Higher education: For their meeting, VCs have just one agenda, more funding

Monday, March 26th, 2012 8:30:11 by

ISLAMABAD: For their meeting with the finance minister on Monday (today), vice-chancellors (VCs) of various public and private universities have just one thing on their mind: more funding.

The meeting would be attended by senior Higher Education Council (HEC) officials, such as Chairman Javaid Laghari and Executive Director Sohail Naqvi.

In the meeting, the VCs would brief Finance Minister Abdulhafiz Sheikh about the financial challenges being faced by higher education institutions. The federal government allocated around Rs14 billion to the HEC for recurring costs and another Rs14 billion for the development of higher education in the 2011-12 budget, significantly lower than previous years.

“We will definitely seek more funds from the government to meet our expenditures, particularly for completion of ongoing development projects and the launch of subsequent ones,” said a VC not wishing to be named.

He added that universities are facing difficulties due to the shortage of funds, particularly for salary disbursement. Though salaries have seen a 65% increase, it has not been matched by a similar increase in the overall HEC budget.

The VC said that “our research and development projects have been badly affected because of the development budget; the government should raise its allocation keeping the growing inflation in mind.”

An HEC official said that financial constraints would be the dominant point of the meeting and heads of universities would formulate financial recommendation to incorporate into the next budget pertaining to higher education.

HEC Chairperson Laghari said that the meeting of VCs would discuss a variety of issues pertaining to quality assurance, mutual coordination, self-generation of resources as well as research and development.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2012.

Islamabad News Sources -2

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