Published On: Tue, Oct 9th, 2012

Higher education in Mardan to get boost: AWKU vice-chancellor

MARDAN, Sept 30: Construction of new campus infrastructure of Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) Mardan is underway and it would be ready by next year to meet future needs of the students.

“Presently housed in a temporary compound, the varsity will be shifted next year to its new campus located near Sheikh Maltoon Town,” said AWKU vice-chancellor Dr Ihsan Ali.

Talking to this correspondent, he said that Rs12 billion would be spent on the varsity infrastructure to accommodate growing number of students every year. He said that Rs4.5 billion had been released for the first phase construction of the varsity where work on roads and other facilities had been started.

The campus would also have theatre halls, hostels, sports complex, museum, gymnasiums and entertainment centre.

The varsity was set up in 2009 and it started 28 departments that were run by 265 faculty members, including 101 PhD scholars. Dr Ali said that the university had enrolled 23,000 students in MA/M.Sc., 25,000 in BA/B.Sc. and 2,000 in B.Com this year in its different campuses.

The university is supposed to facilitate students of Swabi, Charsadda and Mardan districts, but it has also started sub-campuses in Swabi, Chitral, Timergara, Buner and Nowshera.

The Charsadda campus was upgraded to Bacha Khan University last week, while Swabi campus is set to get the status of a full-fledged university soon, he said.

“The university also has a tourism and hospitality department because in the long term we want to open to the world the Gandhara civilisation in Mardan,” he said. The varsity has so far created 50 indigenous foreign scholarships, he said, adding that teachers who were sent abroad would return to the university. He said that in case they did not return their properties would be confiscated.

Dr Ali, who was made project director of AWKU in March 2009, said that the main campus, Rifat Mahal campus and Shakar campus operating in Mardan had also been benefiting a large number of female students seeking higher education.

During next two years, the faculty will be increased to 300 PhDs, he said, adding that the 28 more lecturers had been recommended for PhD in European countries, as the main campus would increase quota of admissions and expand its academic activities in future.

The VC said they had also signed agreements with Higher Education Commission to provide higher education to students and faculty members.

Dawn

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