Universities financial crisis | Let HEC work
University facing financial crisis
Nawabshah, July 28: Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and
Technology (Quest) is facing financial problems because of a major slash in
grants by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The HEC has not
increased recurring grant of universities and cut its development funds,
therefore Quest is facing difficulty in payment of salaries and has stopped
According to sources in the university, recurring
grant of Quest was Rs225 million in 2009-10, which was not enhanced in 2010-11
despite a 50 per cent increase in the salaries of employees in the budget of
The recurring grant for 2010-11 allocated by the HEC was
Rs225.51 million against the university requirement of Rs420.45 million. Thus
the institution is facing a deficit of Rs194.94 million.
The cut in
grant would reflect an immediate impact on payment of salaries and allowances
amounting to Rs99.40 million from July 1 and the deficit would increase to
Rs294.34 million in 2010-11.
The cut in development grants had affected
two ongoing projects, including scholarships for PhD, MPhil and others courses.
A project named faculty development and other immediate needs costing
Rs440.176 million, which included 45 scholarships, had also suffered, the
Two projects, one for extension of education and the other
for allied facilities, cost Rs476.420 million with 28 scholarships for PhD and
master degrees, infrastructure, laboratories and other construction work.
About 45 teachers of the university are getting higher education in
various countries of the world whereas 13 more are supposed to go abroad during
the current year.
Apparently, no one would be able to go abroad for
higher education, but the financial crunch would negatively affect the teachers
doing PhDs abroad.
Vice-Chancellor of Quest Prof Dr A.B. Soomro told
this correspondent that the university received Rs273 million till June 2010
against the requirement of Rs700 million in the development grant.
said that total of the recurring grant of Rs427 million in 2009-10 and the grant
of 2010-11 was Rs600 million, but they had received only Rs131 million.
In this situation, he said, the institution might obtain loan for the
payment of salaries and other allowances to more than 700 employees.
Construction of boys and girls hostels, girls gymnasium, extension of
laboratories and boundary walls of the campus and training of administration
staff were stopped due to the major cuts in the grant, he added.
of 'Strengthening of Quest' amounting to Rs492 million for IT facilities,
enhancement of security, teachers hostel, transport garage, street lights,
sewerage and drainage works was also withheld because Rs100 million was released
for the project in 2009-10 but later the funding was frozen, he said.
said that President Asif Ali Zardari had taken notice of the issue and directed
the Sindh government to come to the rescue of the university and provide Rs300
Originally established as a campus of Mehran University of
Engineering and Technology, the institute was upgraded to university during the
second tenure of Ms Benazir Bhutto in 1996. However, the university remained in
crisis immediately after its establishment because the PPP government was
removed and the university never received any development funds till the
establishment of the HEC.
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HEC meeting to discuss universities' financial crisis
Islamabad: The financial crisis faced by seats of higher learning seems
to be deepening, with over 50 vice-chancellors of public-sector universities
dashing to Islamabad to discuss the issue with top officials of Higher Education
Commission (HEC), according to sources.
An emergency meeting of the
vice-chancellors' committee will be held with only one item on the agenda ---
the funding problem that has gone from bad to worse over the last couple of
years. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, a concerned HEC official said.
Governors of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in their
capacity as chancellors of the public-sector universities have already informed
the prime minister of their inability to implement the government's decision of
giving a 50 per cent raise in the salary of university teachers until they were
provided the required funds.
The official said the raise in salary meant
an additional burden of Rs7 billion, and universities had no money to meet the
Moreover, he said, the HEC started the current financial
year with a yawning deficit of Rs11.5 billion. During last year, the government
under the public sector development programme committed Rs22.5 billion for the
development of public sector universities.
However, until June 30 last
year, it could only release Rs11 billion. This year against the demand of Rs30
billion under the development grant, the government has only allocated Rs15.7
billion to the HEC.
Almost every vice chancellor of 73 public sector
universities of the country had written to the HEC for financial help for both
meeting their recurring and development expenditures, the official said.
"HEC's hands are tied; therefore, to apprise the heads of universities
of ground realities, we have decided to hold this emergency meeting," he added.
Speaking frankly, the official made it clear that the HEC was barely
surviving. It has shelved almost all its major scholarship schemes. Over 200
development schemes, including both infrastructural and academic, have been
disbanded. The momentum which had been created with years of hard work and
investment of billions of rupees in the higher education sector of the country
had come to a grinding halt, the official argued.
If the situation did
not change, the official said, chances were that the HEC would ask public sector
universities to increase their fees and plan more self-finance based admission
schemes. "In the past the HEC had discouraged such measures because they led to
an overall increase in the cost of university education," the official added.
Answering a question, the official said the issue of degrees'
verification was not on the agenda at the meeting. But, he added, there would be
no bar on asking about anything. Dawn
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Let the HEC work
Lahore: The Election Commission failed to verify not just the degrees but also the dual
nationalities, taxes and assets of parliamentarian. For this grave negligence
the chief election commissioner and his key staff should be proceeded against in
the courts of Pakistan. It is surprising that suddenly the Election Commission
has woken up and is pushing a policy of bureaucratic delays in the degree
This describes exactly what our system stands for
— cheating, frauds, corruption and incompetence. Let the HEC verify the degrees
and place them on its website, and let none of these incompetent fake-degree
protectors come in the way. -By Jaunaid R Qureshi
***Sukkur: In a country where the credibility of
our university degrees does not carry much weight anymore, the proverbial last
straw is the embarrassing stance of our federal education minister over the
fake-degree issue. The HEC is amongst the few state-administered organisations
of repute in Pakistan. Yet the education minister wants to place impediments in
the working of the HEC. The problem is with the mindset and the myopic vision of
our ruling elite, which is unfortunately willing to put at stake the future of
our education system in order to gain short-term advantages. The government
should punish those who submitted fake degrees as they have committed a crime of
forgery, instead of making a scapegoat of the HEC or its upright chairman, who
was chosen by Benazir Bhutto to head the SZABIST. -By Aneela Chandio (The news)
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HEC rejects MPA's academic credentials
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has told the Supreme
Court, seized with a number of election disputes pertaining to members of the
Balochistan Assembly, that the graduation degree of MPA Zahoor Hussain Khan
Khosa was not recognised by it.
