HEC Chairman Visits LUMS
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, on a visit to LUMS on January 28, 2022, shared his personal and professional trajectory and highlighted some of the work done at the HEC under his leadership.
He was joined by Member, Management Committee, Mr. Osman Khalid Waheed and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad. Also present were Deans, faculty members as well as LUMS students.
The main thrust of Dr. Banuri’s talk was the importance of quality in academia and how it has been compromised over time in Pakistan. “When I look at academia, in large areas there is a wasteland because people have lost the sense of quality. In a lot of cases, people ask for a formula so that they don’t have to judge and what is quality. We, the academia, are the custodians of quality because our job is not just to understand it, but also make people understand it. To impart what is really human and divine about us and communicate and transfer it is our responsibility.”
He also raised pertinent questions about how to define quality; does is it merely refer to the curriculum, the pedagogy or being an expert in the subject you are teaching.
Dr. Banuri shared some of the obstacles he has had to face during his time at HEC. Uniformed policies and actions have caused quality to be compromised. There is also a lack of accountability, massive interference from those with vested interests, and lack of academic freedom which has taken the community’s confidence to judge quality, he explained.
Responding to different questions from the audience, Dr. Banuri elaborated on his vision as Chairman, HEC. “My vision is that our entire community of people take the sole responsibility to identify, uphold and protect quality, and strengthen the academic autonomy in our institutions.”