Higher Education Commission (HEC) was established by Government of Pakistan by Act of Parliament in 2002. It was established as a regulatory body of Federal Government of Pakistan for all public and private sector universities. Annual Funding of all public sector universities was provided to Higher Education Commission (HEC) for onward distribution among universities. Various other tasks like curriculum planning & development, Research promotion in Pakistan, uniform criteria for faculty member’s appointment in all universities etc were given to HEC.
The standards of quality of higher education in Pakistan need to be improved significantly to achieve the goals of competitiveness with international standards and to create the foundations of a Knowledge Economy and Compatibility. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is making concerted efforts to improve the quality of higher education and to move university education to meet international standards in the provision of high-quality teaching, learning, research and service. A focused and precise approach is being developed for the best results and for consistency in the process of the Quality Assurance & Enhancement in higher education in the country. It reflects an effort to sensitize higher education institutions to the changes taking place internationally and bring higher education in Pakistan into complete harmony with the shifting paradigms at leading institutions around the world. Thus, various long and short run initiatives of the HEC are aimed particularly at improvement of the quality of knowledge being imparted at the universities and other higher education institutions
A Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) was established in 2004 under umbrella of the HEC as a specialized body to introduce and encourage the development of a quality culture in higher education. As a special feature of QA programme of the Pakistan higher education system, the HEC also established Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) in all public sector universities in a phased manner. Ten QECs were set up during first phase of the project in AJK and all four provinces of the country and subsequently 20 more QECs have been established during second phase of the project where as in its third phase 15 public sector universities including International Islamic university Islamabad. These QECs serve as focal points for quality assurance in the institutions in order to improve and uphold the quality of higher education. Capacity building of academia in quality assurance is one of the key functions of QAA and subsequently of QEC. Thus QAA and QECs of the Universities will work hand in hand to move in this direction of capacity building arrangements that include awareness campaigns, development of quality assurance policy instruments, training to learn the processes and procedures of quality assurance in higher education institutions and development of Manual to equip the practitioners of quality assurance.
For the same purpose of improving academic standards in IIU, Directorate of Quality Assurance and Development (QAD) was established in IIU in Feb 2010 under the guidance of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad in its 3rd Phase for improving quality of education offered at IIU for competing other National and International Educational Institutes.