
but better higher education will certainly be necessary in most
countries, if more vibrant development is to take place." (2)
1.3 The report advocates that developing countries need to invest
in good education that prepares graduates for versatility and skills
of life-long learning, rather than narrowly in specific disciplines,
to enable them to both identify and capitalise on trends in development
as they emerge during their lives.
1.4 This advice is consistent with the other non-economic goals
of higher education: the inculcation of the values of tolerance,
responsibility, enterprise, creativity, and public duty. These require
an open and non-hierarchical learning environment, a common base
in core subjects and curriculum, and an emphasis on practicality
2.0 The Effectiveness of Higher Education in Pakistan
2.1 The operating conditions of universities in Pakistan are summarised
well by Dr. M. Latif Virk, as follows:
"The universities in their present form are not geared to
create new knowledge, nor do their graduate-study programmes measure
up to international standards.
. Rapid expansion of the system
(of higher education), limited financial input, and periodic student
unrest have eroded the teaching and learning process despite the
modernisation of curricula. The supply of funds to the universities
is limited and coupled with inefficient use of public funds. The
autonomy of the universities provided under their Acts is not only
inadequate but also distorted. The research base in the universities
is weak, and inadequately equipped libraries and laboratories and
a shortage of qualified teachers continue to hinder the progress
of higher education towards excellence." (3)
2.2 The litany of problems outlined above by Dr. Virk and many
other observers, as the Task Force discovered in its consultations
with the academic community, is both long and depressing. It is
not surprising therefore that students in publicly funded institutions
get an education of mediocre quality, which does not prepare them
to participate effectively in the economic, political, and social
life of the country, leave alone the competitive global economy.
Furthermore, of the population of 140 million, only 2.6 per cent
of the age cohort of 17-23 years (less than 500,000) were enrolled
in the colleges and universities of Pakistan (1996 figure). This
is one of the lowest ratios anywhere in the world. (4)
2.3 Thus, the country needs very significant improvement in the
quality of higher education and considerable enhancement of its
3.0 Past Educational Policies and Plans
3.1 "We must recognize that Government has never provided
adequate financial support for education either in absolute terms
or in comparison with the effort being made in other countries.
It is frequently argued that the level of support for education
in Pakistan is related to the general economic position of the country
and if our effort is to be judged in this light it is as much as
can be managed. It is stated that because we are poor we cannot
afford an extensive educational programme. There is, of course,
some truth in this
. But to argue that we are too poor to support
education is to argue that we must always be poor. This goes against
the whole concept of economic planning
. We are spending a
smaller percentage of our national income
on education than
many countries whose resources are more or less equal to our own."
3.2 Ever since independence, the Government of the time has emphasised
the central role of education in the social development of the country.
Thus, the record is replete with policy documents on the subject.
Besides the constitutional provisions on education and the relevant
sections in the Five-Year Plans, the Government has developed the
following major policy documents, which are outlined in Appendix
8 of this report:
Pakistan Education Conference 1947
Commission on National Education 1959
New Education Policy 1970
New Education Policy 1972
National Education Policy 1979
National Education Policy 1992
National Education Policy 1998-2010
3.3 In addition to this list, two other reports are significant.
These are the World Bank report (1990), entitled Higher Education
and Scientific Research for Development in Pakistan (outlined in
Appendix 9), and the World Bank-UNESCO Task Force report (2000)
on Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise.
4.0 Outcome of the Policies and Five-Year Plans
4.1 The Task Force reviewed the impact of the past policies and
plans for higher education, based on the analysis prepared by Capt.
U.A.G. Isani for the Task Force on Improvement of Higher Education
in Pakistan, 2001. Analysis is given in the following paragraphs:
4.2 The Education Policies clearly indicate the need to reform
education. However, implementation has not matched the many significant
recommendations. While financial allocations have been inadequate,
several recommendations that were not dependent on finance were
also not implemented. For example, simplification and strengthening
of administrative and academic functions through a revision of the
University Act was recommended by the Commission on National Education
in 1959; this matter is being presented again at length in the report
of the Task Force on Improvement of Higher Education in Pakistan
in 2002. In another example, the recommendation of the second Five-Year
Plan (1960-1965) to extend the Bachelor's degree programmes in Arts,
Science and Commerce from two to three years, was implemented and
withdrawn because of opposition by the academic community. This
change required the determination and support of political leaders.
The support was not given. No mechanism for implementation was specified.
The failure cannot be assigned to inadequate funds.
4.3 The issue of raising the quality of education has been highlighted
in all of the Five-Year Plans. The authors of the Fourth Plan (1970-1975)
noted that it was necessary not only to spend more money on education,
training and research but also to spend it effectively. Although
this need was expressed in each plan, the lack of adherence to the
stated discipline was not questioned. Sadly, whatever funds were
available to the Education Sector were used for quantitative expansion
and not for qualitative improvement. Consequently, standards of
education deteriorated. Expansion in the field of education should
have been guided and planned in relation to the needs of the country
for skilled human resource. However, since the planners have never
been able to estimate the country's needs, the institutions of higher
education have had no guidance for defining goals.
4.4 Regarding enhancement of financial resources, the Five-Year
Plans have envisaged increasing tuition fees. Unfortunately, appropriate
political support was never provided; even an increase of Rs 10
per month led to agitation on campuses by various groups supported
by their related political parties.
4.5 The need for admission tests at the universities and colleges
has been highlighted in almost every Five-Year Plan. The public
universities have not adopted this policy although funding was not
an issue; inability to implement the policy was due to lack of appropriate
support from the leadership at higher levels.
4.6 It can be said, therefore, that although there has been a shortage
of funds, alongside there has also been a lack of political will
and a failure to realise the importance of the Education Sector
as a vital instrument for national development.
4.7 The New Education Policy 1972 introduced a radical reform package,
of which the centrepiece was nationalisation of private educational
institutions. While the ostensible intent was to narrow inequities
in access to education, the actual result was the commitment of
the government to a role for which it was ill-prepared, adversely
affecting the standards of education and raising non-development
expenditure six folds. In the Higher Education Sector, six new universities
were established, increasing the number from 6 to 12. The enrolment
of universities rose by 56%, from 15,500 to 24,000. During 1971-1978,
enrolment at all levels of education increased but the goals of
universal basic education, shift towards agro-technical studies,
and ideological orientation were not met due to unrest in educational
institutions and unprecedented political activities in them.
4.8 The National Education Policy of 1979 introduced the use of
the national language, Urdu, as a medium of instruction, partly
as a way of strengthening the ideological foundations of the nation,
and partly in order to reduce the handicap faced by those from modest
backgrounds. Yet, while the handicap may have been mitigated as
far as the examination system is concerned, it has been reinforced
in terms of the opportunities for professional success. At the same
time, the policy of nationalisation was reversed and the private
sector was encouraged to open schools. Private schools were permitted
to use English as the language of instruction, since they intended
to prepare students for foreign examinations. This policy in effect
led to the operation of two different systems of education in the
country, one for the elite and another for the rest of the country.
5.1 If some of the reasonable policy recommendations had been implemented
with the requisite earnestness, the situation of higher education
in Pakistan would have improved and evolved over time. Instead,
the quality of higher education has declined. The reasons for the
chronic poor funding for the Social Sector are known. The reasons
for the inability to improve the management and performance of universities
are surely multiple, interdependent and complex. The end result
is relentless gravitation of institutions to the minimal functional
state of operation that can be sustained with current financial
and human resources; policies and procedures that serve bureaucratic
rather than functional ends; and the collective effect of variously
motivated attitudes and behaviours of faculty, staff, students,
society, politicians, and the Federal and Provincial Governments
of the day.
6.0 Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise
6.1 The Report of the World Bank-UNESCO Task Force, Higher Education
in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise analyses the influence
of studies on the rate of return of investment in education that
led to the World Bank's lending strategy to emphasise primary education.
Evidently, higher education required higher investment but social
returns and public interest were higher in primary education. This
decision influenced many other donors. An important outcome of the
report is the broader impact of higher education on the economic
and social well-being of countries, enabling good governance, strong
institutions, developed infrastructure and research among other
conditions for supporting economic development.
6.2 In its analysis of the lower than expected contribution of
higher education to social and economic development in developing
countries, the report notes particularly the absence of vision of
the social and economic importance of higher education systems,
lack of financial commitment in the face of pressing problems and
severe resource constraints, and highly competitive political settings
that consider higher education to be of benefit for the elite. The
report draws attention to the severe disadvantage to higher education
due to the lack of a critical mass of scholars and teachers; higher
education cannot thrive without correction of this condition. The
report points out that "Escaping this low-level trap necessarily
requires substantial and wide-ranging improvements, rather than
the all too frequent patchy and incremental steps." In general,
its recommendations for improving higher education concern increasing
the resource base and utilising the resources efficiently, particularly
emphasising the importance of good management and the importance
of implementation. The report argues that strengthening higher education
is a rational and feasible way for many countries to stem further
deterioration in the relative incomes of developing and developed
6.3 The publication stimulated a review of higher education in
Pakistan by the academic community at a seminar held at the Lahore
University of Management Science (LUMS) in February 2001, arranged
by Syed Babar Ali, Pro-chancellor of LUMS, who was a member of the
World Bank - UNESCO International Task Force. Senior policy makers
in education, science and technology, and commerce, the heads of
leading universities in the public and private sectors, leading
educationists of the country, and representatives of international
development agencies participated in the seminar. The interest and
anticipation of the academic community generated at LUMS was evident
also at the follow-up seminar in Karachi, arranged by Dr. Shamsh-Kassim
Lakha, President of the AKU, The principal authors of the report,
Dr. Henry Rosovsky and Dr. David Bloom participated in both seminars
and elaborated on various aspects of the views expressed in the
6.4 The meetings generated considerable discussion on factors contributing
to the ills of the system of higher education in Pakistan. The outcome
was an appreciation of the complexity of implementing significant
changes that had been recommended in the past and were clearly important
for addressing the widely pervasive, constraining and wasteful issue
of poor quality. The first step towards improvement would require
extensive study. A national Task Force was necessary to recommend
ways of improving the quality of higher education.
7.0 Establishment of the Task Force
7.1 The Minister for Education accepted the recommendations of
the meetings, and notified the formulation of the Task force on
the Improvement of Higher Education in Pakistan on April 29, 2001
with the following Terms of Reference:
a) Recommend ways of improvement of higher education in Pakistan
in the light of national and international reports, studies and
recommendations, and consultation with the leadership, faculty,
staff, and students of institutions of higher education and the
Ministry of Education.
b) Identify ways and means of funding higher education in Pakistan,
including new approaches for financial sustainability.
c) Recommend methods of effective governance of higher education,
including their implementation.
d) Recommend the role of Federal and Provincial governments, and
their departments and agencies in improving the quality and functioning
of higher education institutions.
e) Recommend improved systems of higher education management, including
development of faculty and support for student performance.
f) Recommend methods of improving the quality of higher education,
including systems of quality assurance, academic audit, and accreditation.
g) Specify a prioritised plan for implementation of the recommendations
for improvement of higher education.
h) Submit a final report to the Government of Pakistan by December
7.2 The Task Force was Co-Chaired by Mr. Syed Babar Ali, Pro-Chancellor,
LUMS and Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, President, AKU. This was in keeping
with the example of the good quality of higher education established
by the two private sector universities.
7.3 The membership of the Task Force was drawn from the top leadership
of major public and private universities in Pakistan, in addition
to key policy makers in government. It included the Vice Chancellors
of seven leading public sector universities, representatives of
three leading private sector universities, the Secretary and a senior
official of the Ministry of Education, the heads of a leading research
institute and a philanthropic foundation, and the Acting Chairman
of the University Grants Commission.
7.4 The constitution of the Task Force was in line with the Government's
policy to benefit from public-private partnerships for solutions
of national problems and complementary to the Government's evolving
plan for Education Sector Reform (ESR), 2001.
7.5 In addition to the Terms of Reference, the Ministry of Education,
acting upon a request from the Chief Executive's Secretariat, Islamabad
(Appendix 11), requested the recommendations of the Task Force on
the following matters:
a) Re-definition of the role and "re-structuring/right sizing"
of the UGC and, if necessary, amendment of the UGC Act.
b) "Establishment of National Education Services and [a] body
for Accreditation and Quality under the UGC".
c) "In recognition of the fact that the Government's priority
focus is on scientific and technical education, [consider] the possibility
of combining scientific and humanities education under one umbrella
and its placement under one ministry".
d) To review and make recommendations on the requirements to grant
a charter for awarding degrees in private sector universities and
7.6 The Task Force considered these matters in conjunction with
related issues in the Terms of Reference. The opinions were communicated
separately to the Ministry of Education and are included in this
8.0 Work of the Task Force
8.1 During its deliberations (May 2001 - December 2002) the Task
Force organised consultative seminars at Karachi, Quetta, Islamabad,
Peshawar, and Lahore, and received input from over 400 higher education
stakeholders involving the leadership and faculty of the school
and higher education system, government functionaries, parents,
students, employers and alumni. The institutions that participated
in the consultative seminars, and the profile of the participants,
is given in the two tables listed in Appendices 5 and 6. Amongst
the alumni, The Boston Group (see footnote in Acknowledgements)
made a significant contribution to the Task Force with its report
'Higher Education in Pakistan: Towards a Reform Agenda'.
8.2 The seminars focused on the following five sets of activities
that affect the higher education system: Vision, Governance and
Management; Financial and Physical Resources; Efficiency and Quality
Assurance; Research; and Students and Alumni. For each set, participants
of the group discussions were asked to identify plausible solutions
for impediments in the performance of their institutions. These
seminars were followed by meetings of the Task Force and its committees
9.0 Vision Statement
9.1 Based on the observations of the participants and the vision
expressed in the programme for Education Sector Reform (2001), the
following vision statement for higher education has emerged:
9.2 The transformation of our institutions of higher education
into world-class seats of learning, equipped to foster high quality
education, scholarship and research, to produce enlightened citizens
with strong moral and ethical values that build a tolerant and pluralistic
society rooted in the culture of Pakistan.
