The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan plans to set up an academy to impart benchmark training to academic and non-academic staff at universities, commission Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri has said.

During a meeting with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Jerry Bisson at the Commission Secretariat, Dr Banuri said the commission aimed at establishing a National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE). The HEC academy will provide trainings for newly-inducted and in-service faculty members and administrative staff working in universities across the country. Teh HEC Academy will also help discover potential academic leadership.

“We need to direct the higher education sector of this country towards excellence,” he added.

HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri in Discussion with USAID Mission Director Jerry Bisson

Dr Banuri appreciated the HEC and USAID’s long legacy of collaboration and shared his vision for transforming the higher education sector of Pakistan with Bisson.

The HEC chairman stressed the need for a holistic grooming of students, including their personality, adding that effective training sessions were needed to improve the leadership potential of the youth. “Pakistani youth are gifted with enormous capabilities and their potential needs to be unleashed for the country’s uplift,” he said.

The HEC chairman said the increase in government funding for higher education sector should be in proportion to the annual increase in enrolment in the sector, which currently stood at 10 percent.

Bisson and Banuri also discussed the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor during their meeting. The initiative aims to provide opportunities for 10,000 Pakistani students for doctoral studies in US universities as Government of Pakistan envisions enhancing enrolment in tertiary education up to 7.1 million by 2025.

This will facilitate the enhancement of Ph.D. faculty of HEI’s from current 27% to 40% in the year 2025. In the initial phase, HEC is focusing on sending 1,500 PhD scholars to the leading US universities, within the funds approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).

The USAID-funded Merit and Needs-based Scholarship and USAID Fulbright Scholarship were also taken up during the meeting.

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