Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has announced to provide free education for transgenders across the country, DawnNews learned on Tuesday.

The university, that offers distance learning, will offer education from matriculation to PhD as well as vocational training to transgenders without any charges. The students will be able to choose any subject they wish to study.

AIOU Vice-Chancellor Shahid Siddiqui told DawnNews that the university aims to educate and train transgenders so that they can play a productive role in society.

"There are a lot of stigmas in our society due to which transgenders are shunned by society," he said. "By offering them free education and training, we hope to make them a part of mainstream society."

The students who will enrol in the programme won't be required to come to university and educational equipment will be provided to them at their doorstep, the VC added.

"They will receive education like any other student," he said.

Siddiqui said that all regional centres of the university had started to receive applications from candidates.