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National

January 12, 2018

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Academicians want say in HEC appointment

Academicians want say in HEC appointment

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) demands formation of a search committee headed by reputed academicians, instead of politicians and government officials, for appointment of new chairman of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and vice chancellors to ensure transparency and merit in the selection process.

Talking to a delegation of Youth Council of Pakistan headed by Waqar Ali, Central President FAPUASA Prof Dr. Kaleemullah Barech and President FAPUASA-Islamabad Dr. Shehzad Ashraf asked the federal government to ensure merit-based appointments to key positions, as previously non-transparent appointments in the education sector had adversely affected the progress of higher education in Pakistan.

This is the right time to rescue the higher education by at least appointing the higher education leadership, especially chairman HEC on merit, which is possible only if the appointment is free from political intervention, they added. Reacting to news related to the appointment of chairperson HEC, Dr Kaleemullah said the matter of appointment of HEC chief and role of search committee had already been challenged in the Islamabad and Lahore High Court.

In the light of various verdicts of Supreme Court, all the appointments in higher education sector, especially chairperson Higher Education Commission and vice chancellors, should be done through advertisement and open and transparent mechanism instead of granting extensions. There is dire need to create opportunities for dynamic personalities to lead the higher education sector both at national and provincial levels.They appealed to the prime minister to appoint eminent academician to head the search committee for appointment of chairman HEC through an open, transparent and competitive process.

They said while making appointments to such important posts, the candidates with controversial careers should be avoided and role, and composition of search committee would be vital to appoint new HEC chief in order to avoid controversies, litigation and a further destruction of higher education sector of Pakistan.

The search committee can play a vital role in selection of a competent and qualified chairman HEC, which should be formed irrespective of political interference, otherwise, the present scenario may persist neutralizing efforts to uplift the higher education. It was also decided to form a committee comprising reputed academicians, representatives of civil society organizations and experts on the higher education sector. The committee would monitor and review the process of key appointments in higher education sector, especially the HEC chairman and vice chancellors on a regular basis. The committee would prepare reports in this regard which would be shared with the stakeholders concerned, parliamentarians and the media.

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