ISLAMABAD: The federal government of Pakistan has allocated a substantial amount of Rs59.7 billion for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2023-24, according to a budget document released on Friday.
Allocation for Ongoing Schemes
Out of the total allocation, Rs52.8 billion has been designated for ongoing schemes in the education sector, emphasizing the government’s commitment to the development of education and research. Among the ongoing schemes, specific amounts have been allocated to various initiatives.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships and University Developments
A significant portion of Rs1.5 billion has been allocated for the Award of Allama Muhammad Iqbal 3,000 Scholarships to Afghan students, following the Prime Minister’s directive. This initiative aims to support education opportunities for Afghan students.
Furthermore, Rs500 million each has been set aside for the development of the Main Campus of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda and the University of Buner in Swari (Phase-I). These investments aim to enhance infrastructure and promote quality education in these institutions.
Advancement of Basic Sciences and University College Establishment
In a bid to promote the advancement of basic sciences, Rs500 million has been earmarked for the establishment of the Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad Khan Centre. This initiative aims to foster research and innovation in the field of basic sciences.
Additionally, Rs500 million has been allocated for the creation of a University College at Zhob (BUITEMS), with plans for revision. This investment seeks to expand educational opportunities and improve the quality of education in the region.
Fulbright Scholarships and Innovative Center
The budget document reveals that Rs1 billion has been reserved for the Fulbright Scholarships Support Programme HEC-USAID (Phase-III), aiming to facilitate educational exchange and collaboration between Pakistan and the United States. Furthermore, an Innovative Center and Software Park at the University of Engineering & Technology Sub Campus Lahore will be established with a revised allocation from the budget.
International Education Opportunities and Strengthening of University of Gujrat
To facilitate education on an international scale, the government has allocated Rs3.23 billion for Overseas Scholarships for MS/M.Phil leading to PhD in selected fields (Phase III)-HEC. This initiative aims to support Pakistani students in pursuing higher education abroad.
Moreover, a substantial amount of Rs3 billion has been allocated for the Ph.D. Scholarship Programme under the Pak-US Knowledge Corridor (Phase-I)-(Revised), fostering academic collaboration and knowledge transfer between Pakistan and the United States. Additionally, Rs800 million is reserved for the Strengthening and Expansion of the University of Gujrat (UN) and Allied Campuses, aiming to enhance educational facilities and infrastructure in the region.
Infrastructure Development and New Schemes
Addressing the need for improved infrastructure, Rs740.902 million has been earmarked for strengthening the Core Network & Expansion of PERN footprints through CPEC Optical Fiber (PERN-III)-HEC. This investment seeks to enhance the connectivity and network infrastructure for educational institutions.
Additionally, Rs1.5 billion has been allocated for the construction of the National Sports City (NSC) in Narowal, emphasizing the government’s focus on promoting sports and physical education.
Turning attention to new schemes, the government has allocated Rs1.2 billion for improving laboratory facilities in five leading Engineering Universities, namely UET Peshawar, Taxila, Lahore, Khuzdar, and NED Karachi. This investment aims to enhance the practical learning experience for students in these institutions.
Furthermore, Rs500 million each has been set aside for providing higher education opportunities to students from Balochistan and tribal areas (Phase-III) and enhancing academic facilities at NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi.
Establishment of the Institute of Sports
Lastly, Rs500 million has been allocated for the establishment of the Institute of Sports, underscoring the government’s commitment to promoting sports education and training.
Promoting Education, Research, and Innovation
The allocation of funds towards ongoing and new schemes in the Higher Education Commission reflects the government’s commitment to promoting education, research, and innovation in Pakistan. These investments aim to improve infrastructure, enhance academic opportunities, and foster collaboration both domestically and internationally.