Minister HEC, VCs Laud PHEC Efforts During COVID-19 Lockdown
Lahore : Vice chancellors (VCs) of provincially chartered universities have asked the government to strengthen Punjab Higher Education Commission and fund universities through PHEC to improve quality of research and education in Punjab. This was demanded by the VCs at the inaugural ceremony of a three-day online training workshop for treasurers of universities in Punjab. The workshop that was being organized on Financial Planning, Audit & Accounts Management by the PHEC was attended by 72 treasurers from public and private sector universities.
The inaugural session, that held virtually today, was graced by Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz, Minister for Higher Education and Information Technology Punjab, as the chief guest. Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Chairman PHEC, Prof. Dr. Suleman Tahir, VC Khawaja Farid University of Engineering and Information Technology Rahim Yar Khan, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem, VC Mir Chakar Khan Rind University of Technology D.G. Khan, Prof. Dr. Rubina Farooq, VC Government College University, Faisalabad, Prof. Dr. Islam Ullah Khan, VC University of Mianwali, Prof. Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha, VC University of Education, Lahore, Prof. Dr. Khalid Masood Gondal, VC King Edward Medical University Lahore, Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi, VC GC University, Lahore, Mr. Mian Imran Masood, VC University of South Asia, Lahore, Prof. Dr. Bushra Mirza, VC, LCWU, Lahore, and Prof. Dr Uzma Quraishi, VC Women University Multan also attended the session.
Addressing on this occasion, the minister for higher education said that it had often been observed a lot of audit para at the end of the financial year, vice-chancellor being the academic persons were not the experts of financial matters, “treasurers are persons to manage such issues, this training would help broaden their understanding and improve their financial skills” the minister maintained.
He added that the government was committed to bringing transparency and merit in the affairs of the universities. The appointment of vice-chancellors in the provincial universities were made strictly observing merit. “through viable policies, the government is facilitating universities to improve their standards and quality of education” he said. The minister added that model statutes for the universities were a milestone reached by the government, “this will help overcome the administrative and other issues at the universities” he maintained.
Minister appreciated the sustained efforts of the Punjab Higher Education Commission, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, to improve the quality of management and education in Punjab.
Chairman PHEC Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, while giving an orientation on the workshop, said that the changing landscape of higher education at the national and global level has brought new challenges related to governance, management, and financial planning of Higher Education Institutions. He added, “treasurer is a key position in higher education institution; it is of utmost importance to equip them with the latest financial, budgeting, and auditing skills”, to assist vice-chancellors effectively run a university.
The chairman thanked Minister for Higher Education and the provincial government for support to PHEC saying that the PHEC was acting in line with the vision of the government to bring the higher education sector at par with international standards.
The vice-chancellors shared their experiences and the changing nature of challenges especially in financial arena at universities. They lauded the efforts of the PHEC and termed the training very exigent to effectively manage financial and budgetary issues at HEIs. They also desired PHEC to organize similar training programs for vice-chancellors as well as the senior management including registrars, controller exams etc.During the three-day program, training will be imparted on important topics including financial management including taxation and asset management, financial management, procurement, project and work management, accounting system HR management, and accountability regime and audit issues. Noted resource persons having rich experience of the field are conducting the training sessions. With limited resource, the Punjab Higher Education Commission, during the Covid-19 pandemic has organized more than 60 training workshops where 3000+ faculty members, 750+ college principals and 24 vice-chancellors have been trained.