Third rector’s conference held

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ISLAMABAD, DEC 10 /DNA/ – Association of Private Sector Universities of Pakistan (APSUP) in collaboration with COMSTECH, Higher Education Commission, Punjab Higher Education Commission, The Superior University and Inter-University Consortium along with partner institutions organized 3rd Rector’s Conference at COMSTECH on Saturday. More than 80 Vice Chancellors/ Rectors of public and private universities from all over Pakistan and Islamic Universities from Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Kazakhstan participated in the conference. The Ambassador of Kazakhstan and diplomats of different OIC member states also graced the occasion.

The President Preston University, Prof. Dr. Abdul Basit welcomed the participants of the conference and highlighted the idea, purpose and aim of the conference. He said today we are marking paradigm shift by bringing public and private universities together to join hands for single cause of education in Pakistan.

The Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary said in his keynote address that this conference is important for education in Pakistan. He said the theme of the conference – education for economic development, is relevant and important. Prof. Choudhary expressed his gratitude to the Chairman HEC for leading the re-institutionalization of Pakistani education system. He emphasized the need of the introduction of international education culture in Pakistan.

Rector, Superior University, Dr. Sumaira Rahman said the mission of Superior University is to produce job creators not job seekers. She said that we found that the self-esteem of the students is very low and we started program to boost self-esteem of the students. She informed that in a short period of two years our students have created 120 businesses, 1,240 new jobs, and 800 million revenu. She shed light on Superior University’s programs and methods of delivering education.

The Vice Chancellor of Al-Istiqama University, Nigeria, Prof. Salisu Shehu addressed the gathering on behalf of all African participating universities. He expressed the gratitude for the invitation. He said that this participation not only provided us an opportunity of acquaintance with the institutions but also an opportunity to experience international system. He said we feel the importance given by the government to the education in Pakistan. He said the knowledge shared with us is extremely great. He appreciated Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary for inviting initiating alliance of Islamic universities of Africa. He said we will take these experiences back to Africa with us to implement.

Rector, KAZGUU University Dr. Sergey Pen Provost expressed his gratitude and said that we are striving to connect central Asian universities with the rest of the world.

Chairman HEC, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, said in his keynote address that things are changing, systems are changing, something in past was important but in few years has become history. He said if we will not adjust ourselves with the changing environment we will not be able to survive. He suggested that if we want to be successful tomorrow we need to put effort today. Dr. Mukhtar said that in today’s world there are less students inclined to join universities, why we are constructing so big buildings for universities. He suggested that don’t follow buzz word, get prepared for future technologies.

Dr. Mukhtar pointed out that in the days to come the degrees are going to have less importance. He said skilled people are making more money than the one who have degrees, and this challenge needs to be considered by the universities leadership. He said we need to focus on the product (students) more than the marketing. He said we have numbers but it is now time to shift the gear.

The Chairman HEC informed that we are going to start cloud computing, data centers, super computers projects soon. He said that HEC is signing an agreement with Microsoft of offer 200,000 courses free of cost to Pakistani people. He also informed that 55000 courses from Coursera are being made available to the people of Pakistan to enhance their skills through online education.

The Chairman suggested the leaderships of public and private universities to compete for quality not for students, and offer courses online, help each other, do local networking, and try your best to help schools and colleges as well.=DNA

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