Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday laid the foundation stone of a new campus of the Government College Women University in Sialkot.
The new campus will be spread on 200 acres and will be built at a cost of Rs1.627 billion.
The campus, expected to be completed after two-and-a-half years, will feature an administration block, an academic block and a students residence, besides other amenities.
Addressing a ceremony held in connection with the groundbreaking, Prime Minister Khan stressed the importance of building quality institutions of higher learning.
He said the United States had not been a superpower 100 years ago but it made rapid progress at the turn of the 20th century because the country started producing more university graduates than any other nation.
“There is a very strong correlation between higher education and the rise of a country,” he said.
The premier said the countries that are advancing in all spheres around the globe owe their success to their knowledge economy, and cited the example of Singapore.
“A tiny country like Singapore has exports worth $330 billion while Pakistan, with a population of 210 million, has exports of hardly $24 billion,” Khan said. He noted that the annual budget of a university in Singapore is greater than that of all Pakistani varsities combined.
The prime minister said he was surprised to learn from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar that “this is the first university that has been constructed in Sialkot”.
He said Pakistan’s burgeoning population could become its advantage if people were directed towards attaining higher education in fields like IT and artificial intelligence.
“The nations that progress are the ones that invest in their people and the more you invest in people’s education, the more a nation progresses,” Khan said.