A meeting of the Senate Standing-Committee on Science & Technology was held on under the chairmanship of Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan at the Islamabad Campus of COMSATS University Islamabad. Minister for Science & Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Rector CUI, Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, Secretary Workers Welfare Fund Muhammad Qasim Saeed as well as HEC DG Finance, Zaigham Ali along with other senior officials from HEC also participated in the meeting.
Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, Rector CUI briefed the committee about the working, role and responsibility of COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) and the current challenges escalated by the financial constraints of CUI and the resulting lack of funds available for the university operations and employees’ salaries which is enabled through the HEC funding. Rector CUI also shed light upon the several mechanisms of attaining self- sustainability as well as revenue generation through commercialisation of technologies which can rescue the university from financial crisis.
The Senate Committee was also briefed upon the overall financial constraints faced by universities in general and the number of universities that have risen in the past few years has caused the budget of HEC to be strained. The forum directed the HEC to provide funds to Universities such as QAU, NUST and CUI to elevate them to the status of the World Class Universities as envisioned by the Government.
The Committee was also briefed about Virtual Campus Regulations by the officials of Higher Education Commission upon which the Senate Committee directed the HEC to come up with a policy on distance and virtual education by December this year.
Upon Inquiring from the Secretary Workers Welfare Board about the status of pending payment to COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus the chair was briefed by the Secretary Workers Welfare Board about the issues with the invoices and assured the forum that CUI shall be paid the pending amount in one to two months of billing.
After the Meeting the Senate Committee also visited the Central Library and interacted with the students and encouraged them to spend their time in gaining quality education. The committee then visited the CUI Art Gallery and the newly established Prototype Development Facility as well as the Medical Centre of CUI and appreciated the work being carried out in imparting quality higher education.