Removal of HEC chairman: Let us think beyond personalities. The #PoliticalEconomy of #HigherEducation in #Pakistan is such that whoever had challenged the status quo, system would have turned against him/her. I think following led the removal of chairman #HEC
1) #HEC R&D grants system was revamped to fund those projects only which had an impact (determined by peer review). #HEC Closed many projects which failed peer review.
2) set up #disciplinary panels for peer review headed by well-reputed scholars such as Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Dr Noman ul Haq, Dr Tariq Hassan, Dr Sarosh Lodhi etc., to make fund/no-fund decisions in Committee.
3) introduced a #scientific #journal ranking system. de-notifying many journals that did not meet requirement. This had impact on promotions of many faculty members and they turned against this system.
4) #HEC revamped its entire #research portfolio to make its research funding more responsive to National Needs. It required a shift in thinking and culture of #academia.
5) HEC has also revamped, #ORIC policy. Universities can't now appoint a part time professor to become ORIC head anymore. They need to have somebody with commercial experience working full-time.
6) #HEC funds about 50 or so #Research Centers across the Higher #Education systems (these have been created at various times as Centers of Excellence, Regional Study Centers, Centers for Advanced Studies, International Centers, and National Centers).
#HEC developed a performance criteria that will determine, based on quality and impact of their work, how much R&D funding a Center will get in the next year. Basically, forcing these Centers to deliver research and impact or shutting them.
Out of the 3 billion Rs in annual R&D funding, about 1 billion goes to HEJ Research Institute of #Chemistry/PCMD. Under the new system These Centres were questioned about quality/impact of their work for next R&D grant.
On degree granting side, #HEC’s drive against #universities asking them to stop offering higher degrees where they did not have required faculty was a blow to the system.
Political economy of #highereducation system in Pakistan have seen unceremonious exit of last 3 heads of #HEC. It’s about time that we should think above personalities and try to let our HE system evolve as a quality based system rather than a degree producing machine.

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