World first fee-free university will be functional in Pakistan from next month with almost 600 students enrolling in different master degree programmes.
The university is to be opened under Akhuwat Foundation which is an organization in Pakistan, offering interest-free loans (Qarz-e-Hasna) to the unprivileged people of Pakistan.
The university will be opened in Kasur district, a city near Lahore and the candidates will study without any fee of the university. It will be Qarz-e-Hasna and the university graduates will pay the fee after 5, 10 or 20 years of their qualification, without any interest. It is to ensure that poor people could also get the quality education and pay back later on when they become able to pay so that others may also benefit from the university.
"We are establishing the first fee-free university in Pakistan where students will not have to pay any fee. This is some kind of long-term Qarz-e-Hasan. First you get education and pay after 5, 10 or 20 years, when you are able to return it; because remember that you got education but didn't pay for it; but now when you have a job you can pay so that somebody else can also benefit," stated, Dr. Mohammed Amjad Saqib, executive director of Akhuwat, a micro-finance firm.
“Education is ultimate solution of our problems. We can't progress and compete with international community unless we are ahead in education. But it is a pity that a boy coming from a poor family may be able to complete 10-year education but can't receive higher education. We are not doing justice with our talent", he added.
This fee-free university will be a national university which will admit 20% of students from each of the province of the country. The university will be inaugurated on 14th of August, the independence day of Pakistan.
Akuwat Foundation is already running a fee-free college in Lahore, housing more than 300 students from all the provinces of Pakistan. The admission in this fee-free college requires 75% marks in Matric followed by a test taken by the college. The college is offering pre-medical, pre-engineering and ICT courses.
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