THE Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan is the official body that attests to the degrees, Postgraduate diplomas, and Postgraduate certificates awarded by the Universities in Pakistan. The attestation of HEC is required for various purposes, such as applying for scholarships, jobs, visas, or further studies abroad. As demand for attested degrees increased, therefore, HEC has introduced an online system for degree attestation, which makes the process faster and easier for the applicants. One can manage HEC degree attestation which becomes attest tension sometimes by processing it immediately after the award of the degree.
The first step in this regard is that the graduates are required to share all educational details by creating an account on HEC’s e-service portal. For this, one will need to enter his CNIC or passport number and a valid email address. To complete a profile, one needs to upload a recent passport-size photograph and a scanned copy of CNIC or passport. After creating an account, a verification email from HEC is generated. The activation link is sent through email, and it is activated after clicking on it.
The second step is to complete all personal, academic, and professional details, such as name, date of birth, contact number, address, institution, degree, major, year of completion, etc. Apart from details, graduates are required to upload scanned copies of the original documents, such as matric, intermediate, bachelor, master, or PhD degrees, transcripts, certificates, etc. One can apply for attestation of multiple degrees at a time. As soon as the profile, academic, and professional information is finalized, the application is required to be submitted for initial scrutiny by HEC.
The third step is to pay the attestation fee online through 1-link and verify the payment in your profile. The attestation fee is Rs. 800 per document for normal mode and Rs. 5000 per document for urgent mode. You can pay the fee through any bank that is connected to 1-link and for that one needs to enter the application ID and CNIC number as a reference while making the payment. After verification of payment, the option of downloading the application form will be enabled.
The fourth step is to choose the mode of attestation and submit your documents. There are two modes of attestation: walk-in mode and courier service mode. Under walk-in mode, the applicant can visit the HEC office in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, or Quetta for attestation of the documents on the same day. This appointment needs to be scheduled on the portal as per the availability of the time slot. The printed and signed application along with a list of documents in original and a set of photocopies will be required. Under courier service mode, documents are sent through designated courier services, such as TCS, Leopard, or Gerry’s, and your documents are attested and returned via courier.
People mostly face difficulty when they don’t have complete information on the standard format which is mostly checked before attestation of the degrees. The name, father’s name in CNIC, and all degrees should be the same and any variation in these may require verification of the degrees from the respective university. The data provided by the user is also verified by the NADRA, therefore all applicants should keep this fact in mind and provide correct information. The applicants are also required to make sure that all qualifications are awarded by following all requirements set by HEC through various policies i.e. Semester guidelines, Undergraduate Education Policy Graduate Education Policy, etc.
Traditionally, universities offer admissions to various programs in Spring and Fall Sessions most of the time, therefore, one needs to complete one qualification before admission to a higher one. The delay in the announcement of the result of one qualification and admission to a higher qualification may compel HEC to get the opinion of the University before attestation. The Universities are expected to follow proper time-bound rules for admission and for the award of the degree. The administrative delays in the evaluation of M.Phil and PhD thesis mostly extend the duration of these qualifications and sometimes become inconclusive due to such delays. There have been multiple incidents when scholars have submitted their research work to the University, but the University took more than a year to complete the evaluation process due to non-approval of expert panel for foreign evaluation etc. The timelines for each qualification should be followed desirably. HEC and other professional councils have defined minimum and maximum time duration for undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications which are extendible for situations that are beyond human control.
By following policies, criteria set by HEC, and rules developed by the Universities, the degree attestation process can be made easier. It is important to mention here that HEC degree attestation is an important requirement for Pakistani students and professionals who want to pursue their academic or career goals locally or abroad. It is also one of the major requirements of public and private sector employers as well. HEC online system for degree attestation has made the process easier and faster for the applicants.
—The writer is Director at Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.
Email: [email protected]