University chancellors are pleading for protection of the higher education budget

University chancellors are pleading for protection of the higher education budget

University chancellors are pleading for protection of the higher education budget

Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, and Rana Tanvir Hussain, the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, have assured the heads of public sector universities that the government will not cut the higher education sector's budget in fiscal year (FY) 2022-23.

The Ministers were speaking at the Higher Education Commission's (HEC) Vice Chancellors Committee meeting in Islamabad. The meeting was attended by Vice Chancellors from all public institutions as well as members of the Commission (HEC's governing body).

Vice Chancellors expressed their dissatisfaction with the Indicative Budget Ceilings (IBC) for higher education's recurrent grant for FY 2022-23 of only Rs. 30 billion. They did, however, applaud Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif's guarantees that the budget for higher education would be protected.

They underlined that HEC had made a rationalised demand of Rs. 104.983 billion for the next financial year, which needed to be protected, which they worked out with the Ministry of Finance. Ahsan Iqbal stated that the government recognises the significance of higher education and universities in a nation's development. He emphasised the importance of bringing colleges to the forefront of the country's concerns in order to fully use the potential of young.

According to the Minister, universities mentor around two million young people who represent the country's future. He referred to university classrooms and laboratories as national security frontiers, and Vice Chancellors as corps commanders. He emphasised that the Vice Chancellors are in charge of preparing the youth for future difficulties.

Rana Tanveer, Minister of Federal Education, declared that he supports the universities' valid demand for Rs. 104.983 billion in funding. He emphasised the need of fostering quality education, innovation, and research activities in universities in order to provide education and skills to the country's youth.

He stated that the government would take initiatives to enhance university financial management. He agreed with Vice Chancellors' request that the fiscal allocation to higher education be tied to the increase of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission, stated that public universities are already under financial strain, with some colleges unable to pay salaries and pensions. According to her, HEC made a rationalised demand of Rs. 104.983 billion for FY 2022-23, which is 45 percent less than the current year's allocation of Rs. 66.25 billion.

She claims that the federal government contributes roughly 34% of the cash needed to run universities, while the provinces contribute 6-8 percent, with the institutions covering the remainder of the costs. She stated that public colleges are required to keep semester fees within a certain range in order to ensure that students from low-income families can obtain an education.

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