Petition: Fight to Save the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan

Provided below is an official report about the need and importance of Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan. Please read this document, if you like, and then add your statements of support in the comments below. Please provide your name, city, and your comment in the comment box. We will collate all statements of support and then pass them on to people concerned in the Pakistani government.

If you would rather send us your support statement privately, please contact us at

We strongly believe that the institutional integrity of HEC needs to be maintained and protected at all costs.

Report in support of HEC: HEC and the 18th Amendment

(According to our records, more than 500 people have visited this entry in the last two days, which means we could have had 500 statements of support. Please do leave a comment in support of HEC when you visit this post.)

HCP Protest Against Dissolution of HEC:

Another Protest:




  37 comments for “Petition: Fight to Save the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan

  1. NH
    March 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I support the petition to maintain and protect the institutional integrity of the HEC. I believe we need the HEC to improve and sustain the higher education in Pakistan.

  2. March 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    As an academic I stand with HEC and hope that the government of Pakistan will support and develop this fine institution instead of dismantling it. In the global world that we live in, Pakistan needs and instituion like HEC to support our scholars, students, and universities in their efforts.

    Hamid Khan
    March 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Higher Education, as many -or most- would believe is, without a doubt, the catalyst and means for change within any nation -historic or modern. This is the facility that enables us, the ever-ignorant, to sophisticate our volition and to understand the world in ways that would otherwise be unimaginable. The more that is invested in Higher Education is still less as this is a gift, capacity and resource that commands investment, reverence and good will. I, as a student, professional and academic, would ask the Government of Pakistan to respect the functions of the Higher Education Commission and to help maintain, improve and enable our students, scholars, teachers and academics to seek knowledge, in the words of the Hadith, from the cradle [of their pursuits] to the grave.

    • fawzia afzal-khan
      March 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      I have been a beneficiary of HEC funding, as a Visiting Professor to Government College University’s MA English program. There, I worked on helping develop their MPhil program, and was very glad of this opportunity to share my expertise developed in the USA where I got my own PHd and where I have lived and taught for past two decades, with my Pakistani colleagues and students. It was a great way to “give back” and several students from that class are now on Fulbright scholarships in the US getting their Phds. I am certainly very grateful for having been given the chance to teach in Lahore through the funding provided by the HEC, and without which I could not have done it. Thanks to the exchange that developed wiht the then-Chair of the Department and myself, we have gone on to further collaborations, one of which is about to be published as a special issue on Pakistani English Literature for the journal, South Asian Review. The work that such opportunities yield will have favorable repercussions for decades to come.

    Mansoor Abbasi
    March 31, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Over the years the HEC has been doing a tremendous job to promote higher education in the country. It is unfortunate that the governmnet initially cut its budget, and now set to dismantle it. I strongly support the petition to protect the HEC, for the HEC has been doing its best to sustain higher education in Pakistan.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:57 am

    I support the petition to maintain and protect the institutional integrity of the HEC. I believe we need the HEC to improve and sustain the higher education in Pakistan.

    April 1, 2011 at 5:16 am

    In the absence of any aletrnate infrastructure with the province, Devolution of HEC would be a big blow to the research and regulation of universities in Pakistan. Further, the already poor education system would drift away from its progressive path, (if any). I believe many research scholar would suffer because of this. I think universities, at least be left a fedral subject to continue with uniform development of research and education at a higher level. The milestone achieved by HEC should go waste in this way.

    Muhammad Aslam Khan
    April 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Decentralization of HEC will not only be a shock for higher education in Pakistan but will also be a butchery for higher education in smaller provinces like Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where corruption and weak governance are already rampant.The impetus received by higher education in post-2004 era will be watered down

    Moazzam Sheikh
    April 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    This would be akin to the act committed by the Chinese emperor who destroyed his own navy!

    Muhammad Moazzam
    April 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Devolution of HEC to provinces will be the biggest blunder of Pakistan’s history. If the devolution is aimed at maximum representation of provinces, it can be done with in its existing structure. Finally, I would say, if our leadership/government is not able to govern the country, it should leave the government, but not destroy the institutions and country (Pakistan).

    Waheed Ahmed
    April 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I toally agree that HEC should not be desolved. It is because it is one of the few institutions which are maintaining merit and there is not provincial biases in that. If it has been desolved then which province will take more scholarships and on which criterion, this will be a great mess…

    Mahmood Ghaznavi
    April 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I register my strong protest against this unwise decision of the Govt.

    Ahmad J Mirza
    April 2, 2011 at 8:45 am

    HEC should not dismantled but like other institutions in Pakistan it should be regulated so that there are no irregularities in their decisions. There are obviously people there who are corrupt; the root cause of evil is not HEC but the people inside of it.

