The Senate was informed on Thursday that Higher Education Commission has received thirteen new proposals for establishment of universities and degree awarding institutions across the country.
Minister of State for Education and Professional Training, Baligur Rehman told the House during question hour that of them seven are in private and six in the public sector.
He said thirty five universities have been established during the last five years. They included two in the federal capital, thirteen in Punjab, nine in Sindh, seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and three in AJK and one in Balochistan.
He said the federal government is upgrading national Institute of Science and Technical Education Islamabad to National Skills University of Science and Technology to offer carrier oriented programmes on a research based curriculum.
The Minister of State said guidelines have been given to universities and degree awarding institutions to initiate Associate Degree Programme in thirty seven pre-defined market driven subjects.
To another question, the Minister of State said 5,536 PhD degrees were awarded by the universities during the last five years. In addition 25,812 fresh students were enrolled in PhD programme and 2,265 PhD degree holders have been provided employment in the universities.
The House was informed that 2.23 million persons were sent abroad for employment since 2012 to March this year.
The highest number of 1.24 million persons went to Saudi Arabia followed by eight hundred and ninety four thousand to UAE.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Sheikh told the House that two development projects are underway for promotion of tea in the country. These are participatory development of tea value chain around Mansehra area and mechanization of tea production and promotion of green tea to improve profitability.
He said Pakistan Agriculture Research Council has established a tea nursery at Swat to provide tea plants to the farmers.