10.1 From the formality of its earlier meetings, the Task Force
transformed over the months into a well-knit group fully seized
with the importance and urgency of its task, and spurred on by the
expectation that the current state of higher education could be
improved. The Task Force met 10 times. Its meetings were characterised
by open discussions and a free flow of ideas that addressed both
the micro-management detail of the higher education system as well
as the macro socio-political issues that have inhibited the flourishing
10.2 Senior Government functionaries participated in Task Force
meetings and took a keen interest in the deliberations. The Federal
Minister for Science and Technology, the Governors of Sindh and
Balochistan, the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Sindh
Minister for Finance, Planning and Development, the Punjab Minister
for Education, and the Federal Minister for Education rendered invaluable
encouragement and advice.
10.3 The President of Pakistan met the Task Force on January 11,
2002 and received a presentation on its findings and recommendations.
He agreed with the appointment of a Steering Committee which should
work out modalities for the implementation of the recommendations,
including the establishment of the proposed Higher Education Commission,
along with draft legislation for amendments in the relevant laws,
wherever required. The official communication from the Secretariat
is given in the Appendix 12.
SECTION 2: SITUATION ANALYSIS
1.0 The System of Higher Education
1.1 In Pakistan, higher education refers to all levels of education
above grade 12, generally corresponding with the age bracket of
17 to 23 years. It is estimated that Pakistan presently has a population
of 18 million in this category, and the number is expected to increase
to 25 million by the year 2010. 2.6% of this segment of the population,
approximately 475,000, is enrolled in institutions of higher education
(1996 data). This proportion is one of the lowest in the world;
for India (1990 data) and Iran (1994 data) the figures are 6.2%
and 12.7% per cent, respectively (UNESCO Statistical Yearbook 1996).
1.2 The higher education system comprises universities and colleges.
A broad functional classification, number and distribution of the
institutions, obtained from data provided by the University Grants
Commission, is given in Tables 1 and 2. The Tables show that the
public sector institutions provide education in a wide array of
disciplines whereas the private sector caters mainly for professional
education and training in business and law. Although the figures
in Table-2 may not be applicable today, nevertheless, they provide
a broad classification and distribution of colleges, and essentially
show that most of the higher education is provided through colleges.
Accuracy of all data pertinent to higher education, related to the
population and requirements of an area, is essential, if the information
is to be used meaningfully for the support, planning and development
of capacity in relation to need.
Table 1: Categories and Distribution of Universities and Other
||Degree- Awarding Institutions**
||Azad Jammu and Kashmir
* A general university has more than one Faculty.
** Degree-Awarding Institutes may have more than one Faculty.
Table 2: Categories and Distribution of Colleges
||Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Legend: Ag - Agriculture; Bz - Business Administration
F.A - Fine Arts; Ed - Education; HE - Home Economics; Med - Medicine;
PE - Physical Education; Tec - Technical Education.
Note: These figures have been classified according to the
data given in the UGC publication Colleges of Pakistan, published
in 1999. Degree-awarding colleges have been included in degree-awarding
institutions listed in Table 1.
Table 3: Enrolment in Universities and Degree-Awarding Institutions
(UGC data for 1999-2000)
||Enrolment and Percent
||General (Excluding Allama Iqbal Open University) 79,940 (57%)
||Sub-Total for Public Universities
||Sub-Total for Private Universities
||Total Enrolment in Universities
Table 4: Enrolment in Colleges
1.3 Tables 3 and 4 show that some 88% of the students in colleges,
and 85% of those in universities are enrolled in public sector institutions.
The presence of degree-awarding institutions in the private sector
is a recent phenomenon and is growing rapidly.
1.4 Colleges take 71% of all students in higher education. The
relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of education in colleges
deserve serious attention, given that they provide facilities for
the majority of youth seeking higher education. Included under the
head of colleges are institutions of professional development such
as medicine, law, agriculture and engineering. The Provincial Governments
fund the colleges of the public sector.
1.5 Most general universities, by which is meant those with more
than one Faculty, extend their capacity for certification considerably
through the system of affiliating colleges that prepare candidates
for the universities' degree examinations, ensuring the availability
of higher education even in remote and less developed areas.
1.6 Thus, the public sector universities control the quality of
higher education provided for a very large proportion of the students.
The Provincial universities of the public sector are chartered by
the Provincial Governments and are accountable to the respective
Governors but are funded by the Federal Government.
1.7 The universities are required to inspect and ensure that adequate
facilities of staff, buildings, libraries and laboratories are provided
and maintained in the degree colleges. The system of affiliation
of colleges places an unmanageable burden upon universities for
assurance of academic quality in colleges, and requires careful
1.8 The matter of educational objectives of universities and colleges
is crucial for the guidance of educators, administrators and planners
of education at all levels and requires careful review. Responding
to a dearth of expertise in science and technology, the Government's
Education Sector Reform Action Plan envisages a shift in the enrolment
ratio of students in Arts and Science from the present 70:30 to
50:50 by the year 2004.
2.0 Higher Education in the Private Sector
2.1 With the creation of Pakistan, the passion for developing the
new homeland saw many worthwhile community efforts and quality education
flourished in the private sector, mainly schools but also some colleges.
The Education Policy in 1972, and its crucial emphasis on nationalisation,
resulted in loss of the distinctive character of the private sector
2.2 In 1983, The Aga Khan University became the first private sector
university to be established in Pakistan, followed two years later
by the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Both of these pioneering
not-for-profit institutions have been supported by donors and income
from their own operations.
2.3 In the last two decades, higher education in the private sector
has been facilitated to a variable extent in the Provinces by the
grant of charters to award degrees, as a consequence of both Government
policy and the requirements of society.
2.4 At present there are 18 universities and 9 degree awarding
institutes in the private sector that have received charters and
are providing professional education in engineering, medicine, and
business. Their distribution in the Provinces is given in Table
2.5 The total enrolment in public sector universities was 118,800
in 2000-2001. In the same period the private universities enrolled
21,500 students. The Education Sector Reforms Action Plan for 2001-2004
of the present Government envisages an enhancement of the proportional
enrolment in private sector universities from the current 15% to
40% by the year 2004, through the pursuit of a liberal policy to
encourage the establishment of new institutions of higher education
in the private sector.
2.6 The preponderance of the private sector in Business Administration,
Commerce, and more recently in Information Technology suggests that
its investment in higher education is generally driven by market
demand, whether the institution operates on a for-profit basis or
not. As is evident from the Tables, the Government shoulders the
major responsibility for general education.
2.7 Although neither well developed nor sought after, general education
serves a critical societal need by promoting flexibility and innovation,
and permitting the continuous renewal of economic and social structures
relevant to a fast-changing world , and needs further consideration.
2.8 Universities in Pakistan can be categorised into General and
Professional. While they do offer undergraduate programmes, their
major emphasis is on post-graduate education and research.
3.0 The Continuum of Education
3.1 The product of our Secondary and Intermediate education systems
is poorly prepared for the rigours and demands of Higher Education,
and also ill-equipped for employment and career development through
learning from experience and self-directed study.
3.2 Although primary, secondary and higher secondary education
were not included in the Terms of Reference, prompted by the additional
request to consider the separation of higher education in science
and technology from the Ministry of Education, the Task Force emphasises
the importance of viewing education as a continuum. A higher education
system, irrespective of the disciplines involved, cannot operate
in isolation. Hence, the quality of education in schools will affect
significantly the preparation of students and the quality of higher
education. The quality of higher education will also affect the
quality of education in schools, by preparing teachers with clearer
concepts of the subjects they teach and enhancing students' interests
and guiding aspirations early in their development, leading to stronger
foundations of knowledge as students compete for tertiary education
3.3 The credibility of the Secondary and Higher Secondary School
Certificates has been diluted to the extent that they are not considered
adequate measures of a student's competence. The chief problem lies
with the system of education that promotes rote learning rather
than the spirit of inquiry; the system requires and examines for
memorisation rather than understanding and application of knowledge.
However, the more obvious problems of public examinations that are
publicised in newspapers and receive government attention relate
to dishonest practices and unreliability of results. Consequently,
since 1979 the Government has given serious consideration to the
institution of a National Education Testing Service (NETS) but had
not implemented it, and sought the views of the Task Force on the
need for it. It should be noted, however, that by 1999 some 35 reports
had been generated on the subject of problems related to the public
examination system, for the guidance of the Federal and Provincial
Governments, generally resulting in legislative provisions for law
and order and deterrence of malpractice.
4.0 The System of Universities and Colleges
4.1 The Task Force deliberated on the observations of the academic
community, students and alumni obtained from the seminars, and concluded
that the following conditions were among the most important reasons
for the declining standards of higher education in Pakistan:
a) Inefficient use of available resources.
b) Inadequate funding.
c) Ineffective governance, management and recruitment practices.
d) Politicisation of the educational system, faculty and students.
e) Inadequate provisions for research.
f) Inadequate incentives for performance and development of faculty.
4.2 The academic community in each province expressed strong scepticism
about the realisation of change and improvement in the quality of
higher education provided in the public universities and colleges.
4.3 Through the consultative process and review of the overall
education system it was evident to the Task Force that significant
changes were required within universities and in their supportive
environment to address the following problems of first-order importance:
a) Inability to attract and retain high quality faculty.
b) Inefficient distribution of funds within the universities.
c) Lack of research and growth of knowledge.
4.4 Among the many causes of these problems were the following
a) Absence of accountability and transparency.
b) Incongruity of responsibility and authority.
c) Inadequate financial systems.
d) Inadequate systems for supporting the quality of academic programmes
5.1 To compound the poor conditions of learning and academic productivity,
the faculty and student body have been subjected to external political
influences that have sought to deploy the energies of youth and
their role models for their own purposes. Such subversion displaces
the faculty's and students' development and preparation for useful
roles in society as conscientious and productive citizens. As a
result our seats of higher learning have lost their focus on academic
excellence, disabling the spirit of meritocracy and promoting a
culture of dishonesty and nepotism.
6.0 Inadequate Funding
6.1 The Federal Government's grants to 41 public sector universities
and degree-awarding institutions, and 20 other Centres of Excellence,
Area and Pakistan Study Centres in 2001-2002 amount to Rs 3.3 billion
(recurrent Rs 2.9 billion and developmental Rs 0.4 billion).
6.2 The allocation for research is Rs 0.04 billion ($ 670,000),
the average per institution being Rs 0.98 million ($ 16,260). The
allocation for research represents 1.2% of the total grant from
the Federal Government.
6.3 The universities' self-generated income amounts to approximately
Rs 3.2 billion.
6.4 Thus, the total funds available for the support of 41 degree
awarding institutions are Rs 6.5 billion ($ 108 million). A windfall
allocation by the government of Rs:5 billion to the Ministry of
Science and Technology in the Financial Year 2000-2001 has indeed
benefited the higher education system, even though its impact has
been felt exclusively by Science faculties all over Pakistan, much
to the dismay of the Social Sciences and Humanities faculties.
6.5 The average expenditure per student in a public university
is Rs 55,000 ($ 920), assuming the total enrolment of 117,830 in
the sector. Of the expenditure, salaries and utilities account for
75% and 8%, respectively.
6.6 The government's Five-Year Plans show that the proportional
expenditure on development of education was reduced from 7.5% of
all development in 1960-65 to 3.5-4.0% during 1983-98. Although
the absolute expenditure education increased, its impact should
be considered alongside the considerable growth of the population.
The allocation to development of higher education was at its peak,
19% of developmental expenditure on education, in 1972-77, but by
the decade 1988-98 was reduced to 10-11%; about that time (1995)
the average for South Asia was 13% (Higher Education in Developing
Countries: Peril and Promise; World Bank-UNESCO publication, 2000).
The impact of the reduction should be considered alongside significant
increase in the number of public sector institutions of higher education.
6.7 The total public sector expenditure on education rose form
1.7% of GNP in 1970 to around 2.3% in the 1990s and 2.1% in 2000-01;
this is well behind the 4.0% of GNP recommended by UNSECO (Economic
Survey of Pakistan, 2001), and the average for the South Asia region,
3.4% of GNP in 1995 (Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril
and Promise; World Bank-UNESCO publication, 2000).
6.8 The universities' budgetary requests for funding are channelled
through the UGC to the Ministry of Education for processing with
the Ministry of Finance. The resulting grants approved by the Ministry
of Finance are generally well below the requirements, released in
unequal instalments quarterly through a cumbersome process that
may require over 45 days for the transfer.
6.9 Low salaries, frequently compared with institutions in the
private sector, and the poorly supported operating conditions, poor
rewards for achievement lead to disaffection and lack of motivation.
6.10 Since the state is unable to support higher education, the
universities have been forced to raise their own funds through increase
in user charges and tuition fee. Consequently, the proportion of
self-generated funds covering the total expenditure has risen from
26% in 1992-93 to 49% in 2000-2001. However, the overall fund available
for higher education remains entirely inadequate and requires considerable
enhancement in both the levels of Government financing and independent
fund raising by individual universities.
6.11 A fundamental structural problem with the current system is
that even if fiscal resources are made available, they cannot be
utilised properly because financial management is archaic and non-transparent.
For example, despite their sizeable budgets and complexity of operations,
most public universities practice single-entry bookkeeping maintained
manually, with limited obligations of disclosure and information
management. The Boston Group's observations on key principles of
financial management are given in the Appendix.
7.0 Performance of Higher Education
7.1 The outcome of the inadequacies is evident in the following
observations of employers, parents, and students whom the Task Force
met in Lahore and Peshawar.
(A) Employers' and Parents' Observations at Lahore
They were asked to comment on the quality of the graduates being
produced by the universities. The Task Force thought that the following
comments were important markers of less than adequate intellectual
development and socialisation:
a) Poor communication skills of the average graduate.
b) Absence of reading habits. No culture of continuous up-gradation
c) Links between the teacher and the taught had become increasingly
d) Narrow vision, lack of free thinking ability and spirit of inquiry,
limited world view, and dismal application ability were some more
weaknesses of graduates applying for jobs.
(B) Students' Observations at Peshawar
Graduate students at the University of Peshawar were asked for their
observations on their educational programmes and the support provided
for their work. Their responses are summarised below:
a) Research and Graduate Studies:
- Course-work is needed for M.Phil and Ph.D programmes, which
should include research methods.
- There is a shortage of qualified teachers.
- There should be a broader selection of topics for the research
component of graduate studies.
- Opportunities for work should be provided to graduate students
for both financial assistance and work experience.
- Research scholars should have free access to the Internet.
- There is no practical application of research work in the absence
of industry-academia interaction.
