Peshawar    -   University of Peshawar has been facing financial crisis and even facing difficulties to pay salaries to its staff, according to sources in the university.

Talking to The Nation, an official of the university said the university had recently started paying salaries to employees from the grant issued by the Higher Education Commission to the university for research purpose.

“HEC releases two kinds of funds to the university, i.e one for research and the other recurrent funds. Owing to financial crisis, the university is now using the research funds to pay the staff their salaries,” he added.

It may be mentioned here that one of the oldest universities of Pakistan, the University of Peshawar is facing financial issues due to a number of issues. First, the three major earning and profitable institutions at the UoP campus, i.e Khyber Medical College, University of Engineering and Technology and Agricultural University, have been separated from the university as autonomous institutions. This is why the income of these three institutions does not benefit the university anymore.  

Another reason of the crisis, according to the university sources, is the decision of the government to stop colleges of the province from affiliation with the university. Previously, the colleges all over the province used to get affiliated with the UoP and pay it fees, but now only the colleges in Peshawar are required to affiliate with it, not the entire province.

Similarly, the third reason behind financial issues is said to be the halt to masters’ programmes as the university has now started BS programmes but the problem is that all colleges are also offering BS programmes.

“If a college offers admissions in its BS programme for Rs7,000 fee, why would a student apply for admission in the University of Peshawar that charges them Rs.50,000 each?” said an assistant professor of the university.

Another official of the university administration, while requesting anonymity, said that last week, the HEC disconnected Internet facility to the university on account of non-payment and it resumed the internet after the university paid the HEC Rs.9.3 million.

The university spokesman, Muhammad Noman, denied a report appearing in a newspaper that the university was using funds of students’ scholarships to pay salaries to staff. “Scholarships are being distributed to students,” he added.

To a question about use of HEC’s research fund for salaries, he said he was not sure about it but that he would have to ask relevant authorities whether the salaries were currently being paid from research grant or not.

“We have been earning almost Rs.30 million annually from the masters and BA private candidates. However, the government has recently announced to stop private education and in this head, UoP is also likely to lose this amount in future,” he said.