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Higher education: Govt to spend Rs34bn on universities’ infrastructure

Pakistani students

The Punjab government will spend Rs 34.6 billion on improving the infrastructure of public sector universities over the next five years, Vice Chancellors’ Committee head Lt General (r) Muhammad Akram Khan has said.

Briefing the committee on April 7, he said a 10-year roadmap had been prepared to raise the standards of higher education. The committee, formed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, had met under Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan.

Akram said a Knowledge Park would be set up over 800 acres at Dera Rakh Chahl on Bedian Road. He said the facility would house an Information Technology and Technical University, sub-campuses of several renowned universities and offices of information and communications technology companies.

He said sub-campuses of several universities would also be developed further and some more government colleges given the university status.

He said development of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology in Multan would be completed at a cost of Rs3.8 billion.

Khan said the government would encourage some of the world’s best universities to set up campuses at Knowledge Park. He said academic blocks of 30 to 50 acres would be reserved for the campuses of these universities.

He said the government would arrange a road show and a conference in Lahore in which 150 researchers from the US, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and India would participate.

He thanked the British Council for its help in achieving millennium development goals in school education in the Punjab. He said he hoped the council would continue to provide technical assistance for raising the standards of higher education.

British Council Pakistan Director Peter Upton said the council would arrange a 10-day workshop for the professional development of vice chancellors and school principals and head teachers.

He said eight universities from the UK, Turkey and Malaysia were willing to establish their sub-campuses at Knowledge Park.

University of the Punjab Vice Chancellor Mujahid Kamran, Government College University Vice Chancellor Dr Khaliqur Rehman, Lahore University of Management Sciences Vice Chancellor Sohail Naqvi, Higher Education Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal and Additional Secretary Shahid Zaman were among the participants at the meeting. (The Express Tribune)

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