LAHORE - Girls outshined boys in academics at the 10th Convocation of the Government College University, as they clinched top positions in 21 of 26 disciplines at BA/BSc (Hons) level. Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa presided over the ceremony co-chaired by GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleequr Rahman.

As many as 1,291 students received degrees, medals and certificates at the convocation attended by the VCs of nine universities including Punjab University, Sargodha University, University of Education, University of Lahore, UVAS and LCWU.

The convocation report also highlighted that girls also secured 13 of 16 prestigious academic gold medals and rolls of honors that are awarded to students for their extraordinary excellence. Only, three medals were secured by the male students.

Addressing the convocation, the Punjab Governor said he would ensure financial resources for the establishment of the GCU new campus at Kala Shah Kaku. “The government will not shy away from its responsibility towards grand educational institutions such as GCU and I pledge before this august gathering that the financial resources for GCU will never dry up,” he added.

He said GCU’s invaluable contribution in the realm of art and literature had been unrivalled. “The cultural milieu of this historical institution has inspired many a literary notable to explore their innate gift,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, GCU VC said this was a knowledge-driven world and the divide between the rich and the poor countries today was simply a “knowledge divide.” “Only the countries that have invested in education have progressed rapidly,” he added.

Prof Khaleeq announced that now doors of GCU were flung open for other colleges so GCU was ready to share its 148-year long expertise in education with other educational institutions by way of affiliation. “Now various colleges of Punjab can opt for affiliation with this University,” he added.

He said GCU had attained a distinguished place among Pakistani universities owing to its strong commitment to research work in every field. He said last year, the research articles of GCU staff and students appearing in international and national journals come to 792. The VC said 37 foreign professors were teaching in different departments of the varsity.

Prof Khaleeq lamented that on average Islamic countries invest only about 0.46 per cent of their GDPs in science and technology, compared to the two to four per cent spent by the advanced countries.

He said most important and potential source of institutional development was industry linkage which had so far been untapped in Pakistan.

He said GCU planed to take a qualitative leap forward by developing strong linkages with industry through general support, contract research, research centres and institutes, research consortium, industrial affiliate programs and new business incubators and technology parks.

The VC said GCU had developed a strong liaison in areas of mutual interest with international universities from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey, United Kingdom, and USA. He said GCU was bringing about massive improvement in its teaching and administrative strategies. He said that a number of bold initiatives had been taken recently which include reduction the fees of students by 35 percent and hostel dues by 50 percent. “Besides fee reduction, scholarships through the University budget as well as GCU Endowment Fund have also been given to deserving students,” he added.

Talking about the GCU development projects, the VC said that a total of 14 projects were completed during the year 2010-11. At present, we are implementing various development projects with Rs 662.64 million grants from the Punjab government and Rs 102.04 million from HEC, he added.