CHINIOT - Education is the key to national progress and prosperity as only education can provide a solid force to face all the challenges being faced by the country.

This was a summary of the speeches delivered at the ground-breaking of fifth campus of FAST National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences here at Faisalabad-Chiniot Road.

The speakers including former MNA Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh, former defence minister Col (r) Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, former information minister Nisar Memon, former Punjab University vice chancellor Dr Rafique Ahmed, Dr Abdul Wahab and LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh.

They said that there was a time when the Muslims were on top in the world, mainly due to their progress in education but today the lack of education was the main cause of their downward trend.

They said that education plays an important role in making the nation stronger therefore all segments of the society should whole-heartedly contribute to the promotion of education as illiteracy is the root-cause of all the problems. They said the youth of Pakistan was dynamic, energetic and intelligent but they just needed good opportunities and facilities to groom their talent.

“We should not underestimate our youth. They have talent and they could project the name of the country in the world. The FAST National University is working with a mission to equip the youth with latest techniques so that they can be able to face the challenges,” they added.

Earlier, former MNA Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh in his welcome address said that the FAST National University has become the hallmark of excellence in academic arena, domestic market and international community.

He said a Rs750 million project would complete in six months time and would be catering to Faisalabad, Chiniot, Bhakkar, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Sargodha, Hafizabad, Multan, Khanewal, Mianwali and Khushab. The new campus will have more than seven faculties including Computer Sciences, Business Administration, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Telecommunication Engineering and Software Project Management. The University offers Bachelors, Masters Degree and Ph.D programmes.

The Fast University campuses in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar were already imparting higher education to around 7,000 students. He said that former BCCI President Agha Hassan Abadi was the first chairman of the Board of Governors of the university, Justice Hussain was the second, Dr Mehboobul Haq was the third chairman while Senator Wasim Sajjad is presently leading the varsity.

The admissions in all the campuses are made strictly on merit while the university also offers Rs 60 million scholarships to the deserving poor. It has the honour of being the first multi-campus private sector university set up under the Federal Charter granted by an Ordinance in the year 2000.

It inherited four first rate computer science institutes located at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar.