The highly ambitious and ‘first-of-its-kind’ Higher Education Policy for Punjab has been delayed for six months. The awaited policy, whose launch was earlier expected in December, will now be finalized by June 2019.

A meeting in this regard was held on Tuesday at the Civil Secretariat, presided by Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz. The minister was provided a briefing about the progress of the policy, which was being prepared with the help of academics.

Speaking at the meeting, the minister said the new policy would be finalised within the next six months. He said a comprehensive policy was being made with the help of all stakeholders in the sector for formulating an overarching policy. He said it was unfortunate that no higher education policy had been introduced in Punjab in the past 70 years.

The minister said the policy would serve as a roadmap for the government for the next five years and would provide a general direction for the sector. Humayun said consultations were being held with all stakeholders.

The Punjab government had constituted an all-powerful committee and six working groups comprising of experts tasked with framing the policy. Initially, the committee and working groups started work on the policy from November 9 and were to give recommendations by November 19. The plan of the Punjab government was to send the final draft of the policy to the Chief Minister at the start of December.

Addressing a press conference earlier in the year, the minister had announced that the Punjab Higher Education Department would be prepared by mid-November and would be drafting a strategic plan that would encompass short-term, long-term and medium-term commitments.

During the press conference, he had said that the department had been administered through infrequent policies in the past, hence, no well-planned policy document was available to direct the course of future implementations.

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