PoGB: Karakoram International University protests escalate across campuses over fee hikes, imminent closure

Students from various regions of Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan have initiated protests at the Diamer campus of Karakoram International University, mirroring ongoing protests at the Hunza campus.


ANI | Updated: 25-06-2024 16:51 IST | Created: 25-06-2024 16:51 IST
PoGB: Karakoram International University protests escalate across campuses over fee hikes, imminent closure
Protests in PoGB across University campuses. (Photo: ANI). Image Credit: ANI
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Students from various regions of Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan have initiated protests at the Diamer campus of Karakoram International University, mirroring ongoing protests at the Hunza campus. These students had come from remote areas with hopes of pursuing higher education but encountered unexpected challenges.

They faced arbitrary fee hikes and reported instances of harassment without explanation. The situation worsened when the Vice-Chancellor announced the campus's imminent closure, citing insufficient government funding. This abrupt decision left students feeling disillusioned, as they had expected the university to provide opportunities, not face financial mismanagement.

"The decision to close the campus has been made, but we strongly oppose and condemn it because it will negatively affect us, the students. We refuse to accept this decision and will make every effort to overturn it. Our academic pursuits are not yet finished, and this decision will have detrimental consequences for us," a protesting student at the Hunza campus said. Despite global efforts to advance education, the region under illegal control of Pakistan faces numerous obstacles: budget cuts for higher education, irregular funding from the Higher Education Commission for Karakoram University, and prolonged absences of vice-chancellors leading to stalled decisions.

Criticising the potential loss of degrees midway through their studies, another student said, "It is unjust to have our degrees taken away midway through our courses. Moreover, we have heard that there is a proposed 25 percent increase in fees. The people here are not affluent enough to accept such a decision. Who will be accountable for its future? We urge the Higher Education Commission to reconsider its decision. It is unfair to force students and faculty members onto the streets." There is a deliberate effort to diminish education in Gilgit-Baltistan, suggesting Pakistan is wary of an educated populace challenging its illegitimate authority.

Despite setting up campuses in Hunza and Diamer to foster education, these institutions have encountered persistent challenges such as internal strife, ineptitude, poor administration, and corruption right from their inception. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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