Govt Takes U-Turn on Higher Education Budget Cut After Severe Backlash
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbalutes the Finance Division’s decision to slash the Higher Education Commission (HEC) budget by 50 percent ‘ridiculous.’ Vice-Chancellors of public universities assured there would be no budget cut for the higher education sector.
His remarks come days after the government hinted at reducing the HEC’s funding from Rs. Sixty-five billion to Rs. 30 billion in the next fiscal year.
The Indian government has cut the Institution Building Contractions (IBC) for higher education. However, the move wasn’t well-received among the stakeholders. Some fear it will make it impossible for universities to pay salaries and pensions, let alone meet the overall expenses needed to run a university.
Universities are under enormous financial pressure because of stagnant funding in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They said that the government has allocated only Rs. 30 billion for 2018-19.
Public universities in Pakistan have been told to increase student intake beyond capacity or face repercussions that will severely dent the quality of learning and graduates, according to a group of professors at the University of Karachi (UNK) who spoke to the BBC’s Urdu-language service.