Sindh universities ask PM for Rs 16 billion to avoid default


KARACHI: The Vice Chancellors (VCs) of 21 public universities in Sindh have collectively written to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, urgently requesting Rs 16 billion to avert a financial default.

In the letter, the VCs highlighted their concerns over the suspension of federal grants to provincial universities, including the 29 public sector institutions in Sindh. They pointed out that since 2018, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has withheld over Rs 13 billion in federal funding to Sindh’s universities.

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They expressed hope that the prime minister would take action to stabilise and support higher education institutions, and drew attention to the substantial returns on investment in education seen in countries such as China, Korea, Malaysia, and India.

The letter also emphasised on the importance of bolstering investment in higher and technical education, especially given Pakistan’s current financial crisis.

It is notable here that the HEC ceased funding provincially chartered universities due to a significant reduction in its grant from the federal government – from Rs 65 billion to Rs 25 billion. The HEC had initially requested Rs 126 billion to support 160 universities nationwide.

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However, after the federal government’s decision to slash the previously allocated Rs 65 billion, the HEC halted funding to provincial institutions, compelling universities to depend on provincial financing. – INP

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