Minister wants HEC's input to grant charter to new varsities.

ISLAMABAD -- Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain on Tuesday opposed the tradition of tabling bills in parliament to get charters of new private universities without getting input of Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Opposing a bill, which was moved by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) dissident MNA Dr Mohammad Afzal Khan Dhandla to get charter for a private university namely Ivory, the education minister said instead of encouraging mushroom growth of educational institutions, focus should be on bringing improvement in quality of education.

The minister lamented poor education standards in the country, saying despite spending more than Rs1,000 billion, none of Pakistani university is amongst the top 100 universities of the world.

He said no charter should be granted without HEC's approval to avoid future complications including attestation of degrees.

The minister said that over the period of time, the universities saw mushroom growth and now quality of education has become main issue. He said mushroom growth of private medical colleges had also eroded the quality of medical education.

He said due to substandard education, lawyers also undergo screening tests.

The minister said that not only at federal level, provincial levels too charters are being granted for universities without fulfilling criteria.

He said he came to know that around 11 universities got approval from the Punjab Assembly recently and the 'top man' allegedly got bribe to grant charter.

The minister said that due to substandard education many PhD holders could not get jobs and the government had to pay them Rs100,000 (per month under interim placement of fresh PhDs for a period of one year).

Similarly, the minister said credibility of Pakistani technical education institutes was also not appreciable, which could be gauged from the fact that when Pakistani diploma holders reach Saudi Arabia, they have to pass their test.


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