A bench comprising Chief Justice
Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman
Ramday that had taken up on Tuesday several petitions relating to election
disputes was, however, told that the HEC recognised a qualification obtained
from a seminary in Multan by provincial Minister for Labour and Manpower Maulvi
Mohammad Sarwar of the JUI-F.
The proceedings were adjourned till Friday
because the HEC sought time to establish the veracity of the degree from the
At the last hearing, the court had noted that the copies of
the degree and nomination papers of Maulvi Sarwar submitted by the Election
Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had been tampered with.
It had ordered the
Election Commission to depute an officer to conduct an inquiry into the matter
and submit a report. Dawn
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ASA rejects HEC proposal
Islamabad: Academic Staff Association, of the Quaid-i-Azam University has
rejected the proposal floated by Higher Education Commission (HEC) to only admit
the students who have a scholarship to their credit.
committee of ASA in a meeting observed that passing NTS or GRE can be used by
HEC for awarding indigenous or foreign scholarships but cannot be made criteria
for PhD admissions. It unanimously resolved that all those candidates who pass
admission tests prepared by QAU should be admitted whether they have a
scholarship or not.
It may be mentioned that HEC is using the tactics to
get its own selected students admitted in Pakistani universities. A good number
of students passing GRE or NTS tests conducted by Americans or HEC fail in the
admission tests prepared by Pakistani universities. The HEC seemingly thought it
a good opportunity to thrust its own candidates upon Pakistani universities as
no PhD student had been admitted in the past six months at QAU because of this
The case in other universities is not different.
Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA)
had already rejected the condition of passing GRE or NTS tests as a precondition
for PhD admissions.
Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar, President, FAPUASA, revealed
that Dr Suhail Naqvi, Executive Director, HEC, had denied having issued any
letter asking public-sector universities to admit those students who had passed
NTS tests of HEC.
A member of Advanced Studies and Research Board
(AS&RB) of QAU informed the ASA meeting that the HEC letter was discussed in
the board meeting. It would be unfair, discriminatory and against human rights
that university will give the admission to those students who have a scholarship
but denying the same to other students who do not have any type of scholarship. The news
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Islamia College takes lead to open campuses in Fata
Peshawar: The Islamia College Peshawar (Chartered University) has
become the first ever university to set up campuses in the tribal region.
"The university will start classes in September at its newly-inaugurated
campuses in Parachinar and Sadda areas of Kurram tribal region," said ICU
Vice-chancellor Ajmal Khan.
The ICU also wanted to set up a campus in
Mirali area of North Waziristan Agency but the idea was dropped for time being
owing to security situation in the volatile tribal region.
days ago, Mr Khan visited Kurram Agency along with his team and received an
encouraging response from the political administration and tribal elders about
setting up campuses of the university at Parachinar and Sadda.
people were of the view that I was crazy to think of opening campuses in the
tribal region but the people of Kurram welcomed the idea," he said.
Seeing the welcoming response of the locals, two campuses of the
university were inaugurated in Kurram, which according to him, could be called
foundation of the first ever university in the tribal region.
going to start from Intermediate level and then build up facilities and faculty
to take students up to Masters and PhD level," the vice-chancellor added.
He said that people were so eager to have ICP campuses in their area
that they had already prepared a list of all highly qualified persons, hailing
from the region, who could leave their jobs elsewhere to join the university if
given a chance.
Unlike other projects where millions of dollars are
spent in the name of development in tribal areas, Mr Khan has not sought any
sort of foreign aid or financial support from any donor agency. He believes that
once the campuses become functional in the tribal agency on self-help basis and
there is something on the ground, only then it will be reasonable to seek aid or
financial assistance to upgrade the campuses.
Initially classes would be
started in the government buildings after repairing and renovating the same with
the help of political administration, he said.
"The political agent has
been very helpful in providing buildings for this purpose. Both girls and boys
will be enrolled in the Parachinar and Sadda campuses of the university," Mr
Mehnaz Mumtaz, a student of Political Science at
Post-graduate College for Boys Parachinar, said that girls of the area wanted to
get higher education but there was no university. Interestingly, at present
around 14 girls are attending classes of Masters at Post-Graduate College for
Boys as there is no university in Kurram Agency while about 3,000 girl students
are studying in Benazir Degree College Parachinar.
Mr Khan said that
local elders told him that they had no problem with co-education. They said that
girls and boys could study in the same building, he added. "What they want is
quality education for their children from a prestigious institution like ICP,"
Although there have been violent clashes in the region during
the recent past, yet elders from Parachinar went with the vice-chancellor and
his team to Sadda to inaugurate a campus of the university there. They
themselves suggested that Sadda should also have a campus like Parachinar, Mr
Khan said. "People of Parachinar and Sadda forgot their differences when it came
to education and showed enthusiasm alike," he said. Dawn
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