Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Haji Ghulam Ali here Wednesday said that the quality higher education and research studies in universities were vital for sustainable economic progress and development of the country. Briefing newsmen about the fiscal analysis of KP universities 2021-2024 report prepared by the Governor’s Secretariat KP here, the Governor said that no country could achieve goals of economic prosperity and development unless it equipped its people with an ornament of quality higher education and concentrated on excellent research work. He said the research based education generates employment opportunities and alleviates poverty in society. The Governor said that a total of 34 public sector universities were providing quality higher education to students in KP despite financial constraints. Haji Ghulam Ali said that the revenue of most of the public sectors universities was decreasing and expenditures were increasing due to poor planning and wrong selection of sites for the establishment of new universities by the past governments. He said that only one percent was being spent on research work which was very low compared to international standards. The Governor said that in last four to five months, eight public sector universities in KP were functioning without a vice chancellor while VCs of additional seven universities are going to retire shortly. He said that the former PTI government has done great injustice with the universities after passing an act that complicated the appointment of vice chancellors and KP’s domiciled human resource for induction in public sector universities. The Governor said that VCs in all universities would be appointed strictly on merit and no compromise would be made on quality of education. The education grandeur of Edwards College Peshawar would be restored, he said. Governor Ghulam Ali said that the media role was important in creating awareness about a meaningful education and all the VCs were taken on boards before the finalization of the said inclusive report. According to the said report, over the past three years, federal grants to public sector universities in KP have demonstrated a steady growth with allocation totaling Rs10,133 million in 2021, Rs10,909 million in 2022 and Rs10,954 million in 2023. These grants are crucial for the development and improvement of public sector universities in KP which can be used for improving infrastructure, faculty development, research initiatives and student support programs. However, a pressing concern lies in the promised annual provincial grants of Rs3000 million, which have regrettably remained unpaid despite the government commitment while the provincial grant to the universities last year remained Rs 3326 million. Despite the cabinet approval, grants are not released by the finance department, significantly hampering academic growth and research output. According to the report, the federal grants of 18 universities including the University of Agriculture Peshawar, University of Lakki Marwat, Abbottabad University of Science and Technology, Shaheed BB Women University Peshawar, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, Fata University, University of Haripur, University of Science and Technology Bannu, Hazara University, Swabi University, Khushall Khattak Karak, Women University Swabi, Shaheed BB University Upper Dir, KMU, Gomal University DI Khan, IMS, Islamia College Peshawar and University of Malakand were decreased during 2023-24. The report revealed that despite reforms, universities saw only modest revenue growth ie Rs 7 billion in 2021 and Rs 2 billion in 2022 which means falling short of the progressive targets. The report said the universities surpluses for 2021 and 2022 were Rs 4113 million and Rs 3938 million, however the projected surplus for 2023-24 is just Rs 545 million due to over recruitment, inflation and lack of saving. Caretaker Education Minister, Dr Qasim Jan was also present.