ISLAMABAD - Vice Chancellors (VCs) of all public sector universities have expressed their strong concern of the recent cuts imposed

by the Finance Ministry on the budget of higher education.

The universities head passed a resolution, after Vice Chancellors Committee meeting held online, stating that Pakistani universities are already under enormous financial stress because of the squeezing of their budgets since last three years.            Currently, the COVID-19 crisis has further exacerbated the situation, both by increasing costs, and by reducing the inflows of tuition fees.

The Vice Chancellors appealed to the Prime Minister, the Education Minister, and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Finance to immediately reverse the cuts, and enhance the higher education budget to the levels needed by universities, said a news release issued by HEC her on Tuesday.

The resolution emphasized that future of the country depends critically on the future of education, especially higher education. If the funding cuts are not reversed, few universities will not be able to survive. It will force few universities to raise tuition fees at a time when students are unable and unwilling to pay regular tuition because of the virus pandemic.

The VCs urged Chairman HEC to arrange a meeting of a delegation of Vice Chancellors to call upon the prime minister to apprise him of the difficulties faced by universities because of the repeated budget cuts over the last three years.

The Vice Chancellors also expressed their unequivocal opposition to the actions of some elements to change legal provisions and undermine the autonomy of universities, especially draft changes in the Punjab Universities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Nowhere the world has improved quality of education without full autonomy of universities, they said.