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Sindh Universities Request Rs16 Billion from PM Shehbaz to Prevent Default

Sindh Universities

KARACHI: The Vice Chancellors of 21 public universities in Sindh have written a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, urgently requesting Rs 16 billion to prevent the universities from defaulting.

This letter highlights a growing financial crisis facing higher education institutions in the province due to the withholding of federal government grants.

In their letter, the Vice Chancellors expressed deep concern over the suspension of federal grants to provincial universities, including all 29 public sector universities in Sindh.

They pointed out that the federal government traditionally provides over Rs 13 billion annually to Sindh’s universities through the Higher Education Commission (HEC). However, these funds have been frozen since 2018, exacerbating the financial woes of these institutions.

The Vice Chancellors emphasized the critical need for financial stability and support from the federal government, urging Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take immediate action.

They underscored the high returns on investment in education, citing examples from countries like China, Korea, Malaysia, and India, where increased funding for education has spurred significant economic and social development.

The letter also highlighted the importance of investing in higher and technical education, particularly in the context of the current financial crisis in Pakistan.

The Vice Chancellors argued that enhancing educational funding is essential for the country’s development and competitiveness on the global stage.

The financial crisis facing Sindh’s universities is part of a broader issue affecting higher education across Pakistan.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) had requested Rs 126 billion to support 160 universities nationwide. However, the federal government significantly reduced the allocation from Rs 65 billion to Rs 25 billion.

This drastic cut has forced the HEC to stop funding provincially chartered universities, leaving them to rely solely on provincial financing.

The HEC’s budget cut has had severe implications for universities in Sindh and other provinces. Without adequate federal support, these institutions struggle to meet their operational expenses, maintain infrastructure, and provide quality education to students.

The Vice Chancellors warned that without the requested Rs 16 billion, the universities risk severe financial instability, which could lead to a deterioration in educational standards and hinder the development of the region.

In conclusion, the Vice Chancellors’ letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is a desperate plea for financial assistance to prevent the impending default of public universities in Sindh.

They urged the federal government to recognize the critical role of higher education in national development and to take immediate steps to restore and increase funding to support the future of Pakistan’s youth and the nation’s progress.

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