REFORMS IN EDUCATION BY HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION IN PAKISTAN: AN OVERVIEW
Higher Education Commission (HEC) was established in September 2002, transforming old University Grants Commission (UGC). The main purpose of setting up the commission has been stated as to improve the system of higher education in general and to “facilitate the development of the universities of Pakistan to be world class centers of education, research and development” in particular. The commission, after its establishment has introduced different educational policies and various reforms for this purpose. The most important of these reforms is the programme of faculty development by awarding thousands of scholarships for producing Ph.Ds both within the country and from abroad, promotion of a research culture in the institutions of higher learning, establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) and a Digital Library programme etc. However, these educational reforms, still in the early phase of their implementation, have been criticized and dubbed as too ambitious, too revolutionary rather than evolutionary, un-realistic and un-attainable which may prove to be disastrous instead of being fruitful. The paper is an attempt of analyzing HEC educational reforms in the light of the study of related and relevant literature and interviews conducted with the faculty members both in public and in private sector. The paper also suggests some recommendations for smooth implementation of the reforms and programmes of HEC.