Our public universities have substantially reduced students’ financial aid particularly after the government cut down the funds for higher education normally disbursed through the Higher Education Commission HEC. Among the universities that have not shirked from this duty is the Government College University (GCU) Lahore that has, in the year 2011-12, distributed Rs 20 million on the welfare of its students largely through the grant of scholarships. It even brought down the fee by 35 percent, even though several other institutions kept raising it owing to inflation.
The university has done this in the face of financial straits which speak a lot about the value it attaches to keeping its students focused on studies without having to worry about the funds. As part and parcel of this tradition, which the university motto aptly describes as the ‘courage to know’ youngsters countrywide aspire to become Ravians. No wonder the university has earned a name for itself when it comes to maintaining research and the standard of its faculty. What is noteworthy is the Vice Chancellor’s concern that the Punjab government as well as the HEC should allocate more funds to the universities. After the devolution of power, provinces share the responsibility with the HEC to see to it that the needs of the universities are fully met. GCU offers an example for others in the field that education means putting the students first and not using the universities to make profits.