- Research projects of the Government are not entrusted to universities
but given instead to foreign consultants or NGOs.
- Information concerning the duration and processes of M.Phil.
programmes should be provided, along with an adequate number of
b) On Curriculum:
- Curricula are outdated and need to be revised more frequently.
- Teachers are using out-dated notes and data.
- A change in attitudes of the faculty is needed; there should
be provisions for lectures by professionals from the world of
- Requirements for rote learning should be stopped.
- The teaching process should involve students' participation
- There should be more provisions for community based work and
c) On Libraries:
- There should be a qualitative and quantitative improvement
in library facilities.
- The reference books are under lock and key.
- Course books date back to 1945.
- The computer centre is under-utilised because of administrative
issues that affect access and insufficient guidance on efficient
use of the equipment.
d) On Students' Support:
- There should be a provision for students' loans.
- Promising students should be given scholarships for further
- Students should assess their teachers.
- There should be a platform for collective discussion of student
issues with faculty.
8.1 Sadly, the endpoint of investment of the country in human resource
development and the students' time is that the existing system of
higher education neither educates learners to participate adequately
in the economic, social or political life of the country nor creates
the basis for the good society envisaged in the vision statement
derived by the Task Force.
8.2 Given the status of higher education today and the fact that
many of the generic faults had been identified more than 40 years
ago, it is evident that attempts within universities to improve
the quality of education have been ineffective. While acknowledging
the importance of less than adequate financial resources from the
State, the question arises as to why the processes of governance
and management of higher education have not been made effective
instruments for guiding change, including the search for funds.
8.3 The Task Force reviewed the current processes for management
and governance of universities and concluded that they do not protect
universities from political, governmental, and bureaucratic or other
extraneous influences that may adversely affect the institutions
from within or outside. Therefore the processes do not adequately
support the independence required for management of the complex
institutions that universities are or enable appropriate accountability
for the their performance.
8.4 The structures of governance and management, the Senate and
Syndicate, enshrined in the universities' Acts, are inefficient
and do not distinguish between the two sets of functions. Too much
of the decision-making is centralised on the Vice Chancellor who
is appointed by and serves "at the pleasure of" the Chancellor.
8.5 The following text lists the key functionaries of public sector
universities in Pakistan. This information and the preceding observations
show good reasons for the plight of higher education. The net thrust
of the conclusion is the need to make each university an independent
institution so that it can undertake its academic mission without
extraneous influences and be wholly and continuously accountable
for all aspects of its performance.
9.0 Organizational Structure of Pakistani Universities
[Brief comments are given in italics].
Chancellor: The Governor of a Province or the President
of Pakistan in case of Federal universities, as the Chancellor,
approves amendments to statutes, and appoints the Vice Chancellor,
most Syndicate members, the Deans, and the Treasurer.
The Chancellor is essentially required to perform the functions
that are ordinarily performed by a governing board.
Pro-Chancellor: In some universities, the Federal or Provincial
Minister for Education is ex-officio the Pro-Chancellor and may
discharge the Chancellor's responsibilities in the latter's absence.
Federal Ministry of Education is the Chancellor's Secretariat
for Federal universities but has little direct interaction with
universities in provinces.
University Grants Commission, a component of the Ministry
of Education, was established to promote common educational standards.
However, it has become mainly a funding channel.
A central supporting body is needed to help define and promote quality
Provincial Departments of Education serve as the secretariat
for the Chancellor, and as the administrative oversight agencies
Viewed as lacking in expertise and vision on higher education.
Vice-Chancellor (VC) is the chief executive and chief academic
officer of the university, appointed by and accountable to the Chancellor.
The VC chairs the Syndicate, the Academic Council and some other
bodies. All senior university officials are appointed by the syndicate
on the recommendations of the Selection Board, which is Chaired
by the Vice Chancellor.
(a) Accountability to a single person creates irresponsibility
and dependency rather than autonomy and accountability.
(b) Although the VC has extensive powers of appointment, there is
little consideration of the expertise and experience needed to carry
out the responsibilities. The appointments are almost always from
within the system, and based on non-professional considerations.
Also, the top management is weighted heavily towards administrative
functions rather than academic and research related responsibilities.
The Senate: Where it exists, the Senate may have more than
100 members, including all Syndicate members, department heads,
Deans, Directors of programs, representatives of faculty and alumni,
a representative of the Provincial Assembly and appointees of the
Chancellor. Its powers include voting on the budget and recommending
changes to Statutes.
Although it has a broad-based membership, the Senate is too large
to discharge any executive oversight responsibilities.
Syndicate: The Syndicate is the executive body of the university,
responsible for all matters except for changes in statutes. It has
15-20 members, one third are ex-officio, the others are either elected
by faculty members or appointed by the Chancellor. The membership
includes a representative of the Provincial Assembly
Although a management team, it is often viewed as a means of achieving
independent governance. However, since the VC chairs the Syndicate,
it is not an independent body.
Academic Council (AC): A council of over 100 members, the
AC considers all curricular matters. Chaired by the VC, it comprises
some senior management staff, Deans, department heads, full professors,
Librarian, elected faculty representatives, Chancellor's nominees,
and representatives of colleges.
It is too cumbersome a body to make timely decisions on academic
Selection Board: The Selection Board is convened whenever
needed to consider appointments, and other personnel matters. Chaired
by the VC, it comprises a representative of the Public Service Commission,
nominees of the Chancellor, nominee of the Syndicate, department
chairs and Deans concerned. Relevant subject experts are usually
Pro Vice-Chancellor: where present, is appointed by the
Chancellor and assists the VC in his/her duties.
Treasurer: The chief financial officer of the university
is responsible for ensuring that all financial rules are followed.
Controller of Examinations: Manages the examination system.
Registrar: The Registrar enforces administrative policies
and prepares institutional reports.
As the secretary of all executive committees, the Registrar often
wields considerable power.
Deans: are appointed by the Chancellor, and have mainly
The roles and appointment procedures for Deans need to be defined
Heads of Department: are appointed by the Syndicate, and
have both academic and administrative powers.
SECTION 3: RECOMMENDATIONS
1.0 Principles Underlying Recommendations of the Task Force
1.1 While considering strategic changes that would improve higher
education, the Task Force noted that the various components of education
are interdependent, although each is generally understood in terms
of a specific level with defined limits of time and content.
1.2 The Task Force focused primarily on the functions of the universities
because they are the chief determinants of the quality of higher
education. The universities must improve in order to achieve and
sustain improvement of quality, each institution from within itself,
supported by enabling external operating conditions.
1.3 The most critical determinant of competent graduates is the
quality of education, which is dependent on the quality of the faculty
as well as financial and other resources and their management.
1.4 The universities must have control of the operating conditions
within their institutions, a state that can only be achieved by
autonomy for efficient management, coupled inseparably with accountability
for performance. The functional achievement of these conditions
is the crucial goal of the reform effort. However, the Task Force
was fully cognisant of the fact that no reform process will be successful
unless it is espoused, led and driven by members of the universities'
faculty and staff, with appropriate guidance, governance and continuity
of each institution's vision and values.
1.5 The Task Force noted that autonomy for academic and non-academic
functions as well as growth and utilisation of resources involves
adoption of the following hitherto unfamiliar characteristics of
the working environment:
a) Accountability for functions at all levels in the institution.
b) Decentralised responsibility and authority.
c) Selection of leadership, faculty and staff on merit, based on
evidence of competence,
with relevance to the functional requirements of a position.
d) Regular performance evaluation for faculty and staff, which is
transparent and fair,
from a constructive viewpoint.
e) The critical need for faculty and staff development.
f) Term appointments; continuity based on performance; and tenure,
if a provision exists, earned through achievements.
1.6 Consideration of the functions of a university and its role
in development of society, led to understanding of accountability
and the need for separate systems of governance and management.
1.7 Provision for performance-based attraction of faculty, staff
and students to a university as well as Government grants and financial
support by society will enhance the quality of education.
1.8 Strategic changes should be implemented as a whole not as options.
1.9 In order to improve the performance of universities substantially,
having considered the evidence of impediments from the consultative
seminars (summarised in section 2.4.1), the Task Force concentrated
its attention on systems that would enable efficient governance,
management, support for quality of education, and funding of universities.
2.0 Governance of Universities
2.1 The Task Force recommends that each university should be governed
and managed as an independent institution, associated with the Ministry
of Education or Provincial Department of Education, as appropriate,
but not controlled by the Ministry or Department or any other sources
of funds. The Governing Board (GB) of a university must function
separately from management although the two together provide accountability
for the functions of the university.
2.2 The Governing Board of a university must be accountable to
society for the utilisation of the institution's resources and the
resulting performance. It should achieve this purpose by assuring
itself that the performance of the university is consistent with
its mission, and ensuring that the institution has the appropriate
human, physical and financial resources to achieve the relevance
and requisite quality of the end product.
2.3 Effective policy making requires an enlightened Governing Board
that has a broad view of the impact of higher education on society
and is cognisant of the strategic directions and resources for achieving
the university's mission with quality that is worthy of recognition
nationally and internationally.
2.4 The Governing Board may be called the Senate or Syndicate or
Board of Governors or Board of Trustees. The first two names are
likely to be associated with the familiar performance of the current
Senate and Syndicate; for this reason, the Task Force did not recommend
a name. For the purposes of this Report, the generic form Governing
Board (GB) has been used.
3.0 Functions of the Governing Board
3.1 The functions of the GB include the following:
a) Nominating candidates for membership of the Board.
b) Appraisal of the Board's performance.
c) Recommending candidates to the Chancellor for the appointment
of the Vice Chancellor, identified by a search committee appointed
by the Board; Approval of the quality and relevance of the university's
d) Approval of the policies of the university.
e) Approval of appointments of senior faculty (Associate Professors
and Professors) and senior administrators to be selected in accordance
with policies and procedures approved by the Governing Board.
f) Approval of the budget.
g) Approval of strategic plans and development.
h) Approval of financial resource development.
3.2 The Board shall decide how it wishes to organise its functions
3.3 The functions will require the Board to convene at least quarterly.
4.0 Membership of the Governing Board
4.1 The members of the GB should be selected carefully to ensure
significant commitment to the purpose of the university and meaningful
engagement in the activities of the Board. Therefore, the membership
should not be large. The Task Force recommends that the number should
not exceed 15, including the Chair; at least two of the members
should be women.
4.2 Candidates for membership of the GB should be independent thinkers
who are ethical, broad-minded and constructive. Evidence for these
attributes should be obtained from the developmental nature of their
accomplishments and significant engagement in the development of
human resources or knowledge or service. The Chairperson and members,
except for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the university,
should serve voluntarily.
4.3 Members of the GB should be appointed by the Chancellor from
at least two candidates identified for a position. The profile of
the membership and the mode of nominating the candidates for each
position are given below:
a) The Chairperson: candidates identified by the Nominating Committee
of the Board.
b) One member from the academic community of the province in which
the university is located, other than the university concerned,
at the level of Professor or Principal
of a College: candidates identified by the Nominating Committee
of the Board.
c) Two members from the academic community in other provinces, at
the level of
Professor or Principal of a College: candidates nominated by the
d) Five members from society, in order to ensure wide representation
of public interest
in the contribution of universities to society through the effectiveness
of the graduates, service, and research. Such persons should be
selected on the basis of their accomplishments, independent and
broad-based thinking, commitment, and respect in society. Candidates
should be identified by the Nominating Committee of the Board based
on the recommendations of public and professional bodies, such as
the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries,
Overseas Chamber of Commerce, Engineering Council, Council of Architects
and Town Planners, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, and Bar
e) One member from the alumni: candidates identified by the Nominating
of the Board.
f) Two members from the Provincial or Federal Government, as appropriate,
not below the rank of Joint Secretary: candidates nominated by the
Ministries or Departments of Education and Finance.
g) The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the university (Vice Chancellor
or Rector or President): candidates recommended by a Search Committee
appointed by the GB.
h) Two members from the university's faculty at the rank of Professor,
the senior most Dean and senior most Professor, identified by the
4.4 The term of office of the Chairperson should be five years
and of the members three years. The term may be renewed consecutively
once, except that the two members of the university's faculty may
serve only for one term. The CEO is an ex-officio member. One third
of the other members appointed initially should retire every year
for the first three years.
4.5 The term of office of the CEO should be five years, subject
to performance, and may be renewed. The CEO shall be accountable
to the Board for all the functions of the university.
4.6 For the initial appointments, the Chancellor should constitute
a Nominating Committee consisting of three members who will nominate
candidates for all positions except the CEO. Thereafter, replacements
for retiring members should be determined as indicated above.
5.0 Management of Universities
5.1 The best of intentions, plans, policies and procedures can
come to naught due to faulty application. Effective application
is the responsibility of management, the functions of which are
distinct from governance. Synergy of the two will result in the
efficiency and support that is crucial to learning and productivity.
Functioning in a culture of efficiency and productivity will enable
the faculty and young learners in their turn to contribute effectively
to societal development, with consequential multiplier effect.
5.2 Acknowledging the crucial and complex nature of the human elements
that constitute institutions of education, the Task Force derived
the principal organisation of management at the highest level from
consideration of the essential support for the functions of a university.
The Task Force recommended that structures and processes at lower
levels should be determined by the management in accordance with
institutional needs, with the guidance and approval of the Governing
5.3 Currently, at the highest level, decision-making is rendered
inefficient by organisational structures that are responsible for
matters of both governance and management of academic and non-academic
functions. Having identified the functions of governance, the Task
Force recommends that separate structures should be responsible
for the senior management of academic and non-academic functions,
while ensuring that the requisite critical co-ordination between
them is achieved.
5.4 In general, a co-ordinating and executive body (Executive Council
or Vice Chancellor's, Rector's or President's Council) is needed
for non-academic functions and an Academic Council for academic
functions. The CEO should chair both Councils and be accountable
to the GB for the respective functions.
5.5 The Task Force strongly recommends that the structures of academic
and non-academic management at all levels should be determined carefully,
guided by the need to support clearly defined functions of the institution,
keeping in view the fact that the functions are usually multidisciplinary
in nature and will change from time to time.
6.0 The Executive Council or the Vice Chancellor's or Rector's
or President's Council
[For this Report the generic term Executive Council (EC) has been
6.1 The responsibilities of the EC include development of policies
and oversight of the following functions:
Preparation of the budget.
