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Sunday June 16, 2024

Sudden closure of UET, hostels upsets students

By Khalid Khattak
April 21, 2024
University of Engineering and Technology Lahore entrance can be seen in this picture. — UET Lahore website
University of Engineering and Technology Lahore entrance can be seen in this picture. — UET Lahore website

LAHORE : In the wake of the April 21 by-election in the provincial metropolis, the University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore on Saturday abruptly announced the closure of its campus as well as its hostels leaving students, especially female boarders, in a lurch.

The abrupt closure of the hostels raised serious concerns about the challenges faced by these students, especially female students, including the difficulties and costs associated with travelling back to their hometowns. This situation is particularly poignant as the boarding students had only recently returned from a week-long break to celebrate Eidul Fitr with their families. It is pertinent to mention here that the UET Lahore is situated in the area of political constituency NA-119 (which was vacated by Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and where PML-N’s Ali Pervaiz Malik is the new candidate) and PP-149. As per the notification issued by the UET, in the backdrop of instructions of the Government of Punjab, the physical classes /teaching will remain closed at Main Campus and New Campus till Tuesday 23rd April 2024. The departments at Main Campus and New Campus will arrange online classes from Sunday 21st April (for weekend programs) to Tuesday 23rd April (all programmes). The hostels at Main Campus will also remain completely closed with immediate effect. The hostel residents (except foreign students) will vacate the rooms.

The notification did not mention the by-election but a UET spokesperson said that the closure was in the wake of polling for the by-election to be held on Sunday (today).

Meanwhile, the abrupt closure of the hostels caused massive problems for the boarding students who had recently returned after celebrating Eidul Fitr with their families and loved ones. They said this abrupt closure was not less than a mental torture for them whereas the university administration did not even think about the travel cost to be incurred by the students as well as problems to be faced especially by the female students. A student, seeking anonymity, said that the abrupt announcement was mind-boggling for all the boarding students, especially the female students. The administration did a great injustice, he added.

Talking to The News, UET Registrar Muhammad Asif said that it was a hard decision but the university had to follow the government’s instructions. He, however, said all the students including the female students had vacated the hostels. To a question, he said that the government had instructed for the closure of the university and the hostel for the by-elections.