HEC varsity advancement initiatives lauded

Islamabad: Minister of State for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education, Baleegh-ur-Rahman has appreciated Higher Education Commission (HEC) for taking timely initiatives for advancement of universities, especially encouraging and facilitating universities to develop proper mechanism for fund-raising.

He was speaking as chief guest at a Conference on University Advancement entitled “Paradigm Shift towards Financial Sustainability-Fundraising in Higher Education Institutions” organized by HEC here on Thursday. Vice chancellors, representatives of industry, government departments, and potential donors attended the conference.

The Minister emphasized that research and development is an integral part of higher education sector, adding that universities should not only be strongly linked with industry, but also have established linkages with different Government departments.

Engr. Imtiaz Gilani, Chairman HEC said that the higher education sector has expanded exponentially in the last 10 years. He said that in the ever-changing socio-economic environment, it has become inevitable for universities to realign their growth strategies and learn some corporate tricks for resource generation and fund-raising.

Dr Ishrat Husain, Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi shared with the audience different IBA’ initiatives for attracting potential donors and strengthening the financial aid system for students. He said that senior management of any university should be directly involved in the university advancement processes, adding that proper financial management is the key to its success. He also underlined the importance of a strengthened governance structure, and creation of endowment fund in the higher education institutions.

Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences said that the University Advancement programme of HEC is aimed at introducing the methodology of fund-raising that is practiced worldwide. He said that every university should have a University Advancement Office for effectively managing the fund-raising activities.

HEC’s University Advancement programme is about creating awareness for higher education, building relationships with the society and generating support for universities’ academic programmes, research and infrastructure. It is a leverage to reverse the trend of educational aid through enhancement of indigenous institutional and human capacity.

It focuses on involving stakeholders in private sector through building trustworthy relationships, enhancing understanding and relationship among university alumni, friends, opinion leaders and community for philanthropic support, and having strong relationships with alumni, donors (national/ international), corporate sectors, business organizations, community, intellectuals and non-Government organizations.

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