Concerns Raised Over Rapid Increase of Universities in Pakistan

The Higher Education Commission (HEC), which already has a funding constraint, is having trouble keeping up with the “mushroom growth” of universities, according to a Senate Standing Committee.

During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, Senator Irfan Siddiqui made the aforementioned comment.

The Senator instructed HEC to cooperate with Chitral University and the province administration in order to provide the required funding to the educational institutions that fall within its purview.

The Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Chitral University informed the committee that the school is in need of funding. He explained that the Annual Development Program (ADP), which had initially supported it for the first three years, is no longer prepared to do so.

Senator Siddiqui responded that the province governments are in charge of subsidizing educational institutions.

Al Qadir University, Jhelum, is not even registered with HEC, it was discovered during a discussion about the university’s finances. Rana Tanveer Hussain, the Federal Education Minister, affirmed that HEC records do not reflect the existence of such a university and that no funding has been allocated to it. Further discussion on the subject will be tabled until the next meeting, the chair said.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami suggested introducing a relief package for students affected by the floods.

In response, Minister Hussain said that the affected students will get scholarships and that costs for the next two semesters would be postponed.

Additionally, the Federal University (Amendment) Bill of 2022 was covered. Senator Seemee Ezdi, who introduced the measure, told the committee that it aims to make internships a required component of the curriculum in all public and private institutions within the federal territory. The Federal Universities Ordinance is currently being revised, and the HEC Chairman, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, confirmed that the revisions will be included.

Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi raised the issue of law students at Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) having difficulty with their exams, and Minister Hussain responded that the matter is currently under appeal with the Supreme Court (SC), which has established a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) committee to address it in the coming weeks. Senator Siddiqui tabled the issue for the SC’s ruling.

Senators Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhary, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Rana Maqbool Ahmad, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Falak Naz, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Khalida Sikandar Mandhro, Seemee Ezdi, Rana Tanveer Hussain, the federal education and Dilawar Khan, in addition to many other important officials, attended the meeting.


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