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‘New universities, facilities planned for women students’

LAHORE: The government is working hard to provide women greater access to higher education, Minister for Higher Education Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said on Monday. She was presiding over the fifth meeting of the Government College for Women University Faisalabad (Madina Town).

Vice Chancellor Noureen Aziz Qureshi gave a presentation on the university’s performance, administrative activities, educational issues, financial resources, new initiatives and future plans.

Shahnawaz expressed satisfaction over the performance and shared ideas regarding new initiatives at the university. She said the provincial government had allocated Rs46.86 billion for the higher education sector in the budget for 2016-2017. She said additional buildings and necessary equipment would be provided to public universities in Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad and Multan.

She said a university for women and another IT and engineering university would be established in Sialkot soon. The provincial government had distributed laptops among 400,000 talented students this year, she said. The laptops had cost the government Rs4 billion, she added.

“We are trying to ensure equal opportunity for women to obtain higher education,” said the minister. A new campus for the Government College for Women University Faisalabad was in the works, she said. Shahnawaz directed the university administration to complete repair and renovation of the girls’ hostel. She assured them that the financial cost of development and upgrading existing facilities and infrastructure would be borne by the government.

Vice Chancellor Qureshi told the minister about the history of the Government College for Women University Faisalabad. She said the university’s enrolment was 9,762 – 2,968 students were enrolled in intermediate classes, 5,768 in BS programmes, 706 in post-graduate programmes, 301 in MPhil and 19 PhD programmes. She said 396 acres of land had been earmarked for the new campus on Jaranwala Road, near the bypass.

The VC said that the university had signed MOUs with local, national and international institutions for student and faculty exchange and for uplift programmes. She gave details of facilities available at the university such as the library, water filtration plant, transport, banks, dispensary, canteen, day care centre, bus stops and waiting areas.

Other members of syndicate presented their proposals for various development projects. .

MPAs Madeha Rana and Begum Surayyia Nasim, Women’s University Multan VC Dr Shahida Hussain, Fatima Jinnah University Rawalpindi VC Samina Amin Qadir, Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Textile Designing Lahore Acting VC Hina Tayyaba, Professor Tariq Aziz, Afsar Sajid, and Higher Commission and Finance Department representatives Barikullah and Aamir Saeed attended the meeting.

The Express Tribune: