KARACHI: The vice chancellor of Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (DUET), Dr Faizullah Abbasi, appeared in high spirits despite facing serious financial crisis in the absence of Higher Education Commission (HEC) grants.
As he addressed the university's first convocation on Sunday, when around 230 students of the institution were awarded degrees in a ceremony presided over by Sindh education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Dr Abbasi was proud to see his students graduate despite the odds.
The graduating students belonged to the faculties of architecture and planning as well as engineering that offered degree programmes in chemical-, electronic-, industrial- and metallurgical-engineering.
Rafia Asif, an electronic engineering student, received two gold medals for not only topping in the faculty of engineering but also being the best graduating student. Meanwhile, Farha Javed secured a gold medal for being the best graduating student in the faculty of architecture and planning.
"We have been driven into a situation where we have to match up to the standards of a university with only scant resources to do so," said Dr Abbasi while talking to The Express Tribune.
He explained that the lack of funds was a major impediment in meeting the required standards, including hiring the required number of PhD faculty members and maintaining the labs in order to get Pakistan Engineering Council's (PEC) accreditation for the degree programmes.
"Though we did not receive the HEC grant throughout the year, the good news is that the Sindh government has set aside Rs500 million for the development of the campus in its annual development programme," said Dr Abbasi.
Engineer Abdul Waheed Bhutto, a DUET faculty member, added that the university, at present, is functioning on the DUET three-year funds that were transferred post-devolution to the Sindh government by the federal government.
"The four new engineering programmes in energy and environment have yet to receive PEC accreditation," he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2014.