Quaid-i-Azam University Faces Financial Crisisk, Urges Government for Rs5 Billion Bailout

The academic staff association (ASA) of Quaid-i-Azam University has called on the government for a Rs5 billion grant to address the severe financial crisis threatening the institution's operations, citing a budget deficit and pending payments impacting teaching, research, and student services
Quaid-i-Azam University Faces Financial Crisisk, Urges Government for Rs5 Billion Bailout

The academic staff association (ASA) at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has made an urgent appeal to the government for a Rs5 billion grant to alleviate the severe financial crisis currently threatening the institution's normal operations.


In a statement, the ASA president highlighted the university's dire financial situation, revealing a budget deficit of approximately Rs800 million. Since January 2023, essential payments for teaching, laboratory chemicals, consumables, student fellowships, medical bills, and even office stationery have been pending, bringing the university's operations to a near standstill.


The ASA, an elected body representing the QAU faculty, emphasized the university's significant contributions and achievements despite its financial struggles. The funding provided by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has proven insufficient, especially with the rising costs due to inflation over the past several years.


The ASA president appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the HEC chairman, and the education minister to provide a special grant and bailout package to avert an impending financial collapse. The appeal also called for an overall increase in the higher education budget to meet growing demands.


"Despite showing significant performance and having won the status of the flagship Institution of the country with a rather meager budget compared to other universities, the QAU receives disproportionately low financial support from the government," the ASA said. They argued that the university's performance justifies a bailout package of Rs5 billion, aligning with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) manifesto regarding higher education funding based on performance.


Adequate financial support, the ASA president asserted, would enable QAU to continue its progress toward becoming one of the top 100 universities globally, significantly contributing to Pakistan's educational and research landscape.


The university, founded in 1967 as Islamabad University and later renamed to honor Pakistan’s founder on his centennial birthday in 1976, is the only federal university with a charter to serve students from all federating units, including Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and both urban and rural areas across Pakistan.


Initially established as a research university offering MPhil and PhD programs, QAU introduced MSc programs in the early 1980s and a Bachelor of Science program in 2012. Currently, the university enrolls approximately 12,000 students from across the country.


QAU has earned a stellar reputation in teaching and research, consistently ranked as the number one university in Pakistan according to the HEC, and achieving a notable global ranking of 315th in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.


In October 2022, during a meeting of the QAU syndicate, the education ministry agreed to facilitate resolving the university's financial needs. Despite a request for a Rs500 million bailout package by QAU's then acting VC Dr. Shaista Sohail in January 2023, the issue remains unresolved, prompting the ASA's current plea for urgent financial support.