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KARACHI: A total of 1,997 students, including Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctorates, received their degrees as 168 among them were awarded gold medals during Karachi University’s 27th convocation held at Valika cricket ground on the campus here on Saturday.

Unfortunately, neither the country’s largest university’s chancellor, Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair, nor Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah — both of whom had consented to come and were mentioned on the invitation card to preside over and be the chief guest of the event, respectively — could attend the convocation.

Addressing the convocation, KU’s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Ajmal Khan said that the university has been creating and dispensing knowledge by enabling minds to ask questions and wonder about their answers for some 65 years now.

“We are continuously upgrading our curricula to stay abreast with current knowledge and societal needs and challenges,” he said, adding that the university had developed a programme to provide financial support and scholarship to students from its own resources and with the help of contributions from the local community and foreign organisations. “In addition, Higher Education Commission’s [HEC] merit-based scholarships are also available,” he said.

While congratulating the graduating students, he said they had an infrastructure designed to cater to the needs of 2,500 students but the number of students is increasing. “Our facilities although improved cannot keep up with the pace of the increasing number of students. Buildings, teaching laboratories, classrooms, roads, security, transport etc, all need to be upgraded to meet their requirements,” he said.

KU’s teaching hospital

He added that KU is surrounded by a population of middle- and lower-middle class people and the closest good medical facility was about 10 kilometres away. Therefore, there was a need for a hospital, and the KU would like to develop its own teaching hospital of at least 1,000 beds with state-of-the-art facilities.

“The medical college associated with it would provide training to undergraduates to make them better doctors while also providing facilities to conduct postgraduate research. I am looking for support both from the provincial and federal governments for this,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2017