NAHE Holds Provincial Consultations On Regional Needs

NAHE holds provincial consultations on regional needs

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Jun, 2021 ) :The National academy for Higher Education (NAHE) Monday concluded the first round of provincial consultations with stakeholders in order to structure bespoke regional hubs in all the provincial capitals.

According to HEC, Rector NAHE, Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali traveled with team members to Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar in order to hold consultations with secretaries of all Higher Education Departments, and universities' leaderships.

Vice Chancellors, Pro-VCs, Provosts and Deans representing at least 50 universities participated in the discussions and provided their valuable input.

NAHE has been delivering specific as well as generic trainings to higher education faculty and HEC employees across Pakistan over the past year. Moving forward, NAHE intends to set up four provincial regional hubs for capacity building practice, research, and promotion.

The participants agreed that in order to provide capacity building for faculty and staff at the volume and frequency required, establishing NAHE regional hubs is a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, in order to improve the quality of the higher education sector, university-level needs assessments to be conducted and trainings tailored and prioritized accordingly.

The majority of participants agreed that Vice Chancellors and top-tier leaders also required trainings, particularly ones that target financial and procurement management skills as administrators had been left out of capacity building opportunities. Unique needs also emerged in the provinces.

In Punjab, there are at least 25 existing dedicated professional development centers within HEIs; Vice Chancellors attending were keen for NAHE to play the role of the convenor and create networking opportunities.

Sindh is also home to at least 22 dedicated professional development centres in universities in Karachi and Lahore, universities offered their expertise and years of experience in the capacity building field, especially for faculty members.

The participants in Karachi were eager for NAHE to explore mentorship and pairing programmes for experienced the university faculty and administrators and ones working in newer universities. It was suggested that these pairings need not be limited within provinces.

In Quetta, the VCs pointed out the distance between universities in Balochistan, particularly Lasbela, Sibbi and Khuzdar. Lasbela and Sibi VCs particularly suggested Karachi regional centre be their training resource due to distance. Distances and topography were also a major challenge highlighted for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The VCs recommended trainings not be limited to Peshawar but be hosted in different districts for better access. One major outcome of this round of consultations was the decision to ensure at least two NAHE regional hubs are operational by the end of the financial year.

Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali, Rector NAHE, stressed the importance of NAHE as conceiving, developing, delivering, and evaluating capacity building programmes but also as a collaborator and partner with other institutions with similar scope and remit.

She stressed the importance of utilizing existing pools of excellence in dedicated professional development centers across Pakistan, working collaboratively and working together off each other's strengths.

This was the first round of consultations the NAHE team is working on a plan for the second round of consultations in Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Punjab, and Interior Sindh.