A disaster in the making: HEC and Fake business-minded Institutions

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By now, almost everyone must have been affected by the “universities fiasco” in Pakistan, in one way or another. If you haven’t, then let me summarize the scenario for your convenience.

The higher education regulatory authority of Pakistan, generally known as HEC ( Higher Education Commission), allowed every Pakistani Citizen with heavy pockets to start his/her own university/Institution . This lax behavior of the HEC resulted in a frenzy in which many sub-standard institutions were established.The mushrooming of these so-called Universities has given a major blow to the Pakistani education system in the long run. The criminal negligence and lack of surveillance on part of HEC will prove a disastrous recipe for thousands of students of such institutions.

The major issue is definitely of the “dhaba” universities and institutions of Pakistan. Having done a close examination of such institutions, I have found some extremely surprising facts. Most of such institutions are set up in tiny rented apartments. If you take a peek inside, you would find hordes of students packed inside tiny rooms, supposedly getting world class education. The faculty and laboratory facilities are another sad story to narrate. The circumstances under which such institutions have been set up are marred in controversy.

The so-called “standard” universities (privately run) being ranked highly by the HEC are not much different. I know many of my friends, who rejoiced over getting admission in such universities, are now repenting their decisions. HEC allowed these universities to introduce many new programs of engineering while they didn’t have any laboratory and faculty to meet the relevant criteria. Although they have built up the labs and developed the faculty gradually but the early batches missed the oh-so-necessary hands on training. The ever increasing academic charges also add to the miseries of the students. The examination and evaluation system is also flawed, thus forcing many brilliant students out of the institution.

As far as the “Sarkari” universities are concerned, the lesser said the better.

Coming back to the issue of “phony” universities, HEC published a list of institutions last year, which it said will be closed down by the end of 2006, if they don’t improve their standards. The list of such institutes ran into hundreds and included many well-advertised ones. One wonders, was the HEC in deep slumber before, as it had not taken any rigid action in the beginning. The most amazing fact is that we’re almost in the mid of 2007 but many of the black listed institutes are still operational. People have found it an easy business to start a so-called university and earn millions by robbing students of their dreams and ambitions. They are also so well placed that no one can challenge their tyranny.

The major fear in my mind is that what will happen to the thousands of young students graduating from such universities. No one will prefer to hire students from institutions of dubious quality. They would be doing petty jobs after investing millions of rupees and most importantly the precious time in such institutions. Surely, HEC had published a list of such “fake” institutions in some newspapers but thousands have put in the hard earned money of their parents and their own future in such institutes. HEC is planning to close down these institutes, but where will these students go? That’s a question that’s really difficult to answer.

Facebook comments:


  • Actually the issue of fake universities and academic institutions goes back with the history of Pakistan. I know of several institutes during my student life that popped up with sole purpose of issuing certificates and degrees to people so that they can export themselves as IT professionals. This was all done on the name of IT Education, Training and blah blah blah. I have seen Rice & Flour Mill owners, Landlords and anybody with few million rupees in pocket coming up with a “Foreign-affiliated” university, training center and what not.

    HEC is just a facade and things are going on like old times.

  • Yup I do agree with your comments. Education has become the most profitable business here in Pakistan.

  • India is progressing rapidly in the field of science and technology by setting up hundreds of universities and expanding a huge network of IIT in the country while exporting humane resource to Europe and America in the form of scientists and engineers which are now influencing the policies of these countries. Whereas, Pakistan is still exporting illiterate humane resource to these countries. Pakistanis are unable to defend country abroad simply because it is a matter of competition between educated indians and illetrate pakistani labour force. Unfortunately, A few months ago, landlords like “ishaq khakwani”, “Faryal Talpur”, “Azra Fazal Pechohu” were barking over a person who worked marvellously for higher education and provided basic R&D facilities in universities in order to develop a technological base of country. Mr. Atta will be remembered for long time in the history of this unfortunate nation for his tangible achievements in the field of higher education. He was one who served HEC for 8 years without getting any salary (Reference: See Q&As of 7th and 8th session 2008 of National Assembly). Shame on you, Mr Khakwani and other accompanying landlords. You have an evil mentality. It is unfortunate for the nation that illiterate landlords are now going to decide the future of higher education in Pakistan. Personally, I am not astonished over this decision as it is a direct outcome of the propaganda staged against HEC a few months ago. Off-course, politics of these landlords will flourish only if the people remain illiterate.

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