ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) has started reducing budget allocations for universities and it is feared that not only management of the universities will bear the brunt besides severe financial problems could hit scholarships programmes.
Official sources told Daily Times that HEC had directed all educational institutes in country through a letter to keep the commission informed about the current status of their funds. It can be inferred that the current status of financial conditions is worse than those in last year. The HEC through letter informed the universities that they cut down the budget by 5-10 percent considering the credibility of the universities. Source from HEC have declared the situation to be the worst in the history of the country.
Sources told Daily Times that HEC had cut down funds of 128 public sector Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) across the country. HEC cut down five percent budget of International Islamic University (IIUI) funds, seven percent of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), five percent of Bahria University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, National Defense University, Islamabad (NDU), National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad.
Besides according to sources HEC has planned to cut down 7-10 percent in the budget of Federal Urdu University, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Frontier Women University, Gomal University, D.I. Khan Hazara University, Dodhial, Mansehra Institute of Management Science, Peshawar (IMS), Islamia College University and other educational institute.
Sources said the financial crisis had also affected six new development projects. The Federal Cabinet allocated Rs 679.895 million for the six new schemes of HEC in the federal budget for 2011-12 under PSDP which Rs 20 million have been sanctioned for the establishment of National Institute of Liver and Gastro-intestine Diseases at Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Rs 60 million to erect a university at Turbat, Rs 50 million for National Defense University, Rs 49.895 million for Establishing a university at Loralai, Rs 300 million for establishment of a university at Malakand/ Swat and Rs 200 million for indigenous PhD fellowship for 5,000 scholars. Out of a total allocation of Rs 14 billion in the current budget, Rs 13,320.105 million have been sanctioned for 166 on-going while Rs 679.895 million for six new schemes.
According to sources, the HEC was allotted budget of about 14 billion rupees for the year 2011-2012. Out of which 120 million rupees were fixed for scholarships. Given that current situation of HEC, it seem unable to maintain the scholarship funds due to which the student study abroad complain of scholarship funds but the commission uses ill will tactics. Besides according to universities officials, 5-10 percent cut in budgets the educational institutes seem difficult to maintained their administrative and other expenses. He also said scholarship programs and the provision of tuition fee under higher education commission would be affected.
The administrative officials of QAU and IIUI on the condition of anonymity told Daily Times that they have received letter regarding budget detection. They said due to this cut universities would face stationery and due date billing paid problems in first phase then the second phase the educational institutes would face maintaining problems.Daily Times.