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Bogus students entering UK | Private varsities, money making machines

Peshawar college principal says British High Commission ignored specific evidence that students were entering Britain on fake papers
Lahore, April 27: British High Commission officials in Pakistan have been accused of failing to investigate bogus students entering the UK.

Dr David Gosling, the UK-born head of Edwardes College, Peshawar, told the Observer newspaper that officials had ignored specific evidence that students were entering Britain on false papers.

Ten of the 12 men arrested in the UK this month for allegedly plotting bomb attacks were Pakistanis who entered Britain on student visas. They were released without charge but now await deportation.

Immediately after the arrests, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had said Pakistan "has to do more to root out terrorist elements in its country". Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the Pakistani high commissioner in London, had retaliated by saying that the problem was "at your end".

Dr Gosling said in December last year he sent details of students who had obtained bogus visas to the British High Commission in Islamabad but was still waiting for a response.

"The high commission is either turning a blind eye or just cannot cope with violations of visa protocol by local students. They do not appear to have taken my complaints seriously and have not responded to my specific requests to investigate these students since last December."

"When officials in Islamabad realise that something has gone wrong they try to cover up for the sake of the people involved. But the system appears to be a mess."

Gosling last autumn interviewed a student who admitted that he and a friend had gone to Britain under false pretences. He asked the high commission to investigate their cases.

Gosling said he knew many of the people at the high commission and believed that it was no longer functioning properly.

"There do seem to be major problems in Islamabad. Many of the staff are now working in Abu Dhabi because of the regularity of bomb threats. We have bomb threats at our college as well, but we ignore them," he said.

"I am concerned about these few fraudulent cases because I want to see the good students going to Britain and the bad ones held back."

He said he had decided to speak out because the Pakistan high commissioner was roundly condemned by ministers last week for pointing the finger at the British High Commission.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Jacqui Smith, the British home secretary, admitted that the students from Pakistan had been interviewed only by telephone by officials based in Abu Dhabi. One of those entered with forms that were not properly filled out.

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, told Observer that Pakistan and other countries from which potential terrorists regularly try to enter Britain would be placed on an international blacklist.

But Dr Brian Iddon, vice-chairman of the parliamentary all-party group on Pakistan, warned: "I don't want knee-jerk reactions. America tightened its controls and the academic institutions regretted it. I don't think we should tighten it up to the point where they start going to other countries. ... There are future benefits in terms of trade and the economy. We have to be very careful we are not over the top." Daily Times


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Private varsities, money making machines
Swat: "Money makes the university go". This was a new maxim created by a receptionist in a public sector university of Pakistan one day when I was discussing my admission with him. Actually money has got really stuck in us. Wherever we go, we need it as much as we need air to breath.

In this regard I have two questions, 1. The one with money will get what he wants and needs, what about the one without money? 2. Can a person whose monthly income is Rs 5,000 to 10,000 afford a fee ranging from Rs 19,000 to 25,000 for a year or semester in a public sector university for achieving a higher degree? If only these questions are considered seriously, with a true aim to reach a conclusion, I think many of our problems related to higher education will be solved. I mentioned public sector universities here, not private sector, because the later one is beyond the reach of 80% people.

A poor man cannot even think of education. In Pakistan only a rich person or some one whose father or brother works in foreign country can afford the expenses of higher education. In this modern age we need high intellect and highly qualified staff to take our nation ahead and that is the thing we lack to a great extent. If we look at the literacy rate of our neighboring countries we find them much more advanced. Many a time I have visited the sites of the Indian universities and I have found that their fee packages are much lesser than ours.

We have talented, intelligent and hardworking students working in Private Schools just because of the reason they cannot afford the expenses of higher education. Ex-President General Pervez Musharraf had started scholarship schemes giving opportunity to most of our talented and good students to continue their studies further and go ahead. But the new government has banned the scholarships saying they are in crises. When it comes to education and something that belongs to people, our government is always in crises, the treasurer shows red signal. When it comes to their personal expenses they spend billions.

