ISLAMABAD - Planning Commission has approved establishing new campus of National University of Technology (NUTECH) worth Rs2,851 million in the city to meet the shortage of applied engineers and workforce in the country, The Nation learnt on Saturday.

The documents available with The Nation said Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform has approved the Higher Education Commission (HEC) sponsored project of establishing new campus of NUTECH at Sector I-12, IJP road Islamabad.

As per documents, total cost of the project will be Rs2,851 million while it will be completed in three years.

The project was included in federal PSDP (HEC) 2019-20 with the title of “Establishment of New Campus of National University of Technology (NUTECH).

Officials said that the project sponsored by HEC will be executed by National University of Technology, Islamabad.

Officials said that compared to develop world, education in Pakistan is mostly conventional and generalised in nature, whereas, for industrial development requirement is to shift on to education in the realm of technologies creation, development and implementation.

The working paper for the CDWP carrying details of the project and highlighting issues of the sector said that there is low enrolment in higher education compared to the region and workforce of Pakistan is far below the national average of developed nations.

It added that there is acute shortage of applied engineers, technologies and skilled workforce in Pakistan, where there is also inadequacy of research and its relationship to the technology development, innovation, enterprise and management.

It said that there is low investment in research and development by public as well as private sectors and also shortage of qualified PhD faculty.

Along with such issues, there is minimal national and international collaboration and linkages of universities and R&D organisations also.

The documents said that Pakistan is projected to become 5th populous country by 2030 while large portion will be the youth. This youth dividend can be attained through higher productivity and a faster economic growth by providing quality higher education to the youth, especially in the fields of applied engineers and technology education.

Project objectives described that at present, there is acute shortage of applied engineers, technologies and skilled workforce in Pakistan.

Recognising the importance of highly skilled workforce for rapid industrial/economic growth.

It said main objective of the proposed project is to establish National University of Technology on strong footings at par with international standards.

The proposed facilities will fulfil remaining requirements of initially established National University of Technology campus, mandatory for award of degrees, diplomas, certificates and other qualifications as agreed by the Academic Council/BoG of National University of Technology and approved by the national bodies responsible for accreditation.

The documents said that proposed components of the project will increase access to career focused tertiary education while encouraging female enrolment in applied sciences engineers and technology programmes.

The project brief added that establishing of new campus will increase access and produce a substantial number of quality graduate applied engineers, technologies, high end skilled workers and professionals in a variety of engineering disciplines to meet the national demands of industrial progress and self-reliance.

It will also train faculty who will form the backbone of experts in reviving educational excellence, promote institutional management and improve current educational teaching and learning materials to meet national requirements.