ISLAMABAD: Former students of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) have announced to set up an endowment fund to take out their alma mater from a financial crunch.
A large number of former and current Quaidians, deans, faculty members, employees, vice-chancellors of different universities, academics, media persons and others converged on Islamabad Club on Thursday evening to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the top ranked institute of higher learning, currently facing a financial crunch.
The QAU Alumni Association had organised the event in honour of former Quaidians.
Bustling pleasantries, laughter and nostalgia soon turned into a serious discussion when QAU Alumni Association Secretary General Murtaza Noor took the podium to enumerate a host of issues facing the university, financial issues and encroachment of its land being on the top.
When Noor announced to set up an endowment fund to salvage the university from a financial crunch, the participants not only assured their full support but also announced to launch a special drive to retrieve the university’s 200-acre land currently in adverse possession.
QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf Qazi thanked the association for the endowment fund saying that “without Quaidains’ support it is not possible to retrieve the university from its current financial situation”.
While highlighting the varsity’s main problems, he said that the QAU needed to be strong in two areas — academically and financially— and decades-old infrastructure and labs needed immediate intervention.
“Our faculty is our backbone, whatever distinction the varsity has achieved is because of their sheer hard work and dedication,” Dr Qazi proudly said adding that the varsity’s 75 per cent faculty members were PhDs.
QAU Alumni Association President Sikandar Rai said that Quaidians should come forward to help the QAU administration in retrieving its encroached land.
He also appealed the alumni to financially support the deserving students studying in the university.
Rai assured the QAU administration of the association’s full cooperation to make the university financially stable, where students from every nook and corner of the country were studying.
The association’s general secretary said that since its inception in 2001, the alumni have undertaken a number of initiatives for the welfare of current and old students. He said that after signing an agreement with the QAU administration in 2008, various scholarships have been awarded to the deserving students.
He announced for publication of a special edition containing names and professional details of around 10,000 Quaidians besides holding an award ceremony for the alumni members who have contributed financially to make the university’s 50th celebrations.
Alumni association scholarship head Zulfiqar Chaudhry said that their all donors were Quaidains. He said that they never take donations from outsiders to give scholarships.
Academic Staff Association President Dr Asif Ali said that the university’s land was not for sale.
He said that the varsity was highly insecure in term of safeguarding its land from encroachers as the government has not demarcated its boundary.
He said that around 200 acres of university land were still under adverse possession.
Ministry of Climate Change Director Farzana Altaf, a former alumnus, said, “I always encourage my varsity students to come forward and work with the ministry to tackle climate issue”.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2016.