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Higher Education

Yoong Lee, L. (2011). Affiliated colleges in South Asia: is quality expansion possible? South Asia Human Development Sector, 47. World Bank

This report provides a broad overview of the common features and challenges found in the affiliated colleges system in four South Asian countries i.e. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It also suggests possible reform measures to improve the tertiary education sector in each country. According to the report, the affiliated model is widely regarded as the “weakest link” in the higher education sector.The combination of weak supervisory and monitoring capabilities in the affiliating universities and government authorities has resulted in a downward quality spiral. The recommendations of the report focus on four pillars around which reforms would help improve the current low standards. For the college, it suggests fostering growth and capacity building of the existing colleges and “graduate” ready institutions to academically autonomous institutions. For the affiliating universities, it emphasizes on strengthening the effective quality monitoring of affiliating Universities and their services to the colleges. In terms of what the government can do, it recommends reforms that increase capacity of the regulatory and quality assurance agencies. Overall, it stresses on the need to enhance transparency to increase information disclosures to increase accountability.

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PAKISTAN:Country Summary of Higher Education. World Bank.

This report provides an overview on Pakistan’s Higher Education focusing on what the system constitutes of and what different policy reforms are ongoing or need further attention. According to the report the higher education sector is predominantly public in nature, with public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) dominating both the university/DAI and College sectors. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is an autonomous apex body responsible for allocating public funds from the federal government to universities and DAIs and accrediting their degree programs. Colleges are funded and regulated by provincial governments, but follow the curriculum of the HEC funded universities/DAIs with which they are affiliated. However, the higher education sector was severely neglected until the 2000s, when the government established an ongoing major policy reform program outlined in the Medium-Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2005- 2010 prepared by the HEC. Yet, further reforms are needed on issues of quality in terms of qualified staff as well as in terms of access particularly for girls. There is also a need to align the programs to the needs of the labour market and reform governance to ensure accountability.

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