“Outstanding contribution of the private sector to higher education”

Islamabad: Prime Minister’s Task Force for Science and Technology Chairman Prof. Ata-ur-Rahman said high-rise buildings in universities don’t matter but better results are obtained only with intelligent minds and highly qualified teachers. The contribution of the private sector must be appreciated in the higher education sector.

He was addressing a ceremony organized by the Association of Private Sector Universities of Pakistan (APSUP) at the club in Islamabad. The event was attended by the Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission, Dr Shaista Sohail, the President of APSUP, Prof. Dr. Ch. Abdul Rehman and members of the Executive Committee of the Central and Regional Sections of APSUP.

“The provision of equal funds to private and public universities would be assured. The country suffers from the separation of universities from the public and private sectors. The role of private sector universities in the development of the country is remarkable, ”he added.

Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman stressed the need for an open distance learning (ODL) system and said that ODL programs for bachelors and masters will be allowed at all universities.

Dr Atta also presented the ways, means and strategies to promote a technology-driven economy with increased allocations to higher education, development of technical skills of human resources, promotion of digitization, promotion of education and skills in AI (artificial intelligence).

He also briefed on recent developments in Pakistan’s higher education sector, including national emergency in education, dual degree policy, distance education policy, university-interaction policy industry and the Rs 13 billion HEC scholarship program. He suggested to HEC to create a unit within its secretariat to solve students’ problems in order to facilitate them.

“There has been a 60% increase in the development budget of the Ministry of Science and Technology as a result of our knowledge economy working group projects.” He said that we have established some groups of our Pakistani friends in the best universities in the world in UK and with their cooperation we are working on some projects to raise the quality and standard of education in Pakistan. To a question, Dr Atta assured that he would write a letter to senior officials of the State Bank of Pakistan to facilitate private sector university students in obtaining soft loans for higher education. HEC’s job is to facilitate universities while respecting their autonomy and their charters in accordance with its law.

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