The Federal Urdu University has been without a vice chancellor for two years, with the university facing financial constraints as the government has not paid it Rs 500 million for running its affairs.
The Federal Urdu University’s Abdul Haq Campus in Karachi’s Old City Area offers courses in social sciences, commerce, business administration, and arts, while the Gulshan campus houses the science department. Meanwhile, the Islamabad Campus offers courses in business, science and commerce.
Despite having three campuses with students mostly from low income families from all over Pakistan, the university has been without a vice chancellor for two years.
The government appointed Dr. Shahid Qurashi last month, but he did not join. A source from the university, on the condition of anonymity, told Minute Mirror that no acting VC was appointed and the deputy chairman of the university, A.Q Khalil was made in-charge last month.
The source, who is a professor at the university, stated that the teaching staff was furious over the appointment of Khalil as the in-charge because he did not have any academic credentials and was devoid of any experience required to run a place of learning.
The professor further said, “President Arif Alvi has summoned a meeting of the university senate in Islamabad to discuss the matters related to the appointment of the in-charge. The university senate will meet tomorrow at the President House.”
He revealed that the performance of the university was being affected due to financial constraints and the government had not paid almost Rs 50 crore needed to run the affairs of the university.
He added, “At least eight retired employees have not gotten their pensions for more than one year. Cooperative teachers are not being paid for two years. No development work is being done. Research is also affected.”
Another source stated on the condition of anonymity that the government increased salaries every year, but did not release enough funds for these raises.
A university senate member on the condition of anonymity said that universities were being asked to sell their lands. He added that this was resisted by Higher Education Commission Pakistan Chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri.
The senate member added, “The government has not increased grants for years. Hundreds of teaching positions are lying vacant.”
Another member of the university senate added that on the one hand, the government complained about the shortage of funds, but on the other, 11 members had been asked to attend a meeting in Islamabad, for which they were provided free air tickets.
He added that the government was also bearing their expenses for accommodation from public money.