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10th meeting of Saarc countries’ UGCs – Govt accords top priority to education: Minister

10th meeting of Saarc countries’ UGCs - Govt accords top priority to education Minister

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD- The Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Baleegh-ur-Rehman, has said that the present government was according top priority to quality education.

Speaking at the 10th meeting of the Committee of the Heads of University Grants Commissions of Saarc countries, he appreciated Higher Education Commission (HEC) for hosting the event in Pakistan.

Underlying the need for enhancing cooperation among Saarc countries for development of higher education, the minister remarked:  “HEC has brought about immense development in country’s higher education sector during the last decade.”

Highlighting the importance of collaborative research among academics and researchers of the Saarc states, he said: “Since all of us share many common interests, there is a big room for collaborative research in many areas, so we need to come up with indigenous solutions to our problems.”

Briefing the minister about proceedings of the meeting, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that Pakistan was honoured to chair the committee. He further said that all the participants gave useful suggestions on how to make the forum more effective for development of higher education in all member-states of Saarc.

The meeting, he added, has decided that HEC will prepare a draft agreement on cooperation in higher education for circulation among the member-states through the Saarc Secretariat by the end of October 2015. It was further recommended that it should be finalized and signed during

the 19th Saarc summit in Pakistan. The agreement would focus on the integrated regional approach in spearheading the common objective of socio-economic and leadership development through promoting higher education.

Moreover, it was agreed that each member state will develop their National Qualification Framework and align this with assessment and accreditation mechanism to ensure access to quality education. It was also recommended that a Saarc Quality Assurance Network should be established for increasing quality of education across the board in Saarc countries.

Furthermore, the H EC, Pakistan, will develop a standard document on credit hours and assessment mechanism by Dec 2015 and circulate it through Saarc Secretariat for comments.

Besides, HEC has also planned on designing a commonly shared website of the Committee of the Heads of University Grants Commissions, where all links which are relevant to higher education from the member- states will be available for proper dissemination of information.

July 2, 2015

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