Governor signs PHEC Act, Gujrat University former VC appointed first chairman of PHEC
Eminent educationist and former vice chancellor of University of Gujrat Professor Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin has been appointed as the first chairperson of Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC).
The commission will be a supportive and facilitative body for strengthening higher education in the province and was set up after the president signed the PHEC bill.
In order to strengthen and meeting the growing needs of higher education sector in Punjab, the provincial government promulgated the PHEC ordinance on October 2, 2014 to come up with PHEC. The ordinance was presented at the Punjab Assembly and handed over to the Education Standing Committee for further deliberations. The committee suggested certain amendments in the bill including inclusion of college education, important pillar of tertiary education under the preview of PHEC and nomination of representatives of colleges in PHEC board.
The Punjab Assembly passed the PHEC bill on December 29, 2014.
According to the act, the chairperson of PHEC shall be the chief executive officer of the commission and will be responsible for all administrative, financial and academic functions of the commission.
Per the prescribed 26 functions, the commission has been authorised to formulate guidelines under which public and private institutions may be opened and operated in the province, monitor and evaluate the performance of the institutions, undertake various faculty development programs and prepare plans for development of the higher education sector and take measures including allocation of funds for award of fellowships, scholarships, travel and research grants etcetera.
The establishment of PHEC was announced by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in February 2013 and it was included in Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2014-2017. After deliberations, a detailed road map for strengthening the higher education set up in the province was prepared by a five members Steering Committee notified by the CM.
In order to address problems in the higher education sector of the province in a more effective and efficient way, the participants of a three-day national conference titled “Future Road Map of Higher Education” held in March 2014 at Government College University Lahore also recommended the establishment of the provincial HEC as an autonomous body under the supervision of Punjab CM.