President for accelerating efforts to increase enrolment rates in universities
PR. No. 200/2021
Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi has emphasised the need for accelerating efforts to increase enrolment rates in universities, particularly in the IT and Engineering sectors, so as to fulfil the market demand for skilled graduates. He remarked that regional countries were producing a far-greater number of university graduates than Pakistan and our universities should focus on the promotion of online and distance learning to boost the number of Bachelors and Masters graduates in the country. The President expressed these views during a meeting with the Vice-Chancellors/Rectors of federally chartered universities and degree-awarding institutions, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, today. Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training (FE&PT), Mr Shafqat Mahmood, Executive Director Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Shaista Sohail, Vice-Chancellors and Rectors of various universities attended the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, the President urged the universities to equip their students with marketable skills by developing academia-industry linkages for enhancing the graduate employment rate in Pakistan. He also called for making concerted efforts to improve the quality of virtual education through properly designed online courses, and improved content delivery and assessment methods.
Minister FE &PT, Mr Shafqat Mehmood, underlined the need for producing quality graduates by focusing on skills-based education, faculty development, and making investments in labs and associated educational facilities.
The meeting discussed various proposals for increasing the number of BS and MS graduates, besides exchanging views on HEC’s Online and Distance Learning policy and its criteