LAHORE - Punjab University, the oldest seat of learning in the sub-continent has made research mandatory for its faculty for increasing its worldwide ranking. Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran said in an interview on Sunday that a record number of new teaching departments, new programmes at master level and disciplines at bachelor level had been introduced successfully. He said PU had emerged as one the best public universities and had the maximum number of faculties and disciplines with the lowest fee for postgraduate and undergraduate courses even up to Phd. He said during the next academic session, a total of 4,909 students would be given admission to various BA/BSc and MA/MSc courses on merit. “Punjab University has re-structured several faculties of various teaching departments, raised new constituent colleges, inducted teachers on merit and colleges were affiliated. The number of students increased manifold with the highest ever strength in the country,” he said, adding that in view of high academic performance of PU, the Higher Education Commission had allocated funds for the promotion of quality education. “But those funds are not being issued now because of the drastic monetary cut in HEC annual allocation of funds,” he added. The VC said despite high standard of education PU charges the lowest semester fee not only in the country but also in the world, even much less than the majority of schools operating in the city, adding that “The total member of faculties and students in PU in all teaching disciplines is also higher than all other universities across the country.” He said science students of PU always competed with foreign students in certain areas of specialisation. The newly elected Senate member of PU and Chairman Career Management and Counselling Prof Dr.Abdul Qayyum Chaudhary said that decades old syllabi and courses were being revised and updated to meet future challenges. He said not a single student was admitted out of merit. He said for the first time in 130 years history of the varsity, maximum funds had been set aside for the promotion of quality research on modern scientific lines. He said the VC, despite meagre financial resources, had sent varsity teachers for the pursuit of higher studies leading to Phd to the world’s best universities. “Punjab University has a unique privilege to be the only educational institution in the country that is imparting knowledge to students in all disciplines ranging from social science, humanities, science, computer, law and foreign languages, including Hindi and French," he said. About the PU library headed by Chaudhary Muhammad Hanif, he said that the facility of the most modern largest library in the country equipped with latest books, magazines, internet and computerised catalogue was also available to research scholars, teachers and students for study and research.