    Vladimir Boyko
    April 2, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I am Russian scholar (Asian studies) – being in close contact and cooperate with many Pakistani colleagues and institutions/universities in Peshawar, Islamabad, Quetta, etc for a long time, I’ve got many evidences of successful HEC activities, including those in favor of international cooperation. Pakistan is certainly of high need to have such network as HEC in her current capacity and profile, it’s vehicle for developing scholarship and teaching/training!

    April 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    If one is lost in the morning but find ones way home before the darkness falls, one is not lost. Education as we all know is the key to progress and success of every nation. How can a struggling, under educated nation not support institution of higher learning. I think government of Pakistan has undermined HEC. Dissolving and dismantling it is dire, desperate, and calamitous and we continued to be lost.

    April 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I am HEC PhD Scholar in UK and strongly reject the destruction of HEC.
    I want to double the budget of HEC half for present HEC and half for the provincial HECs. And provinces should establish their own Provincial HEC for the promotion of education.
    We should also set a Federal lower education and provincial lower Education on the standards of present HEC . These are not expenses but profitable investments.

    April 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    It is very unfortunate that Pakistani government is repeatedly targeting HEC. This shows lack of interest of this government in building an educated and research oriented nation. Remarkable institute like HEC should be encouraged and promoted. Any damage to HEC will have extremely negative effect on future of Pakistan.

    April 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    As a professor of English, I am really quite alarmed to see that such an organization as HEC could be dissolved. If other nations are observed, it will be noted that their home countries provide more and better alternatives and opportunities to their students for academic growth. The reasons why nation building is so scarce amongst Pakistanis is because true professionalism is lacking and mostly that is due to the scarcity of programs and opportunities. Please do not dissolve such important organizations where our people can benefit; instead, we should be developing more ways of inclusion for higher education.

    Tasawar Baig
    April 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    The irresponsible action of Pakistani politicians and their policies are risking the future of Pakistan, dissolving HEC will be one of patent example. During the entire history of Pakistan, we only experience the real output or contribution to Pakistan was emanated from HEC. Pakistan needs to become a knowledge base society for its growth and development. It does not need another history slavery (post-colonial colonization by its own feudal and family based rule)

    For God Sake, be sincere and loyal with Pakistan for few aspect if not largely.

    Education is true key for success. Let HEC to work autonomously for few years and get its dreams to come fruition.

    Bettina Robotka
    April 4, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I have been working in Pakistan under the Foreign Faculty Hiring Program and have experienced how much exchnage of scholars and students can help to improve education, understanding and integration pf Pakistan into the academic world. Thanks to HEC Germany now recognizes the equality of Pakistani degrees which opens the way for Pakistani students to studies in Germany and other EU countries. All this would be lost if HEC is destroyed. Provinces can not fulfill the coordinating and quality supervising role HEC is fulfilling

    April 4, 2011 at 2:19 am

    In a very short period of time HEC has evolved into a reputable public sector institution setting new trends in public administration which will be be marked in history as landmark catalyst developments. My vote in favor of petition absolutely!

    Mashhood Ahmed Sheikh
    April 4, 2011 at 3:46 am

    HEC is the last hope for improvement of education and research in Pakistan. Without it, there is nothing to look forward to. Of course there’s a lot to be improved in HEC, but dismantling it makes no sense.

    Sana Haroon
    April 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Whatever the HEC’s inadequacies, we cannot underestimate the need for a federal level regulatory body for the higher education sector. By all means stop them verifying the degrees of our MPs, but let us recognise that the higher education sector in Pakistan needs funding strategies, initiatives and regulation which are not limited by provincial resources and bureaucratic (in)expertise.

    The HEC has done great work towards reinvigorating a research and teaching culture in Pakistan, and attempting to even out historic educational inequities which exist in Pakistan by creating merit systems for access to PhD funding and then to academic jobs. It has funded national level graduate and faculty workshops which bring students and teachers from around the country together. How is any of this undesirable?

    Yes, like any organisation it has its failures of vision and implementation, but undermining the role of a federal regulatory and funding body through the principle of provincial devolution of power is not based on any perceivable logic. It is simply our government once again disavowing financial responsibility for the higher education education sector – arguably the most important education sector in a country as it is this sector which creates your next generation of entrepreneurs, professionals and ideas.

    April 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I support the petition and am disgusted by the politics of both the main parties in such a sensitive issue. They can afford to send their children abroad even if they dont want to study while taking away the opportunity form others.

    This is mostly a reaction to the fake degrees case. Even if people have grievances against the HEC, devolving it is no solution. They are fanning the flames of extremism further by such decisions.