Management of fund raising.
Development and maintenance of physical facilities.
Management of human resources.
Management of finance and physical resources.
Development of strategic plans and implementation of approved plans.
Provision of learning resources, including the library, and information
and communications technology.
Support for co-curricular activities.
6.2 Each is a major function and will require further levels of
organisation. The authority and accountability of each level should
be defined in order to sustain de-centralised management. Since
each function will be related to academic activities, appropriate
co-ordination is critical at various levels, not only in the EC.
6.3 Membership of the EC
The Task Force recommends that the Executive Council should have
approximately 15 members, and include the following:
a) The CEO (Chairperson);
b) The heads of the non-academic functions;
c) All Deans;
d) Three senior most Professors who are not members of the GB, from
different departments, nominated by the Vice Chancellor and approved
by the Governing Body, for a non-consecutive period of two years;
e) Principals of the constituent colleges.
7.0 Management of Academic Functions
7.1 Academic activity comprises diverse functions that are specific
for learning and growth of knowledge and skills. Each function requires
management at several levels. Each function also requires the support
of non-academic functions. Thus, in order to ensure optimal utilisation
of human and physical resources it is necessary to conceptualise
a matrix of management, in which the effectiveness of both academic
and non-academic activities is critical. The academic functions
relate primarily to quality assurance of academic programmes and
research as well as accountability for these activities, and include:
a) Selection, development and management of faculty.
b) Selection, support and development of students.
c) Planning, implementation, monitoring, and review of educational
programmes and research.
7.2 The responsibility for the academic functions rests with the
academic staff (faculty). The faculty is organised in clusters of
affinity based on function, knowledge and expertise. Such clusters
are usually organised as Departments, each led by a Chairperson.
7.3 At a higher level, Departments concerned with a broad area
of knowledge or function are organised as a Faculty, Institute or
College, led by a Dean, Director or Principal, respectively. The
leaders should be accountable for the nature and performance of
the academic programmes, research and the resources required to
7.4 Thus, the Chairs of Departments, Deans of Faculties, Directors
of Institutes and Principals of Colleges are positions of significant
leadership and are important elements in the management of a university.
Their authorities and accountability should be commensurate with
their responsibilities and must be defined clearly.
7.5 Therefore, the leadership should be selected with great care,
based on merit in respect of the specific needs of the academic
unit and university, realising the leader's influence on the development
of faculty through the role model effect.
7.6 Since leaders are selected for their achievements in some functions
and potential for effectiveness in others, for which they may have
no expertise or experience, it is essential to provide for in-service
education and training for various functions, particularly management
and education in the case of faculty. The provision of appropriate
in-service programmes is needed expeditiously not only for the development
of the institution's leadership but also more generally of the faculty
7.7 Decentralisation of authority is advocated, utilising the Heads
of Departments, the Deans of Faculties, Directors of Institutes,
or Principals of Colleges who should be responsible and accountable
for the selection, development and functions of the faculty. The
faculty must be competent for upon them depend critically the functions
of education and research.
7.8 Appropriate authority will be necessary for the structures
of management that will be required for recruitment of faculty and
staff, involving formal search and careful assessment of candidates;
appraisal, development and promotion of faculty and staff; and management
as well as guidance and supervision of the academic programmes.
7.9 In consideration of the management of academic functions, it
is important to recognise that all are multidisciplinary and require
academic and non-academic administrative support.
7.10 With regard to the working of universities with the Education
department in the provinces, and the Ministry of Education in the
Federal Territory, the Vice Chancellor should deal directly with
the Chancellor (Governor or President respectively for the provincial
and federal governments), and the Chancellor may designate a person
in his office for dealing exclusively with the universities.
7.11 The matter of ensuring that the views of the faculty are obtained
on matters of policy is generally presented as the justification
for increasing the representation of faculty in the various committee
structures of the university. While appropriate representation is
essential for effective functioning of the university, the plea
for greater opportunity for hearing of the faculty's voice is an
indication of insufficient two-way communication between policy
makers and the faculty involving the leadership.
7.12 The Task Force recommends that the leadership of academic
units should facilitate the participation of faculty in discussions
concerning the university's policies within the Departments or other
initial functional levels of the organisation, enabling the entire
faculty to be engaged in dialogue.
7.13 The Task Force recommends that a Council should be constituted
to oversee the academic affairs of a university.
8.0 The Academic Council (AC)
8.1 The functions of the Academic Council include the following:
a) Approval of the policies and procedures pertaining to the quality
b) Approval of academic programmes.
c) Approval of the policies and procedures pertaining to the quality
of student affairs, including admissions, examinations, and certification.
d) Approval of the policies and procedures pertaining to the quality
e) Recommendation of the policies and procedures for affiliation
of other educational institutions.
f) Recommendation of tuition and examination fees.
g) Recommendation of the policies and procedures for financial assistance
8.2 Membership of the Academic Council
The Task Force recommends that the Academic Council should have
approximately 18 to 25 members and include the following:
a) The CEO (Chairperson).
b) All Deans.
c) Heads of the Departments of Finance and Administration.
d) Five members representing the heads of Departments (not below
the rank of Professor), Institutes and constituent Colleges.
e) Two Principals of affiliated Colleges.
f) Five Professors.
g) The Registrar.
h) The Controller of Examinations.
i) The Librarian.
8.3 The Governing Board should appoint the members of the Academic
Council. Other than the ex-officio members, the CEO should recommend
candidates to the Board for appointment.
9.0 Faculty and Staff Appointments and Conditions of Service
9.1 The Task Force recommends strongly that all appointments of
faculty and staff of universities should be made based on merit
and relevance for the specific requirements of a position, and involve
appropriate searches for the best candidates through processes to
be defined by the management and approved by the GB.
9.2 All appointments should be made for a specified period, renewable
based on appraisal of performance, and may be eligible for tenure
in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the GB.
9.3 The management, with the approval of the GB, should determine
the emoluments and terms and conditions of service.
9.4 In order to recruit, develop and retain quality teachers and
staff, emoluments should be de-linked from the Government's Basic
Pay Scale and based upon performance and market forces. The definition
of such a system is not easy and will require considerable thought
9.5 Provisions must be made for in-service education and training
for all faculty and staff in order to maximise the capacity of faculty
and staff for enhancement of their effectiveness at work. Provisions
must be made for development of faculty in respect of education,
research and professional and technical competence as well as management
9.6 The annual performance appraisal system should be structured
so that it identifies the need for an individual's development,
in respect of the needs of the academic unit and the university,
and is transparent, constructive, and supportive of career growth,
with a view to make human resources more effective contributors
to the institution's mission.
10.0 Central Co-ordination and Support for Quality
10.1 Many countries have felt the need for a central body to support
various functions of the universities. In Pakistan, the University
Grants Commission (UGC) was established in 1974 under an Act of
Parliament for maintaining standards of education and uniform policy
aimed at bringing about national unity and cohesion. The UGC is
a unit of the Ministry of Education, chaired by either a senior
academician or a senior officer of the civil service. The appointment
is generally the result of political considerations.
10.2 The functions of the UGC given in the Act are summarised as
a) Maintenance of the quality of higher education, chiefly the
b) Finance of universities, including scholarships and fellowships.
c) Planning, including advice on the establishment of new universities.
d) Uniformity of policies among universities.
e) Support and co-ordination of research.
f) Support and promotion of extra-mural and extra-curricular activities
at inter-university level.
g) Promotion of national unity and solidarity.
10.3 The current functions of the UGC are:
a) Co-ordination of academic, research and development programmes
of universities for greater national development.
b) Maintenance of a permanent liaison with the universities, provincial
governments and the federal government.
c) Maintenance of standards of education and uniformity of curricula
aimed at bringing about national unity and cohesion.
d) Development, review and revision of curricula beyond class 12.
e) Arrangement of in-service training for teachers of degree colleges
f) Service as an effective link between the government and the universities
to make an objective assessment of universities' requirements and
secure adequate funds for their speedy development.
10.4 The support for academic quality given by the UGC consists
primarily of reviews of curricula, co-ordinated through meetings
of the relevant academic units at the UGC offices, and publication
of the recommendations for implementation in universities and colleges.
In another activity supporting quality, dictated by the Acts establishing
universities, the senior staff of the UGC attend meetings of the
Syndicates and Selection Boards as members, in which capacity they
draw attention to the procedural requirements of the universities'
Acts and Statutes.
10.5 Regarding other functions, the UGC has very limited funds
for research projects, for which faculty of public and private universities
may apply, and little ability, if any, to enhance the universities'
capacity for research. It arranges inter-university sports for students.
It assists the Government in accreditation of new institutions and
determining the equivalence of degrees granted abroad in relation
to the degrees awarded by institutions in Pakistan.
10.6 In respect of assessment of the financial needs of the universities,
disbursement of grants, and building institutional capacity, in
practice the UGC serves as a transmitter of the universities' annual
budgetary requests to the Ministry of Education and distributor
of the Federal Government's grants to the universities, generally
less than requested and not always delivered on time. It has no
control on either request from the universities for funding or distribution
of recurring and non-recurring grants. A confounding factor is the
arrangement whereby the authority for granting the charter of a
university and enabling development of programmes rests with the
Province while the Federal Government provides the funds to support
the university's programmes. These conditions have contributed to
the erosion of the UGC's credentials, being regarded by academia
more as an organ of the Government rather than a representative
of universities, on the one hand, and considered as possibly an
unnecessary institution by the Federal Government, on the other.
10.7 Conclusion: Careful review of the functions of the UGC and
the status of higher education led the Task Force to the conclusion
that a central body is needed primarily for supporting improvement
of the quality of academic programmes in both public and private
sector institutions. The Task Force conceptualised the central body
as a component of a network of independently governed and managed
institutions that provides diversity of expertise, and promotes
synergy and efficient utilisation of the country's resources for
education and research.
11.0 Higher Education Commission (HEC)
11.1 The Task Force recommends that there should be a central body
known as the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The HEC is conceptually
different from the current University Grants Commission and should
replace it. Its chief functions would differ significantly from
those of the UGC while addressing similar concerns, as follows:
a) In respect of the quality of education, the mandate of the
HEC should encompass all degree-granting institutions, public and
private, including professional colleges.
b) It would support the attainment of quality education in institutions
by facilitating and co-ordinating self-assessment of academic programmes
and their external review by national and international experts.
The recommendations would be reported to the Chief Executive Officers
and Governing Boards of the institutions and the HEC.
c) The HEC would serve the purpose of planning, development and
accreditation of public and private sector institutions of higher
d) For universities in the public sector, the HEC would link Federal
Government funding with the quality of performance (akin to the
principle used by the Higher Education Funding Councils in the U.K.)
and the need and justification for institutional development. It
would have the capacity for raising funds for itself and for higher
e) The HEC would serve as a national resource for higher education,
based on its comprehensive nation-wide information and data on experience
in other countries.
f) The HEC would support planning, development and fund raising
for universities and other institutions of higher education.
11.2 Functions of the HEC
The purposes of the HEC lead to the following list of functions:
a) Provide support for enhancement of the quality of higher education
b) Facilitate funding for higher education based on the quality
of performance and needs.
c) Serve as a national resource for higher education, based on its
comprehensive nation-wide information, and data on experience in
d) Participate in the formulation of Federal Government policy on
matters of higher education.
e) Advise institutions, the Provincial Governments and the Federal
Government on planning and development of higher education.
f) Advise the Federal and Provincial Governments on all proposals
for granting a charter to award degrees, in both public and private
g) Co-ordinate the initial and subsequent periodic assessment of
the quality of academic programmes in established and new institutions
of higher education, in order to support accreditation and maintenance
of academic standards.
h) Guide the public, the Provincial Governments and the Federal
Government, on the legal status and functional value of degrees
and other certification of academic achievement given by public
and private institutions of higher education, and recommend appropriate
i) Support the cause of national integration and cohesion through
j) Perform such other functions incidental or consequential to the
discharge of the aforesaid functions.
12.0 Governance of the HEC
12.1 In order to achieve these functions, the HEC should be governed
and managed independently, associated with the Ministry of Education
but not controlled by it. The HEC should be overseen by its Board
of Governors, with the capability of receiving and managing block
grants provided by the Ministry of Finance and being accountable
12.2 The HEC must have autonomy to undertake its functions in co-operation
with institutions of higher education; organise its management;
select its Chief Executive Officer and staff; and develop its programmes
and recommendations in consultation with the institutions of higher
education, the Provincial and Federal Governments, and any other
agencies in the country or abroad.
12.3 In order to ensure accountability to the institutions of higher
education, society, the Federal and Provincial Governments for its
performance, the HEC must have a strong and independent Board of
Governors (BOG) appointed by the President of Pakistan from candidates
nominated by a nominating committee of the Board, and an independent
system of management that is accountable to it.
12.4 The Chairman of the Board should have the rank of a Minister
12.5 The appointment of the Chairman and members of the Board,
as well as the Chief Executive Officer, should be based on merit,
free from Governmental, political, bureaucratic or other extraneous
12.6 The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must be identified through
a formal search process,
and appointed by the President from a selection of candidates recommended
by the Board
12.7 The HEC must have a fund in addition to a Government grant,
developed from contributions
by the Federal Government and its own fund raising efforts, in order
to support its activities
and enable the support of institutions for specific purposes, such
as development of
the faculty's capacity for education and research, and expert consultation.
12.8 The HEC must have strong financial systems to control the
allocation of funds for the institutions of higher education, based
13.0 The Board of Governors of the Higher Education Commission
13.1 The scope of the Board's deliberations should extend beyond
the operation of the HEC to quality assurance of higher education
through the network of universities and other institutions of higher
education, of which the HEC should be seen as an essential component.
13.2 The members of the BOG should be selected carefully to ensure
significant commitment to the provision of quality education and
meaningful engagement in the activities of the Board. Therefore,
the membership should not be large. The Task Force recommends that
the number should not exceed 14, including the Chair; at least two
of the members should be women. It is anticipated that the Board
will meet at least quarterly.
13.3 Candidates for membership of the BOG should be independent
thinkers who are ethical, broad-minded and constructive. Evidence
for these attributes should be obtained from the developmental nature
of their accomplishments and significant engagement in the development
of human resources or knowledge or service. The Chairperson and
members, except for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the HEC,
should serve voluntarily.
