ISLAMABAD: After months of deliberations, the first federal university for women will be set up in the capital in the next financial year, once an ordinance has been enacted to upgrade the Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG), F-7/2.
Correspondence between the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and IMCG is under way to grant the college the status of a varsity. An allocation of Rs20 million has been proposed for the varsity.
Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal had announced the government’s intention to set up a women’s university in the capital earlier this year at IMCG, which will be upgraded to a university.
The college offers five graduate programmes at present. HEC and the Capital Administration and Development Division, which looks after the capital’s education institutes, are working on an ordinance to upgrade IMCG’s status.
IMCG, established in 1967, was initially known as the Federal Government (FG) College for Women. In 2011, its name was changed along with all FG colleges, which were renamed as model colleges. The college is considered a first-choice institute due to the outstanding result of its students.
A senior teacher at IMCG, who requested anonymity, confirmed the college would be granted the status of an autonomous university.
“It is indeed rewarding that the college will be upgraded to a university but that implies additional responsibility and requirements in terms of infrastructure and staff, which is a serious concern for us.” She said they were currently short of about 20 college teachers and some of their colleagues had been loaned to other institutes.
HEC Chairperson Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said it would be the first women’s varsity to focus on social sciences and engineering subjects.
Allocations for a women’s varsity and a skills varsity have been included in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2014-15.
The 26-acre National Institute of Science and Technical Education (NISTE) in Sector H-8 conducts short technical and computer courses. The institute’s upgradation has been on cards since November 2011.
The HEC chief said there are many engineering universities, but this will be the first varsity exclusively focused on imparting skills-based education in Pakistan. “We will rename it Skills University and also work to expand the number and scope of programmes offered at the campus.”
NISTE Acting Director General Rafique Tahir said they were hoping that the institute would be upgraded this year, once the NISTE ordinance has been amended. “We’re finalising a proposal to upgrade NISTE,” he added. Initially, Rs20 million have been allocated in the PSDP 2014-15.