International universities show keen interest in K-P Education City

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According to education dept, the hub will be spread across 30,000 kanals in Jehangira. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Around 20 international universities have expressed an interest in opening up campuses at ‘Education City’ in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

The proposed hub will accommodate campuses of national and international universities to provide Pakistani students the opportunity to obtain foreign degrees at home, stated officials of the provincial higher education department.

The K-P government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the British Council to start the project at the earliest, the officials told The Express Tribune on Friday. The site has been selected and land acquired.

Around 30,000 kanals of land in Jehangira will be used to build the education city. The project will be adjacent to the proposed Mega City near the Swabi Interchange on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway.

“We have briefed Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak and other relevant officials on the project, and they termed it a new beginning for the province’s education sector,” shared an education department official.

On Saturday, K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser told journalists at a news conference that the British Council will help the province liaise with 20 international universities to help set up their campuses. Qaisar claimed Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea have shown initial interest in the project.

When contacted, Special Assistant to the CM on Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani said the National University of Sciences and Technology, and Bahria University – among other national universities – have agreed to open campuses in Education City.

Students spend millions studying abroad, with Education City they will be able to get the same education at home at an affordable cost, claimed Ghani.

According to CM spokesperson Shiraz Paracha, Education City will not only provide educational opportunities, it will boost the economic condition of K-P by attracting investment, generating jobs and reducing unemployment in the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2013