GCU rising to new heights of academic excellence


FAISALABAD – The Government College University (GCU) Faisalabad that was having 51st position in the 72 national universities of the country has quickly elevated itself to the 19th position over a short span of just six months. The new vice chancellor, Professor Dr Zakir Hussain’s vision is the major difference seen behind this landmark achievement.
“With the contribution of my faculty members and the students, I have a dream to move the institution further upward making it the best university of Pakistan,” said Dr Zakir during his exclusive interview to Pakistan Today. “To meet this great challenge, we have focused all our attention on three main priorities; faculty development, supremacy of merit and setting up of a sound infrastructure at the campus,” he remarked.
Zakir, before taking up the current assignment, served at key positions of various government departments. Starting his career at University of Agriculture Faisalabad as a lecturer in Economics, he went to USA and took his doctorate degree (PhD) in Economics in 1981. He worked in the education sector in various countries, including Egypt, Sudan and Yemen, before returning to Pakistan. His past assignments are: economic adviser, cotton commissioner and ex-joint secretary at the ministry of labour and manpower.
As a research scholar, he contributed more than 100 articles published in various national and international journals. “After taking the charge of the biggest slot of the university in October 2010, regularisation of the faculty members was our major goal and we gave a serious consideration to the cases of ad-hoc lecturers. Those fulfilling the criterion were regularised in the best interest of the institution, transparent and merit-based selection process.”
“We are indebted to Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan that provided to us 50 PhDs in various disciplines. This is our long-term investment and the university will reap rich dividends in the coming years in terms of new battalions of highly qualified students that will surely change our national landscape,” he said.
To the question of streamlining quality higher education system in the Faisalabad division, Dr Zakir said, “I have called a meeting of 68 principals of all the colleges in the division who have expressed their willingness to affiliate their colleges with GCU. The proposal may go a long way in raising the standard of education in the region,” he observed.
He reaffirmed that quality education has been his top priority in the campus. “To achieve that end, I personally visit the classrooms daily for one hour and check attendance, study notes and grades of the pupils,” he disclosed. “This gives me an insight into the learning activity while the feedback received from the students is a valuable source to have a firsthand knowledge of the study process,” he said.
Referring to the global exposure of GCU, Dr Zakir said that he had recently signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with internationally acclaimed universities that would open their gates for GCU students at the most competitive tuition fees. “For instance, North Carolina State University has agreed to charge our students the in-state fee structure (equal to the fee paid by American students) that will remarkably reduce the expenses. Similarly, Mexico State University has not only granted us a tuition waiver but also approved US dollars 1,000 per month scholarship for our students,” he continued.
He made a special mention of UK-based Bradford Shire University that has accepted to charge one-third of the total fee from GCU students. “That means that every student will save 4,000 pounds owing to the substantially rebated charges. In addition, two other MoUs with the universities of France and Netherlands have also been signed that will enable our students to acquire higher studies in these universities at nominal cost,” he explained.
“We have a dire need to expand our infrastructure to keep pace with the increasing number of students. In this regard, we want to complete the incomplete projects such as Social Sciences Block, Girls Hostel and Emerging Sciences Block that were left unfinished by my predecessor,” he said. The tenders of this work were generously awarded to a construction company at a cost much higher than the actual budget allocated to the university. “Taking notice of a number of other anomalies, the case has been forwarded to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and anti-corruption authorities to pinpoint those responsible for corruption,” he said.
The VC clarified that he had no personal grudge or ill will against any body, but, being a custodian of the institution, it was his moral duty to safeguard the interests of the university. “As an interim measure to complete the unfinished work, we have asked the divisional commissioner to write to the Punjab government to approve a grant to complete the pending projects,” he said. Dr Zakir has a vision to evolve a research culture in the campus that may go side by side with the academic activities for an all-round development of the students.
“We are looking forward to set up a technology park at the university that will be a cradle for young researchers who will be able to transform their ideas into inventions,” he hoped. “Faisalabad is an industrial city and this facility will help the business community to come into a close interaction with the researchers who will have an insight into the potential technology demands of the local industry,” he concluded.


  1. Indeed, his early victories have demonstrated his true visionary personality. Soon GCUF will be a success story for the other institutes. Ongoing development speaks truth the determination of New Head of the Institute. There always have been chances of unfair decisions towards departmental. No doubt worthy VC has removed the distance between students and Authorities. It is an incredible act.
    Here I am more concerned for the long term chairmanship or leadership of departments. Dept of Business Administration lacks in experience and longterm leaders. My request may please be forwarded to the Authority.

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