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November 21, 2019

Islamabad’s only medical university has no campus building, lacks faculty

National

November 21, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) — the only medical university of Islamabad is facing severe challenges, as it has neither any campus building nor has the required teaching faculty.

With annual budget of Rs100 million, which it receives from Higher Education Commission (HEC), the SZABMU facing it difficult to hire required faculty and building the university campus. The university requires at least 40 permanent faculty members but it only has 15 including two professors and 13 associate professors. Talking to The News newly appointed Vice-Chancellor SZABMU Prof Dr Tanwir Khaliq said the first priority of the new management is the acquisition of land for the university campus. It is strange that the only medical university of the federal capital has no campus building.

The previous management had shortlisted three venues for the university building including a 22-acre piece of land near National Institute of Health (NIH). “We are trying our best to acquire this land because it will provide an extra facility of a state-of-the-art laboratory to the medical students. The CDA has also agreed to provide this land. We are preparing the PC-1 for land acquisition and will submit it to the federal government soon. We are planning to have the university campus in the next five years”, the VC said.

The university has awarded 211 postgraduate degrees from 2014 to 2019 including 89 degrees in MS programme, 50 in MD, 8 in MDS, 2 in MCCM, 23 in MPhil, 20 in DCH, 3 in DCP 14 in DGO and 2 in MSc.

Although the university hasn’t started the PhD programme but the management is planning to start the first programme of PhD in Molecular Biology from January next year. Initially, 9 students will be enrolled for the PhD programme and 12 for the MPhil programme.

The Dental College affiliated with SZABMU will be started from January 2020 and first badge of 50 undergraduate (BDS) students will commence next year. Currently 131 visiting faculty members from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are teaching the medical students. However, the university needs to complete the required quota of faculty members to run the institute. “We have advertised for five faculty members who will be appointed soon”, informed Professor Dr Tanwir.

The management of the university has plans to establish four departments which include Institute of Basic Medicine, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Medical Education and Department of Dental Education. Currently two departments i.e. Institute of Basic Medicine and Department of Medical Educations are functional. The remaining two departments will be established soon, he said.

The vice chancellor further informed that there are 17 medical and dental colleges affiliated with the SZABMU including a public sector Federal Medical and Dental College (FMDC). So far four undergraduate (MBBS) badges have been awarded degrees by FMDC. Each badge consists of 100 students.

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