13.4 The Task Force recommends that all members of the BOG should
be appointed by the President of Pakistan from at least two candidates
identified for a position, in order to minimise the possibility
of politically motivated appointments. The profile of the membership
and the mode of nominating the candidates for each position are
The Chairperson: candidates identified by the Nominating Committee
of the Board.
b) Three members from the academic community other than universities,
at the level of Professor or Principal of a College*: candidates
identified by the Nominating Committee of the Board.
c) Three members from the society*, consisting of accomplished,
independent, broad-based, committed and respected persons: candidates
identified by the Nominating Committee of the Board.
d) Two members from the Federal Government, not below the rank of
Joint Secretary: candidates nominated by the Ministries of Education
e) Four Chief Executive Officers (Vice Chancellor or Rector or President)
of universities: candidates nominated by the Chancellors of universities.
f) The Chief Executive Officer of the Higher Education Commission:
candidates recommended by a Search Committee appointed by the Board.
* Membership in these categories should include representation
from the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Federally Administered
Tribal Areas, and Federally Administered Northern Areas.
13.5 For the initial appointments, the President should constitute
a Nominating Committee consisting of three members who will nominate
candidates for all positions except the CEO. For the CEO, the Board
shall appoint a Search Committee to identify suitable candidates
for the Board's recommendation to the President. The Search Committee
should consist of at least six members, no more than one should
be a member of the BoG.
13.6 The term of office of the Chairperson should be five years
and of the members three years, both renewable for one consecutive
term. One third of the members appointed initially should retire
every year for the first three years.
13.7 The Board may appoint committees from amongst its members
and may seek information from the management in order to undertake
its work of governance.
13.8 The Board shall be accountable for the functions of the HEC
and the support required for undertaking them as well as the management
and utilisation of the institution's financial resources.
14.0 Management of the Higher Education Commission
14.1 It is essential for the management of the HEC to act as a
facilitator of a system of higher education characterised by diversity,
and ensure the efficient deployment of the country's resources for
attaining optimum standards of education and research within each
institution, rather than achieving uniformity of academic offerings
14.2 The CEO shall be accountable to the Board of Governors for
the functions of the Commission and responsible for the management
of the HEC. The duration of the appointment should be five years,
subject to performance, and may be renewed.
14.3 The Commission should be organised in a manner that enables
the management of its functions, including: quality assurance and
accreditation; finance; resource development; planning; information
and communications technology; and two-way communication with the
institutions and academic community engaged in higher education
for both input and feedback. It will be necessary to establish and
manage a very large and versatile database for diverse applications.
14.4 It is envisaged that each set of the functions of management
will require a head and managerial staff. In addition, technical
staff will be required for supporting the infrastructure for information
and communications technology. Non-technical staff will be necessary
also, in accordance with the support required for space, equipment,
supplies, utilities, and maintenance including buildings and grounds.
Detailed consideration of the support needed for providing the functions
will determine the human resources required for the HEC. This will
emerge from further planning. It is also envisaged that the institution
will evolve over time. Provision for the evolution, which will occur
under the supervision and guidance of the BOG, should be made in
the formulation of any legislative instrument that may be necessary
to establish the HEC.
14.5 All appointments should be based on merit in respect of the
work required and subjected to regular review of performance. It
is recommended that appointments should be valid for a period of
contract, subject to performance, and may be renewed. The management
with the approval of the Board of Governors shall determine the
terms and conditions of service. Tenure, if granted, should be offered
after the successful completion of several contracts.
14.6 The management, with the approval of the BoG should determine
the emoluments and terms and conditions of service in order to recruit
and retain personnel with high levels of competence. Terms and conditions
of service should be de-linked from the Government's Basic Pay Scales
because they are neither adequate nor often equitable.
14.7 The CEO and heads of the various functions should be guided
by consultative committees involving the staff of the Commission.
The Commission must function in co-operation with the universities
and other institutions of higher education, facilitated by appropriately
constituted consultative committees, to ensure communication and
integration of effort. It is envisaged that such co-operative effort
will strengthen the universities' capacity for developmental activities
such as establishing linkages with other institutions, enabling
visiting scholars to enhance the expertise of the faculty, and facilitating
development of faculty for education, research, management and leadership,
15.0 National Council of Accreditation and Quality Assurance
15.1 The Ministry of Education requested the recommendation of the
Task Force on a proposal to establish a National Council of Accreditation
and Quality Assurance. The Task Force did not favour the establishment
of the Council, since its purpose would be subsumed by the HEC,
the functions of which include planning, development and accreditation
of public and private sector institutions of higher education, support
for attainment of quality education, and performance linked funding
of public universities.
16.0 Funding and Financial Management
16.1 While it is clear that institutions of higher education need
more funds and must generate income and manage their assets, it
is also clear that the current methods of financial management must
be improved in order to increase the capacity for absorption of
financial resources and decrease wastage. Financial management requires
enlightened policies for supporting institutional growth and performance;
skilled persons supported by electronic information and communications
systems to ensure accuracy, efficiency and transparency of the service;
and accountability for receipt and utilisation of resources. Assurance
of sound financial management, subject to professional external
audit, is essential for the confidence of donors; receipt of grants
from the Government, development agencies and sources of research
funds; and investment management of endowments.
16.2 A revised higher education system, with improved financial
management and accountability, provision for funding should be planned
and considered over several years in order to ensure the continuous
financial support required by institutions to sustain their academic
programmes. The current practice of annual provisions subject to
prevailing Government priorities has demoralising consequences on
the faculty and staff and disrupts programmes. The Task Force recommends
annual review of a 3-year rolling projection of each institution's
requirements and sources of funding.
16.3 Each institution should strive for development of permanent
sources of support, such as endowments, for its core activities
and programmes, in addition to revenue from tuition and grants.
Quality of performance and need for institutional development will
become the critical considerations for Government grants, research
grants and donor support from society, on the one hand, and applications
for admission to quality education, on the other.
16.4 Public philanthropy for higher education was a tradition in
Pakistan and could be revived by establishing trust in the performance
and relevance of the institutions. Funding from this source is particularly
useful for building endowments, expanding on physical infrastructure,
and creating scholarships.
16.5 Financial support by alumni is an important source of long-term
funding but will require cultivation through generation of justifiable
pride in the performance of the institution and the value of the
education. Alumni support will also require demonstration of the
institution's interest in the future evolution of graduates and
their participation in the development and life of the institution.
Achievement of these conditions will need the services of permanent
professional staff, an Office of Alumni Relations, and definition
of the objectives for philanthropic fund generation. (6)
16.6 The creation and growth of endowments for higher education,
and education generally, requires enabling conditions, in the form
of enhanced relief from taxation for the support of institutions
and their programmes and economic opportunities for investment as
well as protection from depreciation of currency.
16.7 In the prevailing conditions of international relations, international
development agencies may consider supporting improvement of public
sector higher education although the main emphasis for support hitherto
has been at the primary level.
16.8 A full study is required to establish realistically the requirements
for funding higher education that includes the future status of
colleges. Nevertheless, the Task Force estimated the gross financial
requirements for improvement of higher education over a period of
5 years, based upon current funding in the public and private sector
16.9 Presently (2001-2002), the universities generate 50% of their
total expenditure of Rs 6.5 billion mainly from tuition and fees;
the remainder is covered by grants from the Federal Government (Rs
2.9 billion for recurrent expenditure, Rs 0.4 billion for development,
and Rs 0.04 billion for research). Salaries and utilities account
for 75 per cent and 8 per cent of the expenditure, respectively.
16.10 In order to support improvement, the Task Force recommends
an enhancement by Rs. 5 billion annually of the Government's grant
to universities, in order to support recruitment and retention of
quality faculty and staff, development of the infrastructure for
research, provision of libraries, electronic access to information
and communication, equipment and maintenance, and refurbishment
of physical facilities.
16.11 The Task Force also recommends the creation of an endowment
of Rs. 20 billion, which will provide Rs. 1.6 billion annually (anticipated
spending rate of 8%) that would be used for supporting financial
assistance for deserving students in need, research, and development
of faculty and staff.
16.12 In order to encourage the fund-raising effort of universities,
the Task Force recommends that for non-recurring or development
related funds the Government should provide a matching grant based
upon the funds raised in a ratio of 4:1.
16.13 The Task Force recommends the following proportional allocation
of incremental non-recurring funds for initial improvement of the
support for higher education.
||Research 20 5
||Human Resource Development
||Information & communications technology
||Modernisation of facilities for students
||Modernisation of facilities for education and research, including
development of libraries and electronic access to information.
||Linkages and interaction
16.14 However, in order to determine the appropriateness and expected
impact of the allocations, proportions alone will not suffice without
consideration of the number of universities and colleges as well
as analysis of needs for each category of activity. In addition,
it is important to note that non-recurring development funds will
increase recurring expenditure in order to sustain the improvement
of facilities and services that will result from the investment.
17.0 Tuition Fees
17.1 Tuition fees in public sector institutions have been low for
decades, while the cost of imparting education has risen steadily.
An upward revision of tuition fees has long been overdue, and has
been delayed because of a fear of political repercussions. Even
though tuition fees can never recover the full cost of university
operations, it is inevitable that they must increasingly reflect
the cost of education.
17.2 Currently, the public universities have two sets of students;
those selected on the basis of their academic achievements, with
or without an admission test, and those who pay full tuition amount,
referred to as "self-financed students". The tuition fees
for the latter varies from 5 to 10 times of the former. Although
tuition fees and a variety of other levies from both sets of students,
as well as other income generating schemes, provides approximately
half of the operating budget of the public universities, this seemingly
high proportion is largely a reflection of the low allocation of
the Government's grants for the support of universities.
17.3 The Task Force recommends that the institutional cost of providing
an academic programme or research or other service should be known.
The proportional recovery of the cost of education through a tuition
fee should be determined and the mode of funding for the residual
17.4 Tuition and fees should reflect significantly the high cost
of education but should neither be the main source of funding institutions
nor an impediment to access for those who cannot afford the cost
of education and subsistence. Every candidate selected for admission
on merit should have access to financial assistance based on need,
in accordance with transparent systems of assessment and allocation,
but pay what they can afford. However, there are difficulties inherent
in assessment of students' needs when sources of income are poorly
17.5 A student's bill should state the full cost of his or her
academic programme and the institutional subsidy that is provided,
so that students and parents are made aware of the extensive support
they are receiving and the proportion of their contribution. Experience
in private institutions has shown that students value the education
for which they have paid.
18.1 There is an immediate and urgent need for training our people
in the scientific and technical education in order to build up our
future economic life, and we should ensure that our people undertake
scientific research, commerce, trade, and particularly well planned
industry. But do not forget that we have to compete with the world
which is moving very fast in this direction. (7)
18.2 The paucity of research activity in the universities of Pakistan
is evident from the low financial allocation (Rs 40 million, 1.2%
of the total Government grant for universities in 2001-2002) and
the low output of research publications. In addition to sources
of funds to support research studies, it is necessary to develop
the capacity of faculty and students for research and develop the
infrastructure to support research, not only in science and technology
but also in social sciences and humanities.
18.3 Along with the provisions pertaining directly to the conduct
of research, it is also necessary for every university to establish
a system of managing research, including multidisciplinary access
to laboratories and provision of assistance for contract administration,
financial management, and legal issues. This has direct implications
for the ability of the university to attract good faculty and retain
them as well as to attract external research funding.
18.4 Clearly, major change is necessary to create a significant
capacity for research in Pakistan to enable the country to guide
its development, understand its problems and find solutions for
them. Growth in research will take time but should follow closely
as an indicator of supportive operating conditions for motivated
and effective faculty and students.
19.1 Although the majority of the enrolment in higher education
is found in colleges, due to insufficient time the Task Force has
not considered the various categories, functions and organisations
of these widely distributed institutions. However, consultation
with the leadership and faculty of colleges indicated the need for
careful review of the definition and systems for quality assurance,
accountability, governance, management and funding. Of particular
importance is the need to understand the complexity of organisation
and provisions for quality assurance of professional education.
19.2 The following is an indication of commonly expressed ills
by college educators and managers in the seminars:
a) Arbitrary transfer of faculty.
b) Lack of control over recruitment and release of staff.
c) Admission of students based on district-wise quotas.
d) Lack of empathy and support for the functions and development
e) Bureaucratic hurdles for accomplishment of routine matters
imposed by the provincial government.
f) Lack of control of funds generated by the colleges.
g) Disbursement of budgets late in the academic year, leaving
insufficient time for utilisation and resulting in lapse of the
19.3 From the discussion of the Task Force on the subject of Colleges,
the following broad directions were obtained, based on general principles:
a) Colleges should have autonomy for the provision of quality
education, requiring control of recruitment, development and promotion
of faculty, selection and promotion of students, and management
of the institutions' financial and administrative affairs.
b) The management and governance of colleges should be separated
and organised in a manner that ensures accountability of performance
to the users of the services and society.
c) Learning should be based on understanding and application of
knowledge, utilising libraries, information and communications
technology, laboratories and other learning resources.
d) Provisions must be made for educational development of teachers.
Teachers' performance and development should be considered in
the criteria for promotion.
e) Colleges that perform the functions of universities should
be considered for appropriate development, resources and reclassification.
19.4 The Task Force recommended that since most of the students
in "degree-colleges" follow courses at the levels of Grade
11 and 12, consideration should be given to the most appropriate
organisation of education at these levels, probably as high schools
and preferably providing broader education than the current practice.
19.5 The Task Force observed that virtually all technical industrial,
agricultural and commercial functions require skilled human resources.
The skills acquired in such activities also provide the basis for
self-employment. Whereas the skills are acquired generally through
apprenticeship, they should be supported by formal education and
training in colleges. A large proportion of the population that
seeks access to higher education would benefit from development
in colleges appropriate for specific applications, rather than the
fundamental, specialised or broad intellectual development offered
19.6 Taking these observations into consideration, the Task Force
recommended that in respect of enhancing the number of institutions
of higher education, the private sector should consider investment
in the establishment of colleges.
