PESHAWAR – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) often brags about its achievements in the education sector with a claim of building nine universities during its five-year rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

However, the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) data opposes the claim, which the Imran Khan-led party is highlighting in ongoing electioneering. The record shows that only four varsities were registered in the province during the tenure of the PTI.

The party has boasted about undertaking record works in the education sector at the elementary and secondary education, claiming that around 150,000 students who studied in private institutes migrated to government schools due to the modern school system.

It also claimed to establish nine universities in different parts of the province including the Women University in Mardan, a women’s university in Swabi, Shuhada-e-Army Public School University of Technology in Nowshera, the Abbottabad University of Science and Technology (AUST), the University of Buner, the University of Chitral, University of Agricultural Dera Ismail Khan, a University of Engineering and Technology in Mardan, and the University of Science and Technology in Lakki Marwat during the five years.

However, the HEC says it recognises only four of these universities including the Women University in Mardan, the Women University in Swabi, the Shuhada-e-Army Public School University of Technology in Nowshera and the Abbottabad University of Science and Technology (AUST), Express Tribune reported.

According to the HEC, there are currently 23 public-sector universities registered in K-P, adding that there were eight varsities in 2002.

However, 11 universities were built by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and then the Awami National Party (ANP) in the subsequent 10 years, bringing the total number to 19.

The data shows only four universities were set up during the tenure of PTI, the leading English daily reported.

The official shared that the University of Buner and the University of Chitral were originally campuses of the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, adding that the government had given them the status of the varsities but had not been recognized by the HEC.

Similarly, UET Mardan which was originally a campus for UET Peshawar had not been registered with the commission. Other two universities – agricultural varsity in Dera Ismail Khan and UET Lakki Marwat – which PTI claimed to be built are yet to be registered by the HEC.