HEC attestation of degrees problems

Increase in attestation fee, insufficient staff irk students visiting HEC
Islamabad, Jan 26: Without caring to improve its so-called one-window operation for attestation of degrees, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to rub more salt in the wounds of suffering students and their parents by increasing the fee of degree and certificate attestation of graduate and postgraduate students from Rs 300 to Rs 500.

The HEC spokesperson was of the view that the fee had been increased because HEC was running short of funds and it had to take this initiative to generate revenue. The HEC has increased the fee of degree and certificate attestation of graduate and postgraduate students from Rs 300 to Rs 500 and photocopy of documents from Rs 100 to Rs 300, giving more pain to students who wished to go abroad as the arrangements at the attestation department were not sufficient to entertain all students in a day. Students proposed the commission to accommodate all visiting students for their respective tasks and must set up attestation departments in all regional offices of the commission in various cities. It will facilitate students who come to capital across the country to save their finances and time. The sources said daily over 200 students visit the one-window attestation department of the commission, but the HEC could not entertain more than 150 students. Because only one person has been deputed to interact and deal with students due so dozens of them have to go back in desperation, they said. Likewise, female students also have to bear the brunt as no separate window has been set up for them and they have to stand in the same queue with male students, where there is no shelter or staying area to counter the sizzling heat or stinging cold.

A number of students standing in a queue for attestation of documents, said unsatisfactory arrangements at the attestation department of HEC had irked them as they reached there from different parts of the country. “Besides, troubles in processing of our degree attestation, at present we came to know that the fee of attestation has also been increased,” said a students standing in a long queue. “Now the attestation fee for original degree has been increased to Rs 500 while for duplicate (photocopy of any single degree) it is Rs 300, that is extra burden on us, besides travelling from across the country,” they maintained. It would simply take four to five hours to get degrees or documents attested but there was only one window for hundreds of students who were eagerly waiting for their turn, said Yasir Mehmood, a graduate in Electrical Engineering from Kharian. Mehmood took out a printout from his pocket that he got after registering on HEC’s website, besides a token number and time. He said despite the fact that he had reached earlier from the specified time but the man at counter asked him to come after two hours.

Sidra Tawakal, a Computer Sciences student from Bahawalpur suggested that the commission should accommodate all visiting students of their respective tasks and must set up their attestation department in all regional offices of the commission in various cities to facilitate students. The sources further said that the attestation of degrees, transcripts and diplomas awarded by the certified universities and degree-awarding institutions of Pakistan, both in public and private sector, was transferred to the HEC by the government in May 2000. Moreover, the HEC is also the sole regulatory body of higher education in the country entrusted with the job to determine the equivalence and recognition of degrees, diplomas and certificates awarded by institutions within the country and abroad. The HEC also started its online services in 2009 to verify degrees and certificates of students intending to get admissions abroad, in Pakistani universities or for getting jobs through online procedure.

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