20.0 Curriculum Related Matters
20.1 Curricula should be the constant concerns of the faculty in
all institutions of higher education. However, two matters surfaced
repeatedly in discussions of the Task Force and consultative seminars
concerned the poor quality of education, one related to early specialisation
and the other to the duration of education required for a Bachelor's
20.2 In addition to the importance of poor quality of instruction,
outdated curricula and unreliable examinations, the Task Force considered
that early specialisation through segregation of students into Arts
and Science streams from Grade 8 in schools was detrimental to general
education and limited choices for career development at a later
stage. The Task Force recommended that the Ministry of Education
should give this matter serious consideration. General education
was recommended not only for secondary and higher secondary levels
but also for Baccalaureate programmes in order to prepare students
for critical and moral reasoning, effective communication, and self
directed life-long learning. Such enrichment of the curriculum will
encourage good citizenship, adaptability, and innovation, facilitating
the continuous renewal of economic and social structures relevant
to a fast-changing world.
20.3 The Task Force considered that an important element contributing
to the poor quality of education is the fact that a Bachelor's degree
is awarded after 14 years of education (two years after Grade 12
or Higher Secondary Certificate) compared with 16 years internationally.
One consequence of this variance from the international norm is
that Pakistan's Master's degree is taken as the equivalent of a
Bachelor's degree abroad.
20.4 After much discussion on the consequences of past attempts
to increase the duration of undergraduate education and the financial
burden of effecting the change as well as the implementation of
4-year Bachelor's programmes in some public universities, the Task
Force recommends the institution of a 4-year Honours Bachelor's
degree that would be a pre-requisite for admission to a Master's
programme. For the time being, the existing 2-year Bachelor's degree
will have to continue, per force, while increased attention and
effort is given to improving education standards through in-service
training of teachers, updating curricula, improving facilities and
21.0 National Education Testing Service (NETS)
21.1 The Secretariat of the Chief Executive of Pakistan requested
the Task Force ( Appendix 11) to advise on a long standing proposal
to establish a national education testing service (NETS) for selection
of candidates for institutions of higher education and improvement
21.2 The argument for NETS was that the public examination boards
are not standardised; there is considerable variation in the scores
for a given level of performance. Consequently, admission to institutions
of higher education, on the basis of scores, would be facilitated
for some and rendered difficult for others. The results of the current
public examinations are not reliable; this observation relates to
deficiency in administration of the examinations and its systems
21.3 From the viewpoint of improvement of education, the current
Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate
(HSC) examinations test for memorisation and recall, thereby promoting
rote learning, which is detrimental for understanding and application
of knowledge at all levels, and poor preparation for higher education.
21.4 If NETS provided curriculum-based examinations and tested
understanding and application of knowledge, it would conflict with
the requirements of the SSC and HSC examinations, inasmuch as teachers
prepare their students so that they can obtain the high scores in
the Board examinations that are required for access to the next
level of education.
21.5 If NETS provided tests of logical reasoning and English not
based on a curriculum, emulating the SAT I and GRE of the Education
Testing Service, Princeton, USA, such tests would be unfamiliar
in Pakistan and place students from underprivileged education at
21.6 The Task Force concluded that the purpose of standardisation
could be served if entrance tests were given by the institutions
that select their students from a pool of applicants who present
scores given by several Boards. The establishment of NETS is not
recommended for selection of students for higher education because
it would replicate the existing model of examination. It will not
serve as a significant instrument for improvement of education unless
it replaces the examination boards and tests understanding and application
of knowledge. Examinations that test for understanding of knowledge
could be developed through a private-public endeavour.
22.0 Conditions for a Charter to Award Degrees
22.1 The Ministry of Education requested the Task Force to review
the criteria proposed by the UGC for awarding a charter to private
universities and institutes for granting degrees, which were under
consideration by a Cabinet Sub-Committee.
22.2 Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues involved, and
after much discussion on matters of principle and purpose that should
be considered while defining the criteria, the Task Force made the
22.3 The Task Force acknowledged that there exists a need to facilitate
the creation of private degree-awarding institutions adhering to
a specified basic level of acceptable quality. This is necessary
in order to provide access to higher education for a burgeoning
population of youth. The Task Force approached the matter of defining
the criteria from the viewpoint of assurance that the physical and
financial foundations for supporting effective education must be
in place so that quality is not compromised in the compelling interests
22.4 The Task Force noted that a growing private sector does not
necessarily lead to increased diversity, as new universities may
simply respond to market demand for professional development or
follow the curricular offerings of the public universities. However,
new private institutions have the potential to be innovative, because
they do not have an institutional history to overcome. The ability
to respond to the market and recruit faculty with greater emoluments
than is possible for public universities may also condition their
performance and market value.
22.5 The Task Force concluded that the criteria for the award of
degrees should apply equally to institutions in both the public
and private sectors. All sponsors, whether Government, NGO, individual
or corporation, should demonstrate the capacity for governance,
management, and financial support in order to sustain independent
functioning of degree-awarding institutions.
22.6 In arriving at its recommendations, the Task Force has considered
the following factors:
a) The need to facilitate the creation of degree-awarding institutions
with at least a basic level of acceptable quality.
b) The need to ensure that the physical and financial foundations
for supporting effective education and training are provided from
the very beginning through a commitment to investments over the
first 3-4 years of development, as a minimum requirement.
22.7 Considering the long-term sustenance of the institutions and
the importance of their contribution to societal development, the
Task Force recommended close scrutiny of the credentials and purposes
of the sponsors of new institutions, and the provisions for accountability,
transparency of governance and management, and maintenance of quality
22.8 Although the UGC's proposal specified different levels of
support for degree awarding institutes and universities, there was
no definition of these institutions. Nevertheless, having been informed
about the gross estimates of initial investments in three private
universities (Iqra University, Hamdard University, and Lahore University
of Management Sciences), the Task Force recommended the requirements
for initial funding (Rupees in millions) given in the following
||Degree Awarding Institute
||Tangible Assets (Space and Facilities)
||Total over 3-4 Years
22.9 Concerns were expressed about the feasibility of a single
sponsor achieving the quantum of funds and the resulting discouragement
of individual investors, on the one hand, and the realistic financial
support required for sustenance of effective higher education, on
the other. In respect of the quantum of funds, the Task Force suggested
that multiple sponsors should be encouraged to join forces and form
consortia instead of attempting the establishment of institutions
as lone ventures. In respect of the sustenance of effective higher
education, specification of the adequacy of funds was not possible
without some understanding of the proposed institution's functions.
22.10 Regarding the number of "faculties" that should
be present in new institutions, the Task Force noted that the term
was not defined in the proposal; the text suggested that 'departments'
was meant. Use of the terms faculties, departments, disciplines,
fields of study, college, university and degree awarding institute,
without clear meaning, led to confusion and the realisation that
definitions are necessary if criteria are to be meaningful rather
than arbitrary. That having said, the Task Force recommended that
charters for colleges or degree awarding institutes could be given
for those specialising in any one field of study. For universities,
there could be one or more fields of study; however, would be difficult
to specify a minimum number, especially where such capital intensive
disciplines as medicine were involved.
22.11 The Task Force noted that some matters related to the conditions
for a charter to award degrees overlapped considerations of quality
assurance and accreditation; these matters will come under the purview
of the Higher Education Commission.
22.12 Keeping in view the considerations for a diversified Board
of Governors and accountability to the sponsors as well as the Government
and society, the Task Force recommended the following composition
of the Board of Governors for a private university:
a) Half of the Members should be nominated by the Trust or Society;
the other half should be professionals outside the composition
of the Trust or Society.
b) Chancellor (Chairman).
c) Chief Executive Officer (Vice Chancellor or Rector or President).
d) One serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court,
to be nominated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or Provincial
e) Chairperson of the Higher Education Commission or nominee,
not below the rank of Professor.
f) Education Secretary of the Federal Government or of the province
concerned or his nominee not below the rank of Joint Secretary.
g) One Vice Chancellor of a public university.
h) Three eminent educationists or scientists in the relevant discipline,
to be nominated by the Chancellor.
i) Three eminent businessmen or professionals selected by the
Board of Governors.
The duration of an appointment should not continue beyond two terms.
22.13 The Task Force reviewed the proposed "safeguards"
to be provided in the Acts of private universities and degree-awarding
institutes and recommended the following:
a) The President of Pakistan or Governor of the province as
the case may be should be
Patron of the University.
b) The Patron shall have the powers to cause a visitation to be
made on the request of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in
respect of any matter connected with the affairs of the University
and shall, from time to time, direct any person or persons to
inquire into or carry out inspection of the university.
c) The new university or institute shall have no power to grant
affiliation to any institution for the first five years of its
d) In the case of a separate sub-campus or branch of the university
or institute, it will be treated as a new institution and the
same criteria will be applicable.
e) The Higher Education Commission (HEC) shall be the competent
authority for accreditation and standards of academic quality.
f) The university or institute shall be liable to provide facilities
to the representatives of the HEC, the Pakistan Engineering Council,
Pakistan Medical and Dental Council or similar relevant organisations
for visitation to enable them to verify that the university or
institute is maintaining appropriate academic standards.
g) The HEC shall be competent to carry out periodic inspection
and monitoring of the institution.
h) The university or institute shall work within the frame-work
of the Education Policy and other law or policy framed or amended
by the Government of Pakistan or the Provincial Government from
time to time.
i) The university or institute shall be required to strictly comply
with the constitutional provisions and law and abide by the social,
religious, ethical and cultural ethos and values.
j) The programmes of the university or institute shall be restricted
to teaching, research and services only.
k) Double entry system of account shall be maintained by the university
l) Each university or institute shall have its annual accounts
audited by competent external auditors.
SECTION 4: THE WAY AHEAD
1.0 Implementation Process
1.1 The Task Force recommends the appointment of a Steering Committee
in order to develop a plan for implementation in accordance with
the recommendations, to oversee the drafting of necessary legislation,
and establish the HEC.
1.2 The implementation should be phased, beginning with the establishment
of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
1.3 While the HEC is being established, universities should be
encouraged to improve the efficiency of their management, and review
the membership of their structures under the current universities
Acts, and be provided appropriate guidance.
1.4 The search for identifying appropriate candidates for the Boards
of Governors of the HEC and universities should begin.
1.5 The universities' Acts will require changes in order to establish
them as independently governed institutions.
2.0 Matters Requiring Further Work
2.1 The Task Force considers the following to be critical items
for follow-up study and recommendations.
a) Categorisation, funding, governance, and management of colleges.
b) Curricular reform.
c) Professional education and its relationship to universities,
and quality assurance by the proposed Higher Education Commission
and professional councils.
d) Requirements for funding of universities.
e) Requirements for supporting research in universities.
f) Assessment of academic achievement, and its use for the selection
of students for higher education.
g) Accuracy of data on higher education.
3.1 The Task Force firmly believes that implementation of its recommendations,
the principles of which apply to both public and private institutions,
will result in significant improvement in the quality of higher
education in Pakistan.
3.2 While nothing can change unless the faculty, staff and students
subscribe to the vision of an effective system of education, and
therefore much of the initiative must come from within the institutions,
the role of the proposed Higher Education Commission will be crucial
as pacemaker, stimulant, guide, critical appraiser, supporter, and
collective conscience of the network of universities and other institutions
of higher education.
3.3 There remains an important final matter for consideration.
While the early history of Pakistan is replete with inspiring examples
of people who selflessly devoted themselves to the act of nation
building asking only what they could do for the country, not what
the country should do for them, by 1959 the Commission on National
Education considered that prevailing attitudes of society would
impede change. The Commission observed as follows:
can meet its responsibilities only
if a revision of attitudes on the part of the professional educator
is accompanied by a change in the view point of Government and
In education the prevailing attitude of the
public and those responsible to Government was that it warranted
low priority. Among those outside the educational system there
was little recognition of the fact that at independence the nation
was thrown into competition with the rest of the world and that
its future status depended upon how well it met this competition
with the skills of its own manpower. Although our leaders were
now the architects of policy rather than the implementers of the
policy of others, education was neither in fact nor theory give
the importance that would enable it to meet the needs of a people
who controlled their own destiny. Those within the educational
system failed to develop new attitudes, habits and skills consistent
with the needs of a people who controlled their own destiny. Our
curricula, teaching methods, administrative structure, and system
of examinations continued to reflect the old ways.
b) This, in broad outline, was the state of mind that had come
to pervade all areas of our national life. They are the attitudes
of a subject people rather than of free men. Yet it is the
outlook that motivates each segment of our society that will determine
ultimately our future achievements. We cannot escape the conclusion
that our fundamental need is for a revolution in attitudes through
which the cynicism, lethargy, opportunism, suspicion, dishonesty
and indifference that have characterised the outlook of so many
of our people and officials in the past will give way to a spirit
of individual initiative, personal integrity, pride in accomplishment,
trust in one's fellow men, and a 'private sense of public duty'.
We have no illusion that this reorientation of values can be brought
about quickly or completely, or that it can be realised only through
fiat, yet come it must if we are to achieve any substantial improvement
in our education system or any other sphere of national endeavour."
[The emphasis has been added by the editors of the current report]
3.4 Notwithstanding the encouraging expectations expressed at the
end of the quotation, it must be said that many of the attitudes
mentioned above are strongly manifest today. If the status of higher
education is to change, the strategies for implementing the recommendations
of the Task Force should take into consideration the central importance
of attitudes that condition the performance of individuals and in
aggregate their institutions.
SECTION 5: APPENDICES
Other Sources of Reference
Original material emanating from the Seminars and Task Force meetings.
Papers submitted by the Committees of theTask Force.
Reports submitted to the Task Force by the Consultant and members:
by Dr. Mohammad Latif Virk (Consultant)
Policies and procedures for the accreditation of universities
A Review of the National Education Policy 1998-2010, and Education
Sector Reforms: Strategic Plan 2001-2004 (Ministry of Education,
Government of Pakistan)Rev
Review of the World Bank-UNESCO Task Force Report 'Higher Education
in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise', and areas of importance
and relevance for the Task Force on Improvement of Higher Education
Common recommendations of past education policies
The current status of technical education
by Capt. (R) U. A. G. Isani (Member)
Constitutional provisions for education
A review and analysis of education policies and commissions
Higher education and Five Year Plans: A critical review
Assessment of Plan performance in education
The problems of quality
Recommendations of education policies on higher education
The problems of higher education
Higher Education through distance learning
The University Grants Commission
The National Council for Accreditation and Quality Assurance
The Role of the private sector
Plan for the future - challenges and opportunities
A Review of the World Bank Report on Higher Education and Scientific
Research for Development in Pakistan
Financing the universities
Self-finance in universities in Pakistan
by Mohammad Ibrahim Khan (Member)
Salient features of a Charter as recommended by the Government of
by Dr. A. Q. Mughal (Member)
Draft proposal on the Vice Chancellor's appointment process
Higher Education And Scientific Research For Development In Pakistan
(World Bank Report, 1990).
