Overview

Established under the mandate of 18th Constitutional Amendment, Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) aims to improve the quality of higher education in Punjab. Instead of relying on the quantity of work, the central focus of PHEC is on enhancing the quality of education in existing Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of Punjab. It is determined to provide an easy, affordable and equitable access to the higher education for the people of Punjab. Since its inception (January 2015) the PHEC aims to build a prosperous Punjab by equipping students of Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with adequate facilities and by incubating a market-oriented and skilled workforce through proposed skill-development projects. This initiative would pave the path for students to excel within their respective areas of profession.

PHEC is resolute in its commitment to bridge the divide in public and private higher education institutions by establishing educational benchmarks compatible with the imperatives of modern-day knowledge economy and developing a culture of rigorous pursuance thereof. In this regard, it has initiated several faculty development programs through which foreign scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships have been awarded to the deserving and competent faculty members of public sector HEIs in Punjab. The PHEC firmly believes and endeavours to strengthen existing assets and introduce new initiatives to bring higher education at par with modern needs. Increasing equitable access is a top priority of PHEC along with bringing improvement in academic standards, emphasizing focus on research relevant to the socio-economic needs of the province and introducing mandatory faculty development programs to improve teaching standards. The PHEC also intends to contribute towards the province’s economic agenda by creating a capable and employable workforce through the introduction of structural and technical skills programs in the academia.

Background

After the ratification of 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan and the devolution of the subject of higher education to the provinces, the Chief Minister proclaimed the establishment of the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) in February 2013. It was included in the Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2014-17. Following this proposed plan, a five member Steering Committee comprising Vice Chancellors from leading universities of the Punjab was constituted by the Chief Minister to put up recommendations for improving the standard, quality and provision of higher education in Punjab. After exhaustive deliberations, the Committee prepared “Future Road Map of Higher Education” in which it endorsed the establishment of a Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) as an autonomous body. The PHEC Ordinance was approved in October 2014 and the “Punjab Higher Education Commission Act 2014” was passed in January 2015. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin (SI) was appointed as its first Chairperson. PHEC became fully functional in the month of May 2015, and started working on formulating its 3-year strategic plan to bring higher education at par with modern needs.