Currently 183 higher education institutions throughout the country have the facility of broad-bandwidth internet connectivity. This network is being expanded to over 600 colleges which are under provincial governments. It will make Pakistan a regional leader in the field of information and communication technology.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has ensured that the digital library and archives are available online to all students in Pakistan, which has a database of over 10,000 e-journals and 65,000 e-books. The Campus Management Solutions have already been implemented in eight universities with more to follow. The National and Regional Data Centres, established by the HEC in Islamabad and provincial capitals, are hosting ICT services for higher education sector.
The Research Repository, containing more than 6,680 Pakistani PhD theses in digitized form, plagiarism eradication tool, has been provided to all HEIs. In addition, the Higher Education Management Information Assistance is being provided to 30 HEIs for improving their academic and administrative governance and business intelligence through the HEC-Microsoft Education Alliance.
Access to 180+ free software has been provided to over 1 million students in higher education sector of Pakistan. Universities have been provided state-of-the-art high-tech equipment and equipment sharing programmes and grants for research, holding of conferences, seminars and workshops are being offered. Moreover, the HEC has established a computerised system of document attestation with more than 200,000 educational documents attested each year.
Commenting on these achievements, HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid R. Laghari said, Universities are the most important producers of knowledge, which is the driving force for prosperity and improved standard of living. He said that the video conferencing facility has been provided at 79 sites having footprints in 32 cities throughout the country. The video conferencing facility is not only being used for interactive meetings and lectures delivered under Virtual Education Programme Pakistan, but it is being exhaustively utilised in the field of telemedicine and agriculture field research. So far, more than 2,554 academic activities, including workshops, presentations, PhD defense, and lectures have been covered through this innovative and modern facility.
Dr. Laghari remarked that according to the World Economic Forum 2013, Pakistan’s score on the higher education indicator of the Global Competitiveness Index surged significantly ahead, which is a clear manifestation and recognition of the fact that Pakistan’s higher education sector has become a role model for the developing countries.
Recently, the HEC and Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom have agreed to benefit from each others experience in the field of information and communication technology for proliferation of ICT in Pakistan.