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SAARC countries to enhance collaboration in higher education

SAARC countries to enhance collaboration in higher education

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD – Federal Education and Professional Training Minister Baleegh-ur-Rehman has recently stated that; the Government accords great importance to quality. He remarked that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has brought about immense development in the country’s higher education sector during the last decade.

He expressed these views while speaking at the closing ceremony of the two-day, 10th Meeting of the Committee of Heads of University Grants Commission (UGC). He appreciated HEC for hosting the event in Pakistan and underlined the need for enhancing cooperation among SAARC countries for development of higher education.

He underscored the importance of collaborative research among academics and researchers of the SAARC States. “Since all of us share many common interests, there is a big room for applied collaborative research in many areas, so we need to come up with indigenous solutions to our problems.”

Briefing the minister about proceedings of the two-day meeting, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC said that Pakistan was honored 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.

After thorough deliberations, the meeting 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 socioeconomic and leadership development through promoting higher education.

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 Higher Education Commission of Pakistan will develop a standard document on credit hours and assessment mechanism by December 2015 and circulate it through SAARC secretariat for comments.

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.

June 23, 2015

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