PM urged to address autonomy issues in higher education

By Staff Reporter | Pakistan Observer Jul 8, 2023

The Association of Private Sector Universities of Pakistan (APSUP) has penned a letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan that expressed deep concerns over the recently proposed amendments to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Ordinance 2002.

APSUP, representing private-sector universities, highlights potential threats to the autonomy of higher education institutions and urges the Prime Minister to address these issues promptly.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Sharif, APSUP Chairman, Prof. Dr. Chaudhry Abdul Rehman, emphasized the need to safeguard the autonomy and independence of universities for the advancement of academic excellence, research, and innovation in Pakistan.

The amendments, as currently formulated, raise several critical concerns that could have far-reaching consequences for the quality and growth of higher education. One of the key concerns raised by APSUP is the potential undermining of the HECs autonomy. The insertion of a new clause in Section 2, defining the “Division concerned,” has raised questions regarding the institutions independence and the possibility of external control and influence. APSUP further highlights the potential ramifications of the amendments to the 18th Constitutional Amendment. The changes proposed in Section 4, designating the HEC as the sole standard-setting and regulatory authority, could centralize power within the HEC.

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