ISLAMABAD – President Dr. Arif Alvi said on Thursday that the shift of universities from the physical education system to the online education system, the establishment of university advisory councils with members from industry sectors, agriculture and services were essential for the rapid progress and development of the country.
The President, during a follow-up briefing on the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), in Aiwan-e-Sadr, urged universities to offer short-term online and hybrid courses to increase exponentially the supply of human resources with marketable skills. .
IIUI Rector, Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, and senior university officials attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the President called on universities to activate their senates to continuously provide visionary and strategic guidance, in addition to setting up advisory councils with members from industry, manufacturing, agriculture and services.
This, he said, would help them to continuously improve their programs and undertake targeted research and development activities to help the private sector align with current and future market needs. It would also help to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of customers and to be competitive in regional and international markets in terms of the quality and cost-effectiveness of our products and services.
The president said that public sector universities should change their behavior from a job-secure attitude to a proactive one. They should also strive to continuously improve their skills and knowledge and conduct market-oriented research and development activities in coordination with private sector industry leaders.
He further underlined that universities, in addition to four-year degree courses and doctoral programs, should also offer competency-based degrees and short degree programs, framed and modulated in coordination and with the contribution of the Chambers of trade and industry and industry leaders to increase the supply of skilled and educated human resources to rapidly close the gap between supply and demand.
President Alvi pointed out that globally, educational institutions are rapidly moving from physical education systems to hybrid and online education systems to accelerate the pace of learning and exponentially increase the number of students.
He said Pakistani universities should benchmark online best practices from developed world universities and emulate and adopt these best practices to transform education systems to remain competitive and relevant.
The President said the Higher Education Commission (HEC) should continuously review its online and distance learning policy and take concrete, time-bound steps to encourage universities to switch to teaching mode. on line.
He also advised HEC to proactively market its 24,000 discounted Coursera program courses to institutions under its jurisdiction for their faculty and students within a limited time frame.
President Alvi said Allama Iqbal Open University and Virtual University of Pakistan should further improve their curriculum and processes, and offer their academic and learning products to countries where online and virtual education system in was in its infancy or did not exist, especially Islamic countries.
He said universities should critically review their curriculum and education and learning system in a holistic and thorough manner to identify behavioral, attitudinal and learning issues. in order to eliminate the underlying reasons for conflict, discomfort and polarization among students and faculty members. to ensure that faculty and students were fully focused on acquiring knowledge, which was the primary goal of universities.
President Alvi appreciated the role of the IIUI in promoting education, research, technology and innovation for the benefit of society and the Muslim Ummah.
Earlier, the IIUI Rector thanked the President for his continued patronage and guidance to IIUI and briefed the meeting on the steps taken by the university to implement various directions and advice given by the President to bring marked improvement in its performance in all disciplines.