Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) was awarded with Rs 1 billion grants from foreign donors in recognition for unprecedented rise in international ranking due to outstanding work in research & development, said its Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Muhammad Ali. The university’s global ranking has took 272 leaps and currently stands at 378 from 650 which was a significant achievement attained through hardwork in last four years, he said in an exclusive talk with APP. With the support of Turkey, a modern incubation center had been established in the university, he said adding, the center provides training to students who wanted to start their own company or a business. “In future the establishment of company will be declared mandatory for the students to get degrees under the project of linking the academia with the industry” he added. Keeping in view the innovation in education, Dr. Ali said a memorandum of understanding regarding cyber security had been signed between the private company and the QAU. Cyber security related program to be launched soon in the University, while Masters’ program on artificial intelligence was also being started in the university from this year, he added. He informed that Qatari Foundation Sheikha Moza has shown consent to establish a law school building in the university. Discussing the devastated situation by recent floods, the QAU VC said the students of flood-affected areas had been exempted from tuition and hostel fee for one semester. “The amount of this fee exemption will be Rs 150 million which will be borne by the university itself, while a committee had also been established to ensure transparency in that regard” he briefed. He said that 300 acres of occupied land had been retrieved by Quaid-e-Azam University in the last four years, while more than 400 acres of land was still illegally occupied. Due to the ‘land mafia’, he said, there were problems of arms, drugs and security in the university. The government had been requested to help in retrieving of all university’s land. To a question regarding his future plans, Dr. Muhammad Ali said that he wanted to start mass communication and arts & culture programs in the university with the help of government. He said facilities center and science and Technology Park had already been built for the students. While highlighting the importance of distance education system, he said that a directorate related to the distance education system had been established in the university in order to facilitate students. The university had also constituted a committee which will ensure quality of education in awarding degrees in distance education system, he added. Dr Ali went on saying that two percent government quota for disabled students and staff had been implemented hundred percent, while differently-abled students were also exempted from academic, hostel fees. Similarly, wheelchairs and separate washrooms were also available for disabled students and staff. Commenting on the issue of colleges affiliated with QAU, Dr. Ali said that the university was going to start teachers training of colleges to improve their quality and enhance their capacity building. To a question regarding dilapidated situation of buses and buildings of university, Vice Chancellor Quaid-e-Azam University said that 800 million rupees had been requested from the government for repairs and renovations of these projects. He said the budget of the university was 4.50 billion rupees annually while the deficit is 550 million rupees. “My goal is to completely finish this deficit” he added. Dr. Muhammad Ali said that the newly appointed vice-chancellors need training and counseling so that they can solve their own problems through bold decisions. Dr. Muhammad Ali noted that Quaid-e-Azam University had signed various agreements for Academia-Industry Linkage, adding, several accords had also been signed with international academic universities to raise the standard of education. He stressed that students and teachers’ research should be of a quality that could benefit the country and society.