HEC welcomes a consortium of nine universities to identify online courses – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Development Program (HEDP) of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has hosted a consortium of nine universities at LUMS to identify high-quality asynchronous online courses under the new undergraduate core program for the country.

The goal of offering online courses nationwide is to ensure that all students in the country have access to the highest quality basic education. PakistanEdX has been chosen as the official name of this national platform, according to a press release.

HEC PakistanEdx platform is developed by the same organization which has been a major developer for several international learning platforms such as MIT/Harvard edX, University of California San Diego, edX and Wikimedia. The technology built by this company has already served more than 55 million students worldwide.

HEC will use the same technology to increase access to quality education and make it available to remote areas of Pakistan.

The platform will be complemented by HEC’s Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN), which extends quality internet access to all affiliated universities and colleges. These initiatives are particularly important for provinces like Balochistan, Interior Sindh, newly merged districts of KP and Far Punjab.

The consortium is formulated based on the expertise of these universities in developing and delivering quality online learning platforms. It includes the Allama Iqbal Open University; Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences; Comsats University; Habib University; Hazara University; Lahore University of Management Sciences; National University of Science and Technology and Virtual University of Pakistan.

The new curriculum adds 11 core courses drawn from five broad categories of HEC undergraduate politics courses. These universities will offer courses on PakistanEdX by offering multilingual options in these five categories of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Quantitative Skills, Natural Sciences and Explanatory Writing.

The discussions were led by Dr Shaista Sohail, Executive Director, HEC and Ms Maryam Riaz, Project Coordinator, HEDP.

HEC aims to create a holistic view of the culture of quality for online and blended learning, Ms. Riaz said.

Lt. Gen. Javed Bukhari, Rector Nust, said this is an opportunity where we can learn from each other, and I’m very confident that all stakeholders, not just faculty and students, but also the market, the accreditation bodies will join us.

Rector of Comsats University, Dr. Tabassum Afzal, emphasizing the importance of using technology, added that globally, education is now about clicks and not bricks. He said that HEC’s efforts have brought us to this point and that this effort will be a huge achievement in providing a broad education to undergraduate students across the country.

Dr Halai, Vice-Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, stressed the need for quality assurance and a rigorous review process to ensure relevance and high standards.

Posted in Dawn, March 6, 2022

Karen O. Fielding