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Govt Cuts HEC’s Budget by More Than Half

Govt Cuts HEC’s Budget by More Than Half

Govt Cuts HEC’s Budget by More Than Half.

Pakistan’s Higher Education in Turmoil: HEC Budget Cut by Over 60%!

Pakistan’s public universities face a bleak future as the federal government slashes the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) budget by a staggering 61.5% for the fiscal year 2024-25.

This drastic reduction, from Rs. 65 billion to a mere Rs. 25 billion, raises serious concerns about the quality and accessibility of higher education in the country.

Impact of the Cuts:

  • Reduced Funding for Universities: The slashed budget will significantly impact public universities, both federal and provincial. This could lead to:
    • Teacher Salary Cuts: Universities might struggle to meet payroll obligations, impacting faculty morale and potentially leading to a brain drain.
    • Increased Student Fees: To bridge the funding gap, universities may resort to raising tuition fees, making higher education less accessible for students from underprivileged backgrounds.
    • Reduced Research Funding: Cuts to development budgets could cripple research initiatives crucial for scientific advancement and innovation.
  • Shifting Responsibility: The new arrangement places the financial burden of provincial universities solely on provincial governments, which may not have the resources to adequately fund them.

Concerns and Appeals:

  • HEC Chairman’s Warning: Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, HEC chairman, has expressed grave concerns about the potential consequences of the budget cuts on the quality of education and the future of Pakistan’s universities.
  • Inadequate Funding Request: The HEC had initially requested Rs. 126 billion, highlighting the need for increased investment in higher education. However, the allocated budget falls significantly short of what’s required.

Uncertain Future:

The significant reduction in HEC funding paints a worrying picture for Pakistan’s higher education landscape. The impact on students, faculty, and research activities remains to be seen. With the HEC chairman appealing to the government, it remains to be determined if this decision will be reconsidered.

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