ISLAMABAD  - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has expedited the process for the immediate implementation of the Prime Minister’s Tuition Fee Payment Scheme for Masters, MS/M.Phil and Ph.D for students of Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan and FATA. According to an official of Higher Education Commission, the information regarding eligible students enrolled at the respective universities and postgraduate colleges situated at Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan and FATA/KPK has been collected.  Through a letter, Higher Education Commission has requested the heads of 21 provincial higher education institutions and campuses of federal universities to provide the list of the students along with their fee details so that funds may be released accordingly. Through this beneficial initiative, federal government through Higher Education Commission would release the funds to the universities for reimbursement of tuition fee and other mandatory fee.The scheme is focused on enhancing opportunities of higher education especially for the talented but financially constrained students belonging to remote and far flung areas who despite possessing academic merit are unable to continue higher education studies.The federal government, in move to support the under developed special scheme, along with tuition fee, the federal government would pay other academic, incidental, or mandatory fees charged by educational institutions as one-off or on a per semester basis of masters, M.Phil and PhD students belonging to Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan and FATA (enrolled at KPK and FATA institutions). The fee disbursement is being ensured through a transparent and well defined mechanism.The students having valid domicile/local certificate of Balochistan, FATA and Gilgit/Baltistan and enrolled on merit in the higher education institutions located in the territory of Balochistan, FATA and Gilgit/ Baltistan, are eligible under this programme. In addition, the students belonging to FATA and enrolled at the higher education institutions of KPK province are also eligible.The scheme being executed by Higher Education Commission has been introduced initially for five (5) years, beginning in Financial Year 2012-13, with the provision that those students who join the scheme in the last year, i.e. Financial Year 2016-17, would continue to be funded until they complete their academic programme.The federal cabinet in its meeting held on June 1, 2012 approved the Tuition Fee Payment Scheme for the students of Balochistan, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan during Financial Year 2012-13.The vice chancellors, academic circles and parents appreciated the new initiative announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan which would be quite helpful in providing equitable access to highereducation especially to the students belonging to hard and remote areas of the country.