PESHAWAR: Vice chancellor (VC) of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU), Peshawar, Razia Sultana, has urged the provincial government to provide sufficient funds to ensure women studying at the institute have access to basic facilities.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, she also pressed the government to establish auditoriums, sports grounds and hostels for students and faculty members. “A majority of our staff members and students belong to faraway areas and live in rented accommodations,” she said.
According to Sultana, SBBWU is the only leading public sector university providing education to women in the region. There are nearly 5,000 students enrolled in 18 departments at SBBWU. However, the institute still lacks basic facilities.
“Although we have computer labs, counselling services and science labs for students, the university needs an administration block, auditorium and a library,” she added.
Established under the Frontier Women University Act 2004, it is the first public sector university for women in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). According to a revised version of the act passed in September 2010, the institute was renamed Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University.
SBBWU initially began its operations at the Government Frontier College for Women and its main campus was set up in Larama Union Council two years ago.
“Currently 13 departments have shifted to the main campus,” Sultana said. “The rest are based at the old campus. All our equipment and machinery will be shifted to the main campus by 2018. Once this has been done, we will focus on new initiatives and establish sociology, anthropology, journalism and information technology departments.”
According to the VC, 22 of the university’s faculty members have gone abroad to pursue their PhD. “Nearly 12 of them have completed their degrees and have returned to render their services to the university,” Sultana said.
She also vowed to provide scholarship opportunities to the university’s students and staff.
“Very few women in the province are qualified and it is my personal wish to get a scholarship programme running to ensure our students and faculty members pursue higher education abroad,” she said.
Speaking about her appointment as the university’s VC, Sultana clarified that 15 candidates had been shortlisted for the post. “Among them, three were nominated and the final selection [of her] was approved by the chief minister according to Universities Act 2012,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2015.