Islamabad - Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf Sunday emphasized on enhancing budgetary allocations for the education sector, especially at lower levels. “The budget allocated for the education sector in Pakistan, especially at lower levels, is lower that the developing countries,” he said in an interview with APP. Dr Javed Ashraf said that the higher education had witnessed enormous success during previous years and now it was the time to focus on lower levels of education, which were being neglected. He said that the financial constraints created hurdles for the QAU- a top ranked university- in achieving its goals of maintaining the best physical infrastructure and academic standards. The university, he said, lacked improved infrastructure, a proper cafeteria, sufficient hostels, auditoriums and computer labs due to lack of funds and a gap between its resources and expenditures. Dr Javed Ashraf said that a large number of talented students wanted to study at the QAU, but they could not be accommodated due to lack of space and hostel facilities.   

Talented female students, he added, showed reluctance to join the university due to lack of hostel facility, as they felt insecure while having accommodation outside the varsity premises.

Dr Javed Ashraf said the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had been requested to provide Rs 3 billion for construction of more academic blocks, eight hostels, auditorium, computer labs etc.

This would help provide better academic facilities for the students, he added.

About new projects, the VC said the university would set up `School of Management Sciences’ with the assistance of State Bank of Pakistan, which had committed Rs 300 million for the purpose.

A state of the art building would be constructed for the school, which would be made the best academic business institution of international standards, he added.

Dr Javed Ashraf said the university had also started the programme of pharmacy due to its high demand. “We are trying to initiate those programmes which are market-oriented and can generate revenue,” he added.

About opening new campuses, the VC said it was his priority to first improve the physical infrastructure of the existing campus and strengthening the faculty.

He regretted that there was dearth of good faculty in spite of the fact that the number of PhDs had increased due to the efforts of HEC.

The HEC initiative of sending young faculty for PhD to different countries and offering good financial packages to the faculty members would prove a milestone in taking the higher education sector to new heights, he added.