Higher Education In Developing Countries: 'Peril & Promise',
2000 (Report of the World Bank & UNESCO International Task Force
on Higher Education and Society).
Higher Education in Pakistan: Towards a Reform Agenda (The Boston
Group Report 2001)
TASK FORCE MEETINGS
1st Islamabad: Ministry of Education May 24th, 2001
2nd Karachi: The Aga Khan University June 20th, 2001
3rd Quetta: University of Balochistan July 18th, 2001
4th Islamabad: UGC August 23rd, 2001
5th Karachi: The Aga Khan University September 5th & 6th, 2001
6th Karachi: The Aga Khan University October 31st & November
7th Lahore: University of the Punjab November 13th & 14th,
8th Peshawar: University of Peshawar November 19th & 20th,
9th Lahore: LUMS December 27th & 28th, 2001
10th Karachi: The Aga Khan University January 7th, 2002
* Extraordinary meeting at the UGC to brief ministers: Islamabad
September 13th, 2001
* Presentation to the President of Pakistan: Islamabad January 11th,
Committees of theTask ForceCommittees
The following is a record of the composition of the Committees
and the matters deliberated by them for recommendations to the Task
Vice Chancellor's Appointment Process
Dr. A. Q. Mughal (Convenor)
Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha
Justice (R) M. A. Rashid.
Financial Procedure and Management'
Dr. Zafar S. Saifee (Convenor)
Mr. M. Ashraf (General Manager Finance, LUMS)
Justice (R) M. A. Rashid
Mr. M. Yaqoob (Director-General Finance, UGC).
As per the Task Force suggestion a seminar on financial systems
for higher education institutions was organised by the UGC with
Dr. A. Q. Mughal as the Co-ordinator and assisted by M/s Ferguson
Associates (Pvt) Ltd.
Administrative Procedures and Rules
Dr. Najma Najam (Convenor)
Dr. Zulfiqar H. Gillani
Dr. A. Q. Mughal
Mr. Ibrahim Khan
Capt. U. A. G. Isani (Convenor)
Dr. Arif Ali Zaidi (AKU)
Mr. M. Ashraf (General Manager Finance, LUMS)
Governance & Management Of Universities
Dr. Najma Najam (Convenor)
Dr. A. Q. Mughal
Lt. Gen. (R) Arshad Mehmood
Dr. Zulfiqar Gilani
Dr. Camer Vellani
Governance and Management of University Grants Commission and
Dr. Zulfiqar H. Gilani (Convenor)
Dr. A. Q. Mughal
Dr. Camer Vellani
Dr. Khalid Hamid Sheikh
Mr. Mazhar-ul-Haq Siddiqui
Dr. Arif Ali Zaidi
Dr. Mohammad Latif Virk
Research Productivity Grants
Dr. Qasim Mehdi (Convenor)
Dr. A. Q. Mughal
1. Mr. M. Ibrahim Khan (Convenor)
2. Dr. Najma Najam
3. Dr. A. Q. Mughal
4. Capt. U. A. G. Isani
Subjects discussed in seminars
Vision and purpose of higher education
Mission of higher education for society
Utilisation of the mission for institutional support, academic programmes,
research, recruitment of
faculty, staff and students
Improved infrastructure: faculty, students, space, equipment and
supplies, library, information
technology and communication, recreational and cultural facilities
Enhancing financial resources
Long-term support for programmes: by society, government, alumni,
endowments, commerce and industry
Support for operations: tuition and fees, grants and earnings from
endowments and infrastructures
Recruitment, selection, retention, motivation, development and performance
of faculty and staff
Design, review, implementation accountability and management of
academic programmes and research
Administrative support for academic functions
Collegial, co-operative effort
Faculty and staff development for research
Quality and relevance of research and utilisation of outcomes in
economic growth and development of society
Multidisciplinary national and international linkages for collaborative
Funding for research capacity and studies
Students and alumni
Improved quality of school and higher secondary education
Improved preparation for higher education
Support for students from economically and socially disadvantaged
Financial and geographical access to programmes
Rational evaluation of students in respect of curricular objectives
Extra curricular activities
Relevance of academic programmes to the needs of society, general
education, and application in the country
Systems for review, evolution and change of programmes
Systems for assurance of quality of academic programmes
Governance and management
Organization structures to support the functions of higher education
Accountability to the beneficiaries and users of higher education,
society, supporters, and provincial and federal government
Profiles of seminar participants
||Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Presidents
||Federal Government officials
||Provincial Government officials
Educational institutions represented at the seminars
KARACHI: University of Karachi, The Aga Khan University,
Sir Syed University, Ziauddin Medical University, Baqai Medical
College, Jinnah University for Women, Iqra University, Isra
University, Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture,
SZAB Institute of Science & Technology, St. Patricks Govt.
College, DJ Science College, Govt. College of Commerce, Delhi
Govt. College, Textile Institute of Pakistan, The Aga Khan
Educational Services, The Aga Khan Sultan Mohammed Shah School.
HYDERABAD: Liaqat University of Medical & Health
Sciences, Shah Abdul Latif University.
JAMSHORO: University of Sindh.
TANDOJAM: Sindh Agricultural University.
NAWABSHAH: Quaid-e-Awam University.
QUETTA: University of Balochistan, Agricultural College,
Govt. Girls Inter College, Federal Govt. College, Govt. Girls
College, Govt. Science College, Technical Education Project,
Govt. Degree College, Bahria Foundation College, Science Education
Project, Balochistan Education Foundation, Bolan Medical College,
Tameer-e-Nau Public College, University Law College.
SIBI: Girls College, Govt. College.
CAPITAL TERRITORY, FATA, FANA, AJ&K ISLAMABAD CAPITAL
TERRITORY: Quaid-e-Azam University, Allama Iqbal Open
University, International Islamic University, National University
of Modern Languages, Bahria University, Al-Khair University,
COMSAT Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan Institute
of Engineering & Applied Sciences (Nilore), National Institute
of Historical & Cultural Research, National University
of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Preston University, Federal
Govt. Margala College for Women, Federal Govt. College for
Men, Islamabad College for Girls, Federal Govt. College for
Women, Federal Govt. College, Islamabad Model College for
Boys, OPF Girls College, Pakistan Institute of Development
Economics (PIDE), National Institute of Science & Technical
AZAD JAMMU & KASHMIR: Post-graduate College for
Women (Bagh), Mohiuddin Islamic University (Nerian Sharif),
Govt. Post-graduate College (Mirpur), Azad Jammu & Kashmir
University (Muzaffarabad), Govt. Post-graduate College (Bagh),
Govt. Girls Degree College (Kotli).
GILGIT: Federal Govt. Post-graduate College, Degree
College for WomenSWABI: Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering
Sciences & Technology (Topi).
KOHAT: Government College (Darra Adam Khel).
PARACHINAR: Govt. College, Govt. Girls College.
JAMRUD: Govt. College of Education for Elementary
LAHORE: University of the Punjab, lahore University
of Management Sciences (LUMS), Fatima Jinnah Medical College,
King Edward Medical College, Govt. APWA College, M.A.O. College,
Islamia College, College of Business Administration &
Engineering Technology, Centre of Excellence in Molecular
RAWALPINDI: Fatima Jinnah Women's University, University
of Arid Agriculture, National University of Science &
Technology (NUST), Govt. College for Women, Federal Govt.
Sir Syed College, Govt. College, Govt. Post-graduate College.
MULTAN: Bahauddin Zakariya University.
SARGODA: Govt. College.
FAISALABAD: University of Agriculture.
TAXILA: University of Engineering & Technology.
|THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER
PESHAWAR: University of Peshawar, CECOS University,
City University of Information Technology, Eduardes College,
NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar Engineering University,
Govt. Frontier College, Hazara University, College of Home
Economics, Jinnah College, Islamia College, Pashto Academy,
JCW, LIMS, Govt. College, Islamia Collegiate School.
ABBOTTABAD: Govt. Post-graduate College (Kakul), Pakistan
Military Academy (Kakul), Burn Hall College for Boys.
DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Gomal University.
MARDAN: Govt. Post-graduate College.
(Rupees in billions)
Five Year Plans
Total development outlay
Development outlay for education
Education as %age of total development
Development outlay for higher education
Higher education as %age of total development
Higher Education as %age of education
*Sources: Obtained from the Five Year Plans
PAST EDUCATION POLICIES
Pakistan Education Conference, 1947
Convened between the 27th November and 1st December 1947for the
purpose of assisting the Education Division in determining the future
educational policy and programmeme of action, the Conference was
energised by the Quaid-e-Azam's message which called for scientific
and technical education in order to build the future economic life
of the country, and to instil in the people the highest sense of
honour, integrity, responsibility and selfless service to the nation.
The Conference recommended the following:
Aptitude based selection and admission of students.
Initiation of mass literacy programmes.
Free and compulsory primary education for a period of five years.
Commission on National Education, 1959
The Commission was appointed by a resolution adopted by the Government
of Pakistan on the 30th of December 1959, with the mandate of evolving
a national system of education which would reflect the spiritual,
moral, and cultural values of independent Pakistan, and enable the
system to meet the growing needs of the nation in the fields of
agricultural, scientific and technological development.
The Commission recognised that civilised societies have for many
centuries looked to their institutions of higher learning for the
training of leaders in government and the professions. It emphasised
that higher education must be concerned with the formation and development
of character along with the acquisition of knowledge.
Celebrated for its exhaustive analysis and recommendations, the
'Shareef Report' as it came to be popularly known was not supported
sufficiently by funds and political will.
Its following highlights warrant recollection:
Recognition of Higher Education as a distinct stage, and the separation
and transfer of intermediate classes from the jurisdiction of universities
to the Boards of Secondary Education.
Increase in the duration of the course of study for Bachelor's Degree
in Arts and Science from the prevailing two to three years.
Simplification and strengthening of administrative and academic
functions through a revision of the University Acts.
Establishment of the University Grants Commission to develop higher
education and co-ordinate university and college programmes.
Prohibition of students to participate in politics, or serve the
interests of groups outside the academic community.
Development of community service programmes by each university on
the basis of an intensive survey of the community and its needs.
Definition and enforcement of strict rules governing the affiliation
Four years minimum duration of degree courses in all engineering
Institution of postgraduate courses in engineering colleges.
Five years duration of courses for award of degree in agriculture.
Minimum duration of two years thereafter for Master degree, and
a further minimum two years duration for PhD.
High priority to agricultural research, and the establishment of
the Council of Agricultural Research.
Establishment of a full fledged agriculture university in each province.
Extension of the post-graduate LLB course from two to three years.
An allocation of only Rs.1323 million was made in the corresponding
Second Five Year Plan. Its following recommendations were however
Curricula for primary and secondary education were revised,
and new syllabi were introduced in 1961.
Islamic studies and religious education were made compulsory subjects
for classes 1 to 8, and optional subjects in classes 9 and 10.
Greater emphasis was laid on technical education, and short term
evening classes were started in Polytechnics and other technical
A number of engineering colleges were established in the country,
and two engineering colleges were raised to the status of universities.
Intermediate education was separated from universities, and Boards
of Intermediate and Secondary Education were established.
New Education Policy, 1970
This policy was announced on the 28th of November 1969, the same
day that the then President of Pakistan announced the dissolution
of the One Unit in West Pakistan.
The Policy regarded educational development as a dynamic and continuous
process, which implied an evolutionary exercise and periodic appraisals
of policy and programmes on the part of the state, the community,
and all others concerned with it.
It was a forward looking and well-intentioned policy which was allocated
a sum of Rs. 892 crores (Rs. 8920 million) in the Fourth Five Year
Plan period. Unfortunately it suffered a premature demise as a consequence
of political disturbances and change of government. Its salient
features were as follows:
Great emphasis on universal enrolment up to class 5.
Decentralisation of educational institutions to allow greater
Secondary and tertiary education institutions to have their own
governing/advisory bodies with representation from government,
parents, teachers, and founders.
National Research Fellowships and National Professorships Schemes
to be financed by the central government.
Establishment of two National Institutes of Modern Languages.
Higher pay scales for faculty members tied to qualifications and
System of sabbatical leave for faculty members.
Education Policy, 1972
This policy made recommendations similar to the New Education Policy
What made it radical with far reaching consequences was its recommendation
for nationalisation of all privately managed institutions. The implementation
of the nationalisation programme put the national exchequer squarely
on the back foot, raising non-development expenditure six folds.
It contained the following recommendations specific to higher education:
Limit enrolment in arts to 5% per annum, and increase enrolment
in sciences at 10% per annum.
Establish new universities at Multan, Saidu Sharif, and Sukkur.
Convert Jamia Islamia Bahawalpur into a full fledged university.
Raise the Agricultural College Tandojam, NED Engineering College
Karachi, and Engineering College Jamshoro to the status of a university.
Add new faculties to the Agriculture University Faisalabad.
Add a medical College to the Baluchistan University.
Add under-graduate faculties to the University of Islamabad.
Develop a collaborative programme between PINSTECH and the University
Establish the University Grants Commission to act as a buffer
between Government bureaucracy and university administration.
Establish Area Study Centres for research in general universities.
The achievements of this policy included:
Raising the total expenditure on education from Rs. 70 crores
(Rs. 700 million) in 1971-72 to Rs. 120 crores (Rs. 1200 million)
Nationalisation of privately managed institutions.
Expansion of enrolments at all levels without achieving the goals
set for universal basic education, shift towards agro-technical
studies, and ideological orientation.
Six new universities were established, raising the number from
six to twelve.
Campus colleges of engineering at Nawabshah and Taxila were established.
Enrolment in universities increased by 56%.
National Education Policy, 1979
Presented in February 1979, the stated aim of this policy was the
harmonisation of education with the concepts of Islam and the ideology
The major change introduced through this policy was the use of
the national language as the medium of instruction with a view to
strengthening the ideological foundations of the nation, and to
foster unity of thought, brotherhood and sense of patriotism.
Its other recommendations were as follows:
No new universities would be established for the next five years
except for women's universities.
A national testing system for admission to higher education would
be developed and launched.
