Vice-chancellors shocked over drastic budget cut to sector

The vice-chancellors of public sector universities in Pakistan on Thursday 26 May showed serious concerns and strong dismay over a drastic cut in the higher education budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2022-23, expressing apprehension that the cut would make it impossible for universities to pay salaries and pensions let alone meet the overall expenses needed to run a university, reports the Pakistan Observer.

The Ministry of Finance has communicated IBC (Indicative Budget Ceilings) of only PKR30 billion (US$148 million) for higher education’s recurring grant against the rationalised demand of PKR104.983 billion. The allocation is 45% less even than the current year’s allocation (FY 2021-22) that was PKR66.25 billion.

Over 120 heads of public sector universities, who attended a virtual meeting from across the country, were unanimous in lamenting the unprecedented cut and urged the prime minister, finance minister and minister for education to urgently look into the matter and enhance the budget as per the rationalised demand, to avoid subversion of the long-term socio-economic goals of the country, and save the higher education sector from total chaos and collapse.
Full report on the Pakistan Observer site