Islamia College may be granted university status by year-end

Peshawar, Oct 26: Islamia College Peshawar - arguably the most famous and historic educational institution of the Frontier province - is likely to be granted the status of a public-sector university by the end of the year, according to some sources.

NWFP Governor Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai - who is the chancellor of the University of Peshawar, with which the college is affiliated - has expressed his desire to promulgate the ordinance granting the college the status of a university in December.

The Islamia College Peshawar, established in 1913, had already sent to the governor the draft of an ordinance for the establishment of a seat of learning called the "Islamia University", official sources said on Thursday.

A proposal concerning the upgradation of the 94-year-old college into a university is currently being reviewed by the law department. Following the legal vetting the governor will promulgate the ordinance changing the status of the college, according to officials.

They said the PC-1 of the project, envisaging an estimated cost of Rs478.33 million, was approved by the Provincial Development Working Party in April, which was submitted to the ministry of higher education, Islamabad, in June. The project was approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Sept 3.

"The planning commission had made it mandatory for the NWFP governor to issue the ordinance before the final approval of PC-1 by the CDWP as the college's management has sent a draft ordinance to the higher education department and the governor respectively," the official said.

Even though the vice-chancellor of Peshawar University, through a notification issued in May 2005, had allowed the college to start postgraduate classes but this was never mentioned in admission advertisements by the university.

The Islamia College faced a host of problems in getting its status enhanced despite having the needed resources and faculty, including 30 PhDs. Postgraduate classes were held in the past as well but they could not be continued due to lack of support from the University of Peshawar, said an official of the college.

The Islamia University premises will initially be spread over 250 acres of land in Peshawar. Later on an additional campus will be established on land owned by the college in Charsadda, where it has 550 acres of land, according to officials.

Two campuses of the proposed university will be established in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), one in Charsadda and another one in Peshawar, which will be meant for girls, according to them.

The proposed university would have the faculties of chemical sciences, physical and numerical sciences, life sciences, management and social sciences, religions and legal studies, languages and literature and other academic units as might be determined under the statutes, officials said.

The proposed university would have a population of about 5,000 students. It would initially be enrolling students in certificate/diploma programmes. After passing these courses the aspiring students shall be admitted to the four-year integrated Bachelor degree programme, leading to the MS/PhD programme.

The first vice-chancellor would be appointed by the governor. Later on, the task of appointing vice-chancellors would be given to search committees. Dawn



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