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Varsities urged to develop skills for CPEC projects

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/02-Mar-2017/varsities-urged-to-develop-skills-for-cpec-projects

March 02, 2017

Islamabad - The Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Mukhtar Ahmed asked educational institutions to prepare market-oriented skilled workforce by keeping in view the importance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Talking to APP, he urged the universities to explore new ways of research and develop skills for the CPEC project so that the youth could be deployed in the game changer corridor.  The HEC, he said, was making all-out efforts to upgrade the standard of higher education in the country, bringing it at par with international level.

He maintained that the HEC was constantly struggling to provide the country with highly qualified human resource.        The HEC had taken a number of initiatives to promote higher education, encourage research activities, increase access rate and improve quality of education, he revealed.

The number of PhDs had increased remarkably since the inception of HEC in 2002, he informed. He said the country still needed a great number of PhDs, due to the reason the HEC was strenuously working with the government to future needs.  “We have a shortfall of 30,000 PhD scholars currently,” he said and added presently the number of PhDs was around 11,000. He said the HEC was awarding indigenous and foreign scholarships in addition to its various other measures to facilitate faculty and students, adding that these steps also include foreign collaboration, joint research projects, technology transfer, and student exchange programmes.  He continued to say that apart from acquiring and imparting education, the character-building of youth is very imperative for the socio-economic growth of the country. The chairman said some institutions had poor quality as well as governance issues; however the HEC had a strong policy with regard to quality of education and governance in the education institutions.

He informed that the HEC recently closed about 80 MPhil and PhD programmes of different universities for not meeting the required criteria.

He revealed that the developed countries were spending huge funds on higher education and research. The government had also remarkably increased the budget of higher education sector in view of the role it was playing in development of a country, he said.

Dr Mukhtar said students needed to move towards market-oriented subjects. “We need to focus on market demand,” he underlined.  “People pursue degrees in various subjects without knowing the worth of their qualification and thus face unemployment,” he said.

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