ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has expedited the process to implement the prime minister’s tuition fee payment scheme for masters, MS/MPhil and PhD students of Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata.
According to an official of the HEC, the information regarding eligible students enrolled at the respective universities and postgraduate colleges in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa has been collected.
Through a letter, the HEC has requested the heads of 21 provincial higher education institutions and campuses of federal universities to provide the list of the students along with their fee details so that funds may be released accordingly.
Through this initiative, the federal government through the HEC would release the funds to the universities for reimbursement of tuition fee and other mandatory fee.
The scheme is focused on enhancing opportunities of higher education especially for the talented but financially constrained students belonging to remote and far flung areas who despite possessing academic merit are unable to continue higher education studies.
The federal government, in a move to support the under developed populace in Balochistan, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan, has decided to pay tuition fee of all students of these areas studying masters, MPhil and PhD in reputable universities inside the country under the said scheme.
An amount of Rs500 million has been allocated during current financial year.
Under this innovative and special scheme, along with tuition fee, the federal government would pay other academic, incidental, or mandatory fees charged by educational institutions as one-off or on a per semester basis of masters, MPhil and PhD students belonging to Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata (enrolled at KP and Fata institutions).
The fee disbursement is being ensured through a transparent and well defined mechanism.
The students having valid domicile/local certificate of Balochistan, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan and enrolled on merit in the higher education institutions located in the territory of Balochistan, Fata and Gilgit- Baltistan, are eligible under this programme.
In addition, the students belonging to Fata and enrolled at the higher education institutions of KP are also eligible.
The scheme being executed by the HEC has been introduced initially for five years, beginning in 2012-13, with the provision that those students who join the scheme in the last year, 2016-17, would continue to be funded until they complete their academic programme.
The federal cabinet in its meeting held on June 1, 2012 approved the Tuition Fee Payment Scheme for the students of Balochistan, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan during 2012-13.
The vice chancellors, academic circles and parents appreciated the new initiative announced by the Prime Minister which would be quite helpful in providing equitable access to higher education especially to the students belonging to hard and remote areas of the country. —APP