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National Qualifications Framework of Pakistan leofofContentsIntroduction2National Qualifications Framework of Higher Education3 Objectives of the National Qualifications Framework3 Terminology4Levels and Programme Titles6Key Student Learning Outcomes of Level 58Key Student Learning Outcomes of Level 69Key Student Learning Outcomes of Level 710Key Student Learning Outcomes of Level 811NQF Qualification Titles12 Criteria for the Use of Titles/Nomenclature for the Degree12 Names and Abbreviation of Degrees being used by HEIs/DAIs12 Nomenclature and Abbreviations of Qualifications offered in Pakistan13Degree Issuance Policy14Description of Higher Education Qualifications15 Associate Degree15 2-year Bachelor (Pass) Degree16 3-yearBachelor (Honours)18Degree19 Professional Bachelor Degree (4-5 years Professional degree)19 Bachelor Degree (4 years Bachelor Degree)20 Masters Degree (1-2 years MA/M.Sc.)21 Masters Degree22 Doctoral (PhD) Degree23

National Qualifications Framework of Pakistan 2015Introduction:The Bologna Process (1999-2010) developed andimplemented an overarching structure to serve as a catalystfor Higher Educational Reforms in Europe. The process sincehas been adopted by almost 100 countries in the world toreform their systems of higher education based oncommonly agreed standards. Many countries havedeveloped National Qualifications Frameworks to cover thefull spectrum of education including Basic Education,Secondary Education, Technical and Vocational Educationand Tertiary Education including the under graduate andgraduate levels of higher education.Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan starteddeveloping a Qualifications Framework for Higher Educationin 2009 and took the necessary steps to develop the tools forimplementing the framework on a nationwide basis coveringall the HEC chartered public and private institutions of highereducation in the country. The tools included developmentand implementation of semester system, NationalCurriculum Review Committees consisting of Disciplines’experts for curriculum development and refinement toensure its rigour and relevance, assessment and gradingpolicies, policies related to admission, retention, graduationof students from undergraduate and graduate programmesand a comprehensive list of chartered universities andgraduate degree colleges. These were included in theRegister of National Qualifications Framework. These twindocuments have been widely shared with all stakeholders inprinted form as well as on HEC website.National Qualifications Framework provides clearly definedlevels of Knowledge, Skills and Competencies to be acquiredby each graduate that are easy to comprehend by students,employers and human resource development policy makers.Bologna initiative resulted in major reforms of highereducation in many countries and more countries arevoluntarily using the process to promote inter andintra-country mobility of students and credit hours,promotion of collaborative research and relatively uniformstandards and learning outcomes. In 2014, over 100countries have developed their National QualificationsFrameworks for Higher Education.The main objectives of the 1999 Bologna Declarationincluded,1.2"Adoption of a system of easily readable andcomparable degrees2.Adoption of a ablish a system of credits transfer (ECTS)4.Promote mobility by overcoming legal recognition andadministrative obstacles5.Promote cooperation in quality assurance."Subsequently the 2010 Prague Declaration of the EuropeanMinisters of Education added the goal of mutual recognitionof undergraduate and graduate degrees offered byrecognized universities. It also called for promoting quality ofinstruction at all levels of higher education, and developingand implementing a system of comparing qualificationsamong various countries.Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has used theBologna Principles to bring about qualitative reforms inhigher education and is consistently striving to implementthe National Qualifications Framework. This new revisedversion of the Framework is designed to further sustain thequalitative improvement of programmes of higher educationqualifications offered in the country. While moving towardsuniversally recognized undergraduate degree programmes ofeight semesters, 124-140 credit hours, and the revisedframework has incorporated four semesters, 68 credit hoursassociate degree programmes those open the doors to initiallevel employment and further study to complete the 4 yeardegree programme. The revised framework has outlined theadmission, retention and graduation requirements forgraduate programmes including significant applied andabstract research component connecting universities tobecome engines of social, economic and human resourcedevelopment to create a world class critical mass ofspecialists in natural, social and applied sciences, andprofessions to create an economically progressive andtolerant society.The following pages describe the National QualificationsFramework for Higher Education in Pakistan and policiesrelated to its implementation. The NQF is augmented by aregister that lists all the chartered Higher Education degreeawarding institutions and programmes offered by them. Theregister has included in it detailed HEC approved policy onimplementing semester-based assessment of learningoutcomes and grading to ensure uniform standards of qualityof qualifications offered by all chartered universities andpost-graduate degree colleges.

