Dubai: Pakistan’s top higher educational institute — the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) — is planning to open its campuses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
“We are increasing our visibility around the world to attract more Pakistani expatriates and foreign students,” said Lt-General (retired) Naweed Zaman, Rector of the NUST.
He said the NUST is working on plans to open at least two campuses — one each in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “Our priority is to open the NUST campus in the UAE first as we are talking to the authorities concerned,” Lt-Gen Zaman told Gulf News on the sidelines of an event held in Abu Dhabi as part of the university’s outreach programme.
The event was organised by an Abu Dhabi-based prominent Pakistani businessman Malik Zaheer Awan, who is also chairman of the Council of Pakistani Engineers in the UAE.
Lt-Gen Zaman said that they are working on different options to set up the university campuses within next two to three years if they manage to reach an agreement with the authorities concerned in the UAE. “We are also open for public-private sector partnership to operate the campuses,” he added.
NUST is the only Pakistani university which ranks among 500 universities in the world at number 437. It offers 124 programmes to more than 16,000 students in various study fields for graduation, post-graduation and the PhD. Around 50,000 students appear for admission tests every year to compete for 2,000 seats.
Overseas Pakistani students get five per cent special seat quota. They also have the option to compete on open merit.
A four-year graduation degree costs around Dh28,500 — around Dh7,100 a year — for a regular student whereas the cost is Dh60,000 for a four-year degree for an overseas Pakistani or a foreign student.
“Our university is very young but it is the best in Pakistan. We don’t turn away students for lack of funds if they manage to pass the admission test,” said Lt-Gen Zaman.
He said the university ensures scholarships for all deserving students. He also calls upon the affluent community members to help the deserving students to continue their education.
“You can either be a part of the endowment programme, adopt a student for full four years or sponsor a student for just one year,” he explained.
Islamabad based NUST is the only university in Pakistan operating in civil-military collaboration with Chief of Army Staff as chairman of its board of governors.
The NUST aims to emerge as a leading research-intensive university of Pakistan.
“The university will soon launch its own stents which will cost as low as Rs15,000 (Dh500) to Rs35,000 as compared to the market price of Rs85,000 to Rs350,000. This is part of our plan to serve the community and makes health care affordable for all,” he added.