Published: 28th May 2022
Pakistan universities face crisis after government cuts funding for higher education
Experts suggest that there is a threat to security in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as well, after universities were on the verge of shutting down
Why is Pakistan reducing funding for higher education? After the recently announced budget, 141 public sector universities in Pakistan are facing a severe cash crunch, as per a report by ANI.
The reduction in recurring grants has posed a threat to the survival of universities, not only in Pakistan but also in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), reported The Express Tribune. PoK Finance Ministry proposed a minimum amount of Rs 30 billion for higher education's recurring grant against the rationalised demand of Rs 104.983 billion, reported The Express Tribune. The allocation was even 45 per cent less than the current year's allocation of Rs 66.25 billion.
The heads of these educational institutions have said that there is a risk of them shutting down operations. They have said that it might become difficult for them to pay salaries or pensions, and run overall expenditures of the universities, according to The Express Tribune. The Chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which funds all universities in the country, spoke about the importance of education in the country's defence and security, and that any adverse impact on education in PoK would lead to a security crisis in the area, according to ANI. He warned of the consequences of an unprecedented reduction in higher education.
The 18th Amendment that turned Pakistan into a parliamentary republic also had an impact on the grants received by universities in PoK. After the 18th amendment, provincial governments provide grants to universities in their own sectors and PoK is left with meagre funds.