Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun has said the government planned to take immediate steps to identify the challenges and paucities faced by the higher education sector of Punjab and implement relevant reforms.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said that the initial findings had revealed “certain problems within the higher education sector of the province, including accessibility, quality education, good governance and a standardised policy”.
Humayun said the Punjab Higher Education Department would be fully prepared by mid-November and would be drafting a strategic plan that would encompass short-term, long-term and medium-term commitments. He said this department had been administered through infrequent policies in the past and hence no well-planned policy document was available to direct the course of future implementations. He added that the strategy would be administered under the Prime Minister’s 100-day plan and would aim at transforming and revolutionising the provincial educational structure.
The minister said, “We have initiated discussions and deliberations with key stakeholders and are documenting an all-encompassing educational policy plan for the province. We have planned to establish world-class universities in each division of the province and are also planning to upgrade the existing universities. We have planned to establish three new universities within the next five years in the southern, northern and central parts of the province.”
Humayun said higher education institutes or colleges would be affiliated with the universities within their respective division that will allow them to keep a better check over these institutes. He said the government planned to establish three model colleges that would serve as a gold standard for other affiliated colleges. “We are planning to initiate partnerships and linkages with different world-class universities and researchers in order to meet international standards in relation to faculty development and high-class research endeavours. For this, we are planning to establish a research training centre and higher education management in Lahore.”
The higher education minister said the government had also planned to initiate a pilot project that would allow them to organise assessments and evaluation of colleges and universities within the province, keeping in mind international standards and criterions utilized for this purpose.