PESHAWAR, The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has agreed to set up Fata University initially at a temporary campus, enabling authorities concerned to materialise the long-awaited project in phases.
The HEC will make arrangements for starting the temporary campus within one month, as decided at a meeting held at HEC regional office a few days ago, an official told Dawn.
HEC Member Operations and Planning Dr Mukhtair presided over the meeting, which was attended among others by vice-chancellors of all universities of the province and the secretary for administration and coordination, Fata Secretariat.
The HEC had been mandated the task of setting up Fata University under a prime minister’s directive issued some two years ago, but the plan kept pending because of uncertain law and order situa tion in the tribal region.
“Since security is the main hurdle in setting up university inside the tribal territory, a temporary campus is a good option for executing this initiative,” said the official, adding “the Azad Kashmir University is an example that can be replicated here”.He said the Fata Secretariat had been advocating execution of the project in two phases because the security situation did not allow the authorities to carry on with this initiative.
The meeting approved the proposal of the Fata Secretariat to set up a temporary campus of the university with satellite campuses in three agencies where postgraduate classes have been started in government postgraduate colleges.
Similarly, 33 degree colleges already operating in the tribal areas would serve as affiliated institutes with the proposed university, the official said.
He said postgraduate colleges would become constitu ents of the university and the rest would be affiliated, adding this would benefit the human resource to groom with enough time to take over a full-fledged university when it was constructed in three to four years.
The Fata Secretariat has proposed setting up the proposed temporary campus in Kohat, but the official said a final decision would be made in a week at a presentation to NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani by the HEC.
As per the plan, a project director will be appointed to finalise PC-I for establishment of brick and mortar of the university at an appropriate place.
In the second phase, the official said, an appropriate place which was inside Fata but at a crossroads to all agencies would be indicated by the NWFP governor in consultation with the ViceChancellors’ Committee, parliamentarians and other stakeholders.