Pre-service and in-service teachers training programmes would
be organise by the National Academy of Higher Education at the
University teachers would be allowed to render consultative services
to other organisations and agencies.
On-the-job training would be necessary for engineering and agriculture
The financial implications of this policy were estimated at Rs:28,898
million within the context of the 5th Five Year Plan (1978-83).
In addition a sum of Rs:256 million would be required to give education
the desired ideological direction.
The following milestones were achieved by this policy:
The medium of instruction was switched over to Urdu in government
Private schools were allowed to have English as the medium of
instruction. This led to the operation of two different systems
of education within the country, one for those who could afford
private education, and one for the rest of the nation. This two
tier system contributed to a widening socio-economic inequity
with the consequent feeling of injustice and resentment.
The policy of nationalisation was reversed.
The private sector was encouraged to open schools.
The funding of universities was made through the Federal government.
National Education Policy, 1992
This policy was initiated in December 1992 with the objective of
restructuring the existing educational system on modern lines, and
to bring a social change as dictated by the teachings of Islam.
It envisaged a qualitative shift for higher education from supply
to demand oriented study programmes, and placed a heavy premium
upon Research, Community Participation, and Student Discipline.
Unfortunately, this policy too fell victim to the vagaries of political
expediency and instability. It started out realistically enough
by recognising the need to create an operational framework which
would improve quality by ensuring effective translation of policy
principles into concrete action at the level of educational institutions.
It was prepared for a period of ten years (1992-2002), and like
its predecessors aimed at universal primary education. Some of the
highlights unique to this policy are as under:
Professional associations in various disciplines shall be encouraged
and given substantial financial support for holding professional
conferences and publication of research journals.
Competitive grants shall be provided to research institutions
doing high quality basic and applied research.
The research fund placed by the government at the disposal of
the National Scientific Research and Development Board (NSRDB)
shall be gainfully used for promoting
research related to economic development of the country. For this
purpose a higher
education research policy will be formulated.
An Information Retrieval System will be set up at the UGC for
facilitating the flow of information to researchers.
Teachers shall be subjected to a strict regimen of accountability
through performance evaluation, on the basis of which rewards
and punishments will be awarded by review boards established for
Degree level education will be restructured and diversified by
introducing such courses in a three years Honour's degree programme
which may enhance employability of the students.
A National Council Of Academic Awards and Accreditation may be
established to regulate the academic affairs of such institutions
in the private and public sectors which are given degree awarding
Special programmes to promote the entrepreneurial role of the
university through enhanced industry-academia interaction should
National Awards will be instituted for creative research in social
A Dean of Students Affairs will be appointed in each educational
campus for promoting and regulating the co-curricular activities
of students. He will also act as an Ombudsman to deal with the
complaints of the students.
Placement services will be established on each campus for providing
information and guidance related to job opportunities and career
A campus security force will be established at each campus.
Teachers will be vested with powers to deal with acts of hooliganism,
and impose penalties on culprits, without recourse to the discipline
Such student clubs will be encouraged which could enhance academic
excellence, sharpen intellectual activities and promote creativity.
Parents Bodies and Alumni Associations will be organised on each
campus for seeking periodical advice about maintaining discipline
on the campus.
The Vice Chancellor will be vested with full authority to expel
a student if he is not satisfied with his conduct and behavior.
No appeal will lie against the decision of the Vice Chancellor.
The rule of 80% attendance of classes will be strictly enforced.
Interaction between the university and community will be encouraged
to identify common problems and seek assistance from the academic
community for solutions.
College and university students will be assigned, individually
or in groups, to community service.
The restriction of No Objection Certificate will be lifted for
the participation of teachers in international conferences.
National Education Policy, 1998-2010
Announced in March 1998, the policy acknowledged that there was
an unprecedented demand for higher education, as well as the fact
that higher education in Pakistan was beset with problems of a most
pressing nature. These problems were identified as limited access
to higher education, and a tilt towards arts education, low investment,
politicisation and polarisation of the faculty and student body,
outdated curricula and system of assessment, lack of merit, low
quality of students and education, inadequate student support services
and deficient physical infrastructure, unresponsiveness, inefficiency,
and mal-administration; altogether a very strong indictment of the
Four general policy objectives were defined. These were: a) to
achieve universal primary education, b) diversify, with a view to
transforming the system from supply oriented to demand oriented,
c) prepare students for the pursuit of professional and specialised
education, d) achieve comparability with international standards
by upgrading the teaching, learning and research processes.
The structural changes identified as being necessary to achieve
the policy objectives were: a) private provision of higher education,
b) autonomy to increasing number of institutions, c) decentralisation
of higher education, d) amendments in the acts of the Universities
and the UGC, e) development of an efficient system of cost effectiveness
and responsiveness, f) public accountability, g) liaison with industry,
and h) a system of accreditation for quality control.
The functional changes required include a) faculty development,
b) revision of curricula, c) academic audit, d) corruption free
system of examination, e) selectivity of higher education, and,
f) diversity of higher education institutions.
The policy picked up the three years bachelor degree programme
recommendation of the 1959 Shareef Commission report, but skirted
the issue due to high financial costs and possible political repercussions.
The policy recommendations are listed as under:
Allocation to universities to be non-lapsable.
Funding of education to be raised from 2.2% to 4% of GNP.
Access to higher education to be expanded by at least 5% of the
relevant age group.
Introduction of 3 years bachelor (honours) degree, with honours
students given preference in university admission and government
Provision of special funds for research.
Strengthening of laboratories and libraries.
Establishment of foreign linkages, and linkages with industry.
Up-gradation of good departments to Advanced Centres.
Modernisation of curricula.
Faculty development and incentives to teachers.
Introduction of two track system for appointment of university
Internal and external academic audit of universities.
Revision of universities act.
Introduction of zero based budgeting in universities.
Universities to generate their own funds.
Provision of guidance and counselling and career development services
Student support services to be enhanced.
Scholarships to be increased.
National testing service to be established.
Exemption from tax on import of educational equipment.
All quotas to be abolished.
The policy lays down a detailed implementation strategy for carrying
out the recommendations.
Education Sector Reforms, Strategic Plan 2001-2004
The constitution of the Education Advisory Board by the present
government, and the formulation of the 'Education Sector Reforms:
Strategic Plan 2001-2004' points in the direction of a critical
continuity in policy. As per the policy recommendations, the Liaquat
University of Medical and Health Science has been established in
Hyderabad, and a liberal policy in respect of private and public
sectors to enhance access to higher education is being pursued.
Also, since the policy announcement, 16 universities and degree
awarding institutions have been established.
The reform package realises that Pakistan needs a vibrant higher
education sector for socio-economic development and technological
advancement, and lists on the following as top development priorities:
Improve the accessibility and enlarge the enrolment.
Improve the quality of higher education.
Major shift of emphasis to science and technology.
The document has identified that inadequate admission standards,
less duration of our general bachelor degree, lack of resources,
shortage of qualified teachers, poor textbooks, dilapidated facilities,
and an unreliable evaluation mechanism have eroded the quality of
The recommendations propose the introduction of a one year Honour
course for the general bachelor degree, the raising of funding for
higher education from the present 0.39% of GNP to 2% of GNP by the
year 2010, the creation of endowment funds for research in universities,
an academy for university teachers, a revised service structure
for university teachers, strengthening of libraries and laboratories,
and linkage with the world of work.
In order to effect the shift to science and technology, the enrolment
ratio of arts to science is to be improved from the present 70:30
to 50:50, with the introduction of science subjects in colleges
and provision of physical infrastructure along with the introduction
of new emerging disciplines.
The cost of implementing these recommendations has been estimated
at Rs:10.582 billion.
'Higher Education And Scientific Research For Development In
(World Bank 1990)
In February 1990 the World Bank published an exhaustive study titled
'Higher Education And Scientific Research For Development In Pakistan',
calling for a complete overhaul of systems and attitudes, and suggesting
that transformation of higher education and research in Pakistan
to become a significant contributor to development will require
a long term, multifaceted, and carefully sequenced effort. The reform
package had been linked to two indispensable preconditions: (a)
commitment from Pakistan's political and administrative leadership
to correcting the institutional efficiency and service delivery
weaknesses (educational process) of the sector, and (b) the creation
of a policy environment conducive to change in higher education
The Report recommended the following strategy for improvement and
Strengthening and adaptation of existing institutions rather
than creating new ones, unless their retention will inhibit reforms
or perpetuate bad practice.
Decentralisation of responsibility and accountability.
Careful preparation and phased implementation, planning, and prioritisation
of higher education and research by an apex body taking into consideration
the issues of institutional framework, quality control and assurance,
resourcing, efficiency, financial and academic autonomy, private
sector provision, incentives for improved performance.
Revitalising the policy making function for higher education and
Creation of an overall operational framework which stimulates
Increase in the overall resources available to the sector.
Ensure the efficient use of all available resources.
Improve the development and delivery of services at the institutional
The Report was regarded by many as an oversimplified renunciation
of the positive category of events prevailing in our higher education.
The implementation of the Report required a strong commitment of
the politicians and bureaucracy, and massive funding outlay for
the reform strategy, both of which were not available. Neith er
was the Government support to execute the major institutional transformation
that the Report required.(9)
Key Principles of Financial Management
Three key principles should guide a university's management of
its financial resources. First, recurrent revenues must cover recurrent
costs; second, that this must be true for all comprising units of
the institution (e.g. departments, libraries, examinations, commercial
activities); and third, that information about revenues and expenditures
are public property and should be placed in the public domain. These
may appear to be simple (even simplistic) and fairly uncontroversial
propositions, but their implications are far from simple.
For purposes of this discussion, costs as well as revenues can
be divided into two categories: core and ancillary. The purpose
of this distinction is to separate essential activities from auxiliary
ones, permanent activities from those that might take place occasionally,
and predictable activities from exigencies. Given this, the fundamental
principle of financial discipline should be the same as in most
not-for-profit organizations, namely that core costs should be funded
exclusively from (predictable) recurrent revenues. Recurrent expenditures
are the direct and indirect costs associated with normal teaching
functions of a university. The costs associated with the normal
teaching functions include faculty salaries and benefits, salaries
and benefits of non-teaching staff (administration, library, security,
lab technicians, buildings and grounds maintenance, student counselling,
teacher training, alumni and donor relations, and the like), maintenance
and operation of infrastructure (rent, utilities, repair, replacement
of classrooms, offices, dorms, sports facilities), communications
equipment and recurrent costs, library equipment and publications,
teaching materials, and laboratory materials.
These should be distinguished from developmental or ancillary activities,
which may cover short term or ad hoc initiatives as well as expansion
or revamping of the structure, funds for new buildings, new programs,
new commercial ventures, and new equipment.
Recurrent revenue sources are mainly tuition, earnings from endowments,
and predictable government grants. Other sources, including alumni
contributions, funding by philanthropic foundations or technical
assistance sources, ad hoc government grants, and surpluses and
overheads from commercial activities (including consultancies by
faculty members, rental of real estate, summer programs, rental
of equipment or conference facilities, and others), should be characterized
as non-recurrent in nature, and therefore as developmental or ad
hoc revenues. Further details on each of these items are provided
below. In the ideal case, these additional sources of revenue, which
are unpredictable and ad hoc in nature, should not be used to fund
recurring activities. Of course, it is possible that some of these
might generate predictable incomes. Still, the principle ought to
be that the surpluses, if any should be ploughed into an endowment
fund, and thus the inherently unpredictable form of revenues be
converted explicitly into a predictable form.
If this principle is followed, it has implications for a number
of related issues. First, it implies a more stringent and transparent
financial management. Each element within the university structure
should operate as a separate cost centre, with clearly defined budgets
and reliably reported activities. Ideally, all the revenues and
expenditures of the university should be placed on the web in order
that the exercise will be useful in other ways as well. It will
help the university communicate to its students the true costs of
a university education, provided it forms the basis of the (nominal)
tuition fees to be charged to them. It will also provide the basis
of information to the government and other donors in order to generate
predictable revenue streams. Finally, it will permit the comparison
of different universities and colleges by estimating their unit
operating costs, thus indirectly placing them in a financial discipline
grid. The second point in the imposition of financial discipline
is to ensure that not only the entire university, but also each
and every cost centre is financially solvent. This means that the
aggregate budget needs to be allocated to every cost centre and
fiscal discipline introduced at that level.
Copy of the letter from the Chief Executive's Secretariat regarding
Additional assignments to the Task Force
Copy of the Minutes of the Task Force meeting with the President
of Pakistan, January 11, 2002
The Boston Group is an informal think tank of Pakistanis abroad,
comprising scholars, educationists, researchers, professionals and
activists interested in contributing to policy discussions on Pakistan's
development, particularly improvement of higher education. The following
contributed to the report: Dr. Khurram Khan Afridi, Dr. Anila Asghar,
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Irfan Ullah Chaudhary, Duriya Farooqui, Prof.
Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Dr. Salal Humair, Prof. Adil Najam, Farhan Rana,
Hasan Usmani and Bilal Zuberi. The following participated in discussion
and analysis that strengthened the report: Roohi Abdullah, Barry
Hoffman, Masood Ahmed Khan, Dr. Malik M.A. Khan, Bilal Musharraf,
Shahid Ahmed Khan, Dr. Musadik Malik, Prof. Atif Mian, Prof. Khalid
Saeed, Mahjabeen Quadri, Rizwan Tufail, Dr. Naheed Usmani, and Shundana
Higher Education in Developing Countries:Peril and Promise; Report
of the World Bank-UNESCO Task Force On Higher Education and Society;
World Bank Publication, 2000; page 92.
Universities of Pakistan; Dr. Muhammad Latif Virk; University Grants
Commission publication; 1998, Page .9.
Problems of Higher Education; paper prepared by Capt. U.A.G. Isani
and Dr. Latif Virk for the Task Force on Improvement of Higher Education
in Pakistan, 2001.
Report of the Commission on National Education, 1959, P. 340 - 341.
The Boston Group Report on Higher Education in Pakistan: Towards
a Reform Agenda.
Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah in his message to the All Pakistan
Education Conference in Karachi on the 27th of November 1947.
Report of the Commission on National Education, Ministry of Education,
Government of Pakistan, 1959, P8 and 9.
A Review of the World Bank Report on Higher Education and Scientific
Research for Development in Pakistan by Dr. Mohammad Latif Virk