Tuesday April 23, 2024

Passing the buck

By News Desk
April 03, 2024
Passing the buck

In February, the caretaker government reportedly decided to stop some higher education funding in the upcoming fiscal year, even though higher education funding has been virtually stagnant for the last many years. The decision was made despite the limited mandate of the caretaker government and announced only a week or so before the newly elected government was due to take charge. It targets universities whose charters were approved by the provinces. Our non-development expenditure is largely the same, while development expenditure, which includes higher education, is being curtailed. This is contrary to the IMF’s call for more fiscal space for social and development spending.

If the new government sticks with its predecessor’s decision, it will drastically impact the future economic and development goals of the country. Under the present scheme of shared funding by federal and provincial governments, the universities are already forced to compromise on training of faculty and employees and conduct meaningful research. Increasing expenditures and decreasing grants have already reduced many vice chancellors to fundraisers, diverting them from their actual role as academic and intellectual torch-bearers.

Ghulam Abbas Junejo