Sub-campuses of universities in 31 districts
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, has launched the first phase of establishing physical and academic infrastructure of new sub-campuses of different universities at 31 districts of Pakistan.
Under the project, 16 campuses of public sector universities will be established in those districts having potential intake of 1,000-1,500 students while in other districts where the population is thin, the HEC will provide campuses of Virtual University.
The HEC will provide funding for infrastructure, faculty development and other allied facilities, whereas respective provincial governments shall extend necessary support in terms of providing building to start academic activities and free of cost land for establishing university or sub-campus.
A committee headed by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal will oversee the progress on the project, which is aimed at providing access to the higher education in almost every district headquarter of the country either by establishing a sub-campus of an existing university or by upgrading the existing sub-campuses to full-fledged universities in consultation and collaboration with the respective universities and provincial governments.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in its meeting held recently recommended the HEC project worth Rs2,456.977 million to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council for approval. In second phase of the project, 35 districts will be covered.
The HEC has directed all the universities to initiate at least two to three programmes at new sub-campuses in which they have qualified faculty. HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad has directed to ensure quality of higher education at all levels. The HEC will make no compromise on the quality of any programme, he said.
The project is a conscious effort of the government to build healthy learning environment and ensure provision of higher education opportunities in the country. The HEC has prepared a roadmap for phase-wise establishment of these institutions in the districts which are without a sub-campus and a university. The plan was shared with respective provincial governments to get their assent. The information was also shared with Vice Chancellors and Rectors of public sector universities to seek their consent for establishing sub-campuses in the potential districts. Consultative meetings were also held with respective provincial higher education departments and Planning & Development Departments.
The sub-campuses being established in this phase include Karakoram International University, Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan; University of Poonch, Forward Kahuta, Azad Jammu & Kashmir; University of Balochistan, Pishin, Balochistan; University of Balochistan, Quetta, Dera Murad Jamali, Balochistan; Lasbela University of Agriculture Water & Marine Sciences, Uthal, Balochistan; Sardar Bahudar Khan Women University, Naushki, Balochistan; University of Hazara, Battagram, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; University of Swat, Shangla, KPK; Gomal University, Tank, KPK; Kohat University of Science and Technology, Hangu; Shah Abdul Latif University, Ghotki and Shahdadkot, Sindh; Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sanghar; IBA, Kashmore; Sindh Agriculture University, Umerkot; and, Mehran University of Engg & Technology, Jacobabad. Likewise, a total of 15 Virtual University sub-campuses will be established including two in Gilgit-Baltistan, one in FATA, five in Balochistan, one in KPK, four in Punjab and two in Sindh.