    Tassawor Ishaque
    April 5, 2011 at 4:38 am

    HEC is doing a fine job for higher education in Pakistan. HEC’s effective role has contributed a lot in higher education sector. We, all Pakistanis, should resist any movement by Govt against HEC.

    April 5, 2011 at 7:11 am

    I support the petition and i strongly condemn the steps taken by the government to dissolve hec. By taking such a disastrous step the government is strangling the throat of pakistan’s higher education system.

      Muhammad Ali Khan
      April 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      I support this as well . . . . .
      Come on guys… Its the time to show these fake degree holders that we can do anything to save our real degree which we get with our hard work not by bribe like them…..

      Save HEC

    April 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I completely support this Petition, not just me but all the Hazarewalls support this. HEC is the only department which is working perfectly. A very well organized institution which was working for the betterment of the country. A thousands of PhDs were produced in the last couple of years due to the effort put in by HEC, Our talented students got the scholarships from HEC and got the international degrees and are now serving the nation in different universities across Pakistan. Ratio of University students increased by almost 70% after the formation of HEC. Why the hell the politicians don’t let a department to work properly. HEC is now one of the most important pillars of the Nation Pakistan. Everyone please support.

    April 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    It has taken us 8.5+ years to build this wonderful organization with our sweat & blood which is one of the most efficient, merit based and transparent organizations in the Federal government of Pakistan. We will not let it go down just like that & will oppose all moves of the government to devolve or dissolve HEC.

    Maha Yusuf
    April 6, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I support the petition! Infact I am very disillusioned to see that the government of Pakistan is resolving the great organization. The thing I don’t understand is if the great politicians cannot do anything to make the country a better place for us to live in, then why on the planet are they bent on snatching good things from us?

    Mustansar Billah
    April 6, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Education sector is considered to be the pillar of unity for a nation. Through education a standardized harmony and unison of thought in the light of national ideology is installed into the spirit of future generations. Centralizing the Higher Education is an essential step for stopping venomous injections of provincialism and linguistic prejudices. Pakistan had suffered earlier in the form of Bangladesh, the root of the crisis fall back to the time of independence when Quaid i Azam after addressing a mammoth crowd of 350 thousand when went to Dhaka University he was received with low grade hooting in the favour of Bengali, whereas the point was much earlier amicably settled by adopting Urdu and Bangla as national languages. The seed of hatred was sown into the fertile ground of education which ultimately sprung up into a cactus which was given a catalytic effect by the pioneer of the same political party now threatening to dissolve HEC.
    HEC is not a new institution founded by the former dictator but was formed in 1974 as University Grant Commission, after deliberate educational policy making of 1947, 1959, 1969, 1970 and 1972. Today HEC is not only monitoring the standards of higher education in light of the national ideology and modern developmental dimensions but also assisting in research work for doctoral studies. Recently HEC has taken the responsibility of sports at university level as well in order to induct new upcoming talent into national teams, which saw a miserable era during the last decade.
    HEC has placed a check on fictitious degrees and forbidding the induction of undeserving people into the doctoral studies by introducing NTS. The standards are progressing towards the right direction.
    Today the rulers are working on the self fulfilling prophecy of the West to dismember Pakistan steadily and threatening the educational system is a ring of the same chain.
    Alhamdolillah, we are a vibrant nation and we would not let them to do it. There is no Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pathan, Balti, Kashmiri or Muhajir, we are first Muslims and then unified under the umbrella of Pakistan. There is no room for the new linguistic issues of Siraiki and Potohari. We are tolerant towards the minorities and they enjoy more religious freedom then Muslims enjoy in the West. Our hearts beat in unison and the latest pulse of unity could be well judged by the response of nation towards the Cricket World Cup.
    We have to beat them squarely with fortitude, perseverance and confidence in our existence as a nation. We are on the right track and HEC is there to stay. INSHAHALLAH

      Amir Khan
      April 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      Well said Mustansar!!….your admirer!

    April 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Any Pakistani with a true conscience would definitely support this petition. Till when do we have to sit and watch these country mongers to rip us off our dignity and integrity?

    humara inquilab
    April 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

    HEC was one of the few good things in Pakistan.
    Save Pakistan

    April 12, 2011 at 3:32 am

    A few years ago, I applied for an HEC scholarship to fund a Masters leading to a PhD in the UK. My application was rejected and though it was disappointing and perhaps even bruised my ego a little, it made me greatly appreciate this organisation. They accepted other the scholarship application of other friends of mine with better academic records and few opportunities. Today those HEC funded scholars are en route to success and I have seen first hand that even in a society such as Pakistan people from humble beginnings can go places. I cannot accept that the government would dismantle and destroy that for personal and political gain.

    Today, I am ashamed to be a Pakistani.

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