The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan

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About this sample


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533 words

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1 page /

533 words

Downloads: 51

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  1. Challenge
  2. Solution
  3. Results

The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan is an autonomous body established in 2002 under the Pakistani government, whose role is to provide policy, guidelines, and criteria for member universities, giving both the university and its programmes appropriate accreditation. The HEC is also responsible for quality assurance in Pakistan higher education, their aim being to produce high-quality graduates that fall in line with international standards.

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As part of their services, the HEC provides access to digital databases and ICT resources for teaching and research to universities in Pakistan. In providing access to these resources the HEC inadvertently created an environment where a ‘copy and paste culture’ could thrive. It was therefore vital that plagiarism is monitored, and where possible, theses and assignments published by faculty members, scholars and member university staff be checked for text similarities. In order to address the issue of plagiarism in universities and research and development organizations, the HEC formulated a committee of eminent educators and researchers in Pakistan to develop guidelines for higher education institutions. The guidelines prepared, in the form of the HEC Plagiarism Policy, were approved by the Commission and during September 2007 this was circulated among the public and private sector universities for implementation.


HEC consulted their IT department in procuring a specific tool for detecting copied content in theses and research papers. iThenticate, Turnitin’s product for researchers, was acquired by HEC in 2007 and 10 major universities were given individual accounts for checking all research assignments. However, as the project progressed it was clear that all member universities could benefit from such software to develop writing skills at the undergraduate level. In order to tackle plagiarism amongst their member universities at this level, HEC adopted a two-way approach - Implementation of their plagiarism policy and use of Turnitin. HEC invested in 60 Turnitin licenses, initially rolling them out to public sector universities, followed by private sector universities shortly after. The HEC recognized the importance of developing awareness around the issue of academic integrity as well as detecting possible instances of plagiarism itself. They conducted a series of orientation sessions around the country on the newly formed plagiarism policy used in conjunction with Turnitin and organized video conferences with institutions when required. Institutional focal persons were given scope for further improving the implementation of their policy and usage of Turnitin specific to their institution.

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The impact of HEC’s investment in Turnitin is very exciting. For a start, usage levels have increased year on year. Usage amongst HEC member institutions as a whole is above average compared to other institutions in the region. A recent study shows that institutions using Turnitin for Originality reduce levels of unoriginal writing by an average of 33%, with some institutions seeing an 85% reduction. Therefore, the more broadly Turnitin is used, the greater the reduction. This result is none more evident than for HEC. When HEC first implemented the use of Turnitin alongside its newly formed plagiarism policy in 2009, the rate of highly unoriginal (Originality Score equal to 50-100%) papers submitted was 34.5%. Over the last 5 years, this percentage has decreased by almost half to 18.7%. This reduction topples the regional average reduction by over 30%!

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Cite this Essay

The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from
“The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Oct. 2023].
The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2023 Oct 1]. Available from:
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