Another year ends but claims, to make the country higher education system at par with international pace, didn’t end as many integral goals remained unfilled by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the authority supposed to look after the affairs of higher studies in the country. As per information available with Daily Times, formulation of accurate policies was a hard-hitting issue at the HEC. Those which were done by and large, their implementations remained another big question. Under graduation policy was one of such examples. Introduced a couple of years back, the under-grad was supposed to be implemented in the Degree Awarding Institutes (DAIs) and universities across the country having many flaws. Moreover, implementation of that policy with letter and spirit was another daunting task. The educationists of the view, mostly higher educational institutions, denied following due to its flawed status. The Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, who also took charge a few months back, held a meeting in Lahore with different stakeholders along with commission senior staffers and reaffirmed to revive that policy. The mechanism, to maintain quality education and monitoring standards, has a lot of room to be improved. Retrieving budgetary cuts of the HEC was also a distant dream. The government continuously makes cuts from the annual budget of the HEC since the last few years which affects quality of education ultimately. The government had allocated around Rs 30 billion to HEC as recurring grant (for salaries and pension) for public sector universities against HEC’s demand of Rs104 billion. This was 45 percent less than the current previous fiscal year’s budget. Despite VCs of some public sector universities had urged the government to provide funds in accordance with the demand put forth by HEC, it could not be done which shows the laxity of the authorities concerned. So far, no kind of system is in place through which HEC could hold accountable after tracing those scholars who skipped after availing scholarships sponsored by the commission under different scholarship programmes. Despite this age of modernization, it still relies merely on undertakings submitted by such scholars for arriving back to their home country and serving here for 5 years at least. As per a document, HEC faced loss of over Rs 45 million in one case as it remained failed to recover this amount from PhD scholars who availed scholarship under Faculty Development Programme (FDP). This, as per sources, was only one example in this regard. The appointment of permanent Executive Director (ED) seems like a ‘pie in the sky’. The department runs without having ED from 2018. Currently Dr Shaista Sohail is working on a provisional basis. Not only this, she has also been given acting charge of two public sector universities in the capital. As per HEC act, the ED is Principal Accounting officer and second most key administrative slot after Chairperson. As a monitoring body, the HEC faced hurdles to give the right task to the right official within the department. Many posts are being occupied by the persons who are not relevant to them. However, incumbent management has tried to streamline this system. As per notification, around 26 senior staffers reshuffled including three advisors 6 Director Generals. Despite all these missing goals, Chairman Dr Ahmed is still optimistic to do its best to enhance the HEC standards. “The room of improvement is always there, but commitment can fill this gap,” he justified.