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CM Bizenjo approves Rs 2.5 bn for public sector universities

Balochistan's Chief Minister, Abdul Qudus Bizenjo, has approved the release of a 2.5 billion grant for the province's 10 public sector universities facing financial difficulties.

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Mr. Bizenjo made the decision at a meeting to discuss financial and administrative matters of universities across the province.

“The students who study in universities across the province are our own children who need to be invested in order not to be left behind in education, skills, science, and technology,” he said

The meeting was attended by the chief secretary of Balochistan, the secretary of Higher Education, vice-Chancellors, and other civil servants.

The grant was awarded in response to protests by staff and faculty members of the University of Baluchistan and the University of Information Technology Engineering and Management (BUITEMS).

The secretary of higher education briefed the meeting that Rs2.5bn was allocated in the provincial budget to support universities financially, which would be divided among ten universities according to a mutually agreed formula. He stated that all factors had been taken into account in the fixed grant allocation formula.

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The meeting focused on the need to create a revenue-to-expenditure ratio while examining the financial affairs and structure of universities.

It was agreed that universities were self-sustaining institutions and that, with better financial management, they could become self-sustaining like other universities in the country and around the world.

Vice-Chancellors told the meeting the Higher Education Commission (HEC) should give a 9pc share to universities in Balochistan under the formula of the National Finance Commission (NFC), but the share allocated to universities in the province was only 4.5%, which is why universities were faced with financial difficulties and an annual shortfall of 2.9 billion.

The total revenue of universities from tuition fees was Rs1.4bn, while Rs3.4bn was obtained from the HEC, while the provincial government’s support was Rs2.5 billion.

It was agreed that the chief secretary and the vice-chancellors of major universities would meet the HEC chairman and discuss the provision of 9pc grants to Baluchistan universities under the framework of the NFC grant.

Chief Minister Bizenjo ensured the vice-chancellors of a sustainable solution to their problems and emphasized that the development objective of Baluchistan could only be achieved by improving its educational system and equipping its young people with knowledge and skills.

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