I think if the Education Ministry is serious and sincere it must think about it and do something to enable a common man to quench his thirst of education because many among the poor and common men of Pakistan really desire to pursue higher studies. -Abrar Hussain, ilusplm@yahoo.com (F.P Report)


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PU Book Fair concludes
Lahore: Book fairs will revive the love for books among the citizens, Punjab University (PU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Mujahid Kamran said on Sunday.

He termed the recently concluded book fair an unprecedented success, as it had been a joint venture of the administration and the students. He said 178 bookstalls were set up by various publishers, adding that more than 300,000 books were sold at the fair. The VC hailed the efforts made by the managing committee and student representatives for the Book Fair 2009. He also thanked the publishers, teachers, intellectuals, politicians, students, journalists and people from all walks of life for taking interest and supporting the book fair. The VC announced that the Punjab University Book fair would be held twice from the next academic year, adding that it would be held during the months of April and September. app

PU announced schedule for LLB exam
Lahore: The Punjab University Examination Department has issued the schedule for submission of admission forms for LLB Annual Examination 2009. The last date for submission of admission forms for LLB, Part-I, Annual Exam 2009 with single fee is June 1 and the forms with double fee can be submitted till June 15. The exams will commence from July 21. The last date for submission of admission forms for LLB, Part-II, annual exam 2009 with single fee is June 3 and the forms with double fee can be submitted till June 18. The exams will commence from July 22. The last date for submission of admission forms for LLB, Part-III, annual exam 2009 with single fee is July 1 and the forms with double fee can be submitted till July 20.


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Scholarships to start from May
Lahore: Provincial Minister for Education Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman has said the disbursement of scholarships form Punjab Education Endowment Fund (PEEF) to deserving students will be started in the first week of May 2009. Under this scheme, 3000 matric students and 2000 intermediate students will receive scholarship, he added.

This was disclosed by him while talking to a delegation of students which called on him on Sunday.

The minister said the Endowment Fund was being commenced in 15 backward districts of Southern Punjab on priority basis. Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate the disbursement of scholarship in a special ceremony, he added.

Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said the Punjab Education Endowment Fund was an initiative of Punjab government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Punjab, adding to make it more efficient, transparent and autonomous in its functioning, it had been established under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984.

He added the endowment fund had been set-up with initial seed money of Rs 2 billion which was proposed to be raised subsequently. Investment proceeds out of this fund will be utilized for the award of scholarship, he added. He further said the students admitted to government institutions were being considered for these scholarships, however, the same shall be extended to private schools in due course of time.

The minister said no deserving student had been asked to submit an application for scholarship, adding eligible students had been selected on the basis of examination results of Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISEs) of the province.


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Kemcolians Forum forms new body
Lahore: The Kemcolians Forum has constituted the Young Kemcolians Committee to resolve the problems of fresh graduates of the King Edward Medical University.

According to a press release here on Sunday, Kemcolians Forum President Prof Dr Javed Akram, Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Azimuddin Zahid, Dr Sarwar Chaudhry and others, during an old Kemcolians' meeting held here, said that this committee, comprising Dr Rana Sohail, Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Amna, Dr Khalid Idrees, Dr Aurangzeb and Dr Munib-ur-Rehman, would resolve the problems of house officers and postgraduate trainees on priority basis.

The young Kemcolians have demanded the KEMU administration hold convocation for those Kemcolians who were left out of university's maiden convocation held after over one decade. They said that there was no convocation held for the KE graduates from 1998 to 2006, while medals were also not awarded to the medal winning students. They urged the Punjab chief minister and governor/chancellor to take notice of this anomaly and issue directions to the KEMU administration to hold convocation for the deprived students. The News


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Free classes for matric students at HIKC
Lahore: Hamayat-e-Islam Khawateen College (HIKC), Garden Town, has started free classes for the students appearing in the matriculation examinations, said Principal Dr Azra Imtiaz on Saturday.

She said the objective of the classes was that students should be able to cope with the intermediate courses. She said the free classes would be for arts, science, computer and commerce subjects and any female student, who met the merit criteria of the college, could attend them. Daily Times


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