National Qualifications Framework of Pakistan 2015National Qualifications Framework of HigherEducation in Pakistan:the higher education system of Pakistan is heir to a diverseset of sources and traditions. The prevailing system hasdrawn its structure from the British tradition of highereducation as it was emerging in the late 19th century. Itsoldest seat of higher learning, Punjab University, Lahore wasmodeled after the then existing University of London whereinstruction was actually provided in its constituent andaffiliated colleges and the University served as the examiningbody for students from its affiliated colleges as well as forthose who prepared on their own for the examinationsaccording to the curricula set for each level and discipline ofknowledge by the university.These students were called external or private studentswhose only resource to prepare for the Universityexamination were the prescribed textbooks and theuniversity catalogue prescribing the courses and theiroutlines. The qualifications offered were mostly at theundergraduate, Level 5, and Masters, Level 6. The system ofcollegiate instruction and university examinations resulted inqualifications that called for traditional methods of teachingand learning emphasizing dissemination of existing andlimited range of disciplines of knowledge with little relianceon discovery of knowledge through creative and innovativeresearch that could solve the critical problems facing thesociety. Very limited attention was paid to Levels 7 and 8 thusa small number of scholars dared to devote their efforts tooriginal research leading to discovery of new, utilitarianknowledge and skills impacting society.Pakistani higher education is also heir to a scholarly systemthat was established over a 500 years period, symbolized by"Darul Hikma (House of Wisdom)" and “Madrassa Nizamia”(8th-15th century) at Baghdad. Darul Hikma producedreflective scholars who rediscovered Greek Literature,Philosophy and lost ancient texts. They based theirscholarships on four cardinal questions: (i). AfalaYatafakarun, Why don’t you reflect? Cultivation of reflectionwas necessary to convert knowledge into wisdom. (ii). AfalaTa'qelun; Why don’t you use reason and rational logic? Thebasic premise of this question was that human reason as atool for learning and problem solving must be cultivated togo beyond the known to discover the unknown. (iii). The nextquestion posed for scholars was Afala Ta'lamun, Why don’tyou seek knowledge? The pursuit of knowledge demandslifelong search for perfection through intuition, pragmaticproblem solving and constant critical reconstruction basedon intense scholarly experiences. (iv). The fourth challengingquestion for the Muslim scholars was Afala Ta'malun, whydon’t you act morally, righteously and ethically discover anduse new and old knowledge to create a progressive society.These four fundamental questions launched a series ofschools of thought and action that produced scholars likeAvicenna, Ibn e Rushad, Al Gibran, Al Ghazali, Ibn e Khaldunto name a few, who explored new horizons of knowledge. Onthe one hand these scholars and their schools set the stagefor renaissance to take Europe out of its age of darkness butalso spread enlightenment through producing scholarlyempowerment in the emerging institutions of highereducation.In 2002, a bold restructuring of higher education was done inPakistan. A national Commission of Higher Education wasestablished with a clear mission to “facilitate institutions ofhigher learning to serve as engine of socio-economicdevelopment of Pakistan.” The Core Strategic Aims of theCommission were to increase equitable access to qualityhigher education to create a critical mass of creative,constructive and committed scholars to undertakeinnovative research to build knowledge-based economywithout which the critical national problems cannot besolved. Through the strenuous efforts of the Commission thenumber of Universities in Pakistan has multiplied. Qualityassurance has been given a high priority, systems ofaccountability and accreditation have been instituted andhuge investments in technology embedded scholarlyresearch have been made.The NQF along with a policy manual of semester-basedassessment of students and a register of institutions offeringvarious qualifications has been developed to build on theheritage of higher education.The NQF is considered as a mechanism for classification ofthe qualifications on the basis of the learning outcomes i.e.knowledge, skill and competence. It is level-based andoutcomes focused. It sets out the levels on which aqualification can be recognized in Pakistan. The NQFencompasses a comprehensive list of all quality assuredqualifications in Pakistan. Each accredited qualificationoffered in Pakistan has been assigned a level. It consists ofEntry Level 1 to Level 8, describing the difficulty ofqualifications at each level. The National QualificationsRegister is also a part of NQF which provides all theinformation regarding the accredited higher educationqualifications and institutions recognized by the HigherEducation Commission of Pakistan as degree grantinginstitution.Objectives of the NQFThe NQF has been structured to: Help learners to make informed decisions about thequalification required Help the employers to assess what qualification acandidate has achieved Help in establishing the national standards ofqualifications Provide a basis for comparison of qualifications atnational as well as international level Help in internationalqualificationsrecognitionofacademic3

National Qualifications Framework of Pakistan 2015 Facilitate the trans-national mobility of graduates andlearners Be used as an instrument for qualitative reforms ineducation system Help promote the linkages between industry andeducation systemTerminologya.b.c.d.‘Competence’ means the demonstrated ability toacquire and use knowledge, skills, competencies andpersonal, social and/or methodological abilities, in workor study situations and in professional and personaldevelopment. In the context of the EuropeanQualifications Framework, competence is described interms of responsibility and autonomy at the level of thequalification,‘Field-Specific Competence’ means ability to usediscipline-specific information, processes and tools ofknowledge and practice,‘Knowledge’ means the outcome of the acquisition,assimilation, comprehension and application ofinformation through learning activities. Knowledge isthe body of concepts, facts, principles, theories andpractices that is related to a field of work or study.Knowledge is described as theoretical, factual andpractical,e.‘Learner’ refers to an individual undergoing skilldevelopment training, whether in a formal or informalsetting,f.‘Learning Outcomes’ means what a learner knows,understands and is able to do on completion of alearning process, which are defined in terms ofknowledge, skills and competence,g.4‘Credit’ is a uniformly recognized measure of time andeffort expended to acquire information, skills,competencies and recognition that a learner hassuccessfully completed prior course of learning,corresponding to the qualification at given level,‘National Qualifications Framework’ means a nationalinstrument for the classification of qualificationsaccording to a set of criteria for specified levels oflearning achieved. It aims to integrate and coordinatenational qualifications subsystems and improves thetransparency, access, progression and quality ofqualifications in relation to the labour market and civilsociety,h.‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ is the process ofrecognizing previous learning, often experiential,towards gaining a qualification,i.‘Skills’ mean the ability to apply knowledge and useknow-how to complete tasks and solve problemscritically, creatively and constructively,j.'Trainer’ means someone who trains, instructs, teaches,or otherwise enables the learner (s) to acquire theappropriate knowledge and skills,k."Training provider”, “Institute” and “Institution” refersto any accredited organization providing knowledge andskills to learner,Activity SheetElementsforCurriculumFramework A curriculum framework is an organized plan or set ofstandards or learning outcomes that defines thecontent to be learned in terms of clear, definablestandards of what the student should know an