HEC sets up committee to look into alleged irregularities in GCU school

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has constituted a Fact-Finding Committee to probe into the allegations of irregularities in the Foreign Faculty Hiring Programme (FFHP) at Government College University (GCU) Lahore’s Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences. The Committee will also review the operation of FFHP at other universities.

The three-member committee will probe the matter and will submit its recommendation to the competent authority within one month. While the Committee will not probe into the details being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at GCU Lahore, it will address the overall concerns arising out of the reports published in a section of the press, and being commented upon on social media.

HEC sets up committee to look into alleged irregularities in GCU school

Foreign Faculty Hiring Programme was launched by HEC in 2003 to seek services of qualified academics and researchers for offering technical support in the development of new programmes, providing training for teaching and research, and building capacity for PhD supervision.

The foreign faculty programme was not limited to GCU, and around 40 universities across Pakistan benefited from the qualified visiting experts. Over 300 highly qualified professors joined various universities under this programme.

An internal inquiry has found dubious payments amounting to half a billion to ‘ghost’ foreign faculty members of the Government College University (GCU) from 2003 to 2013 and called for a detailed probe by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The GCU Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences (ASSMS) under Higher Education Commission (HEC) Foreign Faculty Hiring Programme (FFHP) had hired faculty members from universities abroad for teaching, researching and supervision of students from 2003 to 2013.

The ASSMS received a major share of the FFHP worth Rs638 million from the HEC for the payment of salaries and airfare to the foreign faculty.

The foreign faculty members hired for the GCU-SMS(now Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences) under the Foreign Faculty (now Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences) under the Foreign Faculty Hiring Programme (FFHP) of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) between 2003 to 2013 were reportedly not even in Pakistan for substantial part of the time for which money from HEC was received indicating that the GCU-SMS was running a huge “ghost faculty” programme.

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