SIALKOT: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday broke ground on what he said was the “first university” to be constructed in the city.
The new campus of the Government College Women University will be spread on 200 acres and will be built at a cost of Rs1.627 billion. The campus, expected to be completed after two-and-a-half years, will feature an administration block, an academic block and a students residence, besides other amenities.
Addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of the new campus, the premier stressed the importance of building quality institutions of higher learning.
“The United States (US) had not been a superpower 100 years ago but it made rapid progress at the turn of the 20th century because the country started producing more university graduates than any other nation,” PM Khan said, adding that there was a very strong correlation between higher education and the rise of a country.
He said the countries that were advancing in all spheres around the globe owed their success to their knowledge economy, and cited the example of Singapore. “A tiny country like Singapore has exports worth $330 billion while Pakistan, with a population of 210 million, has exports of hardly $24 billion,” Khan said.
The prime minister stated that the annual budget of a single Singapore varsity was greater than that of all Pakistani universities combined.
“I am surprised to learn from [PTI leader] Usman Dar that this is the first university that has been constructed in Sialkot,” the premier said and added that the country’s booming population could become its advantage if people were directed towards higher education in fields like information technology and artificial intelligence.
“The nations that progress are the ones who invest in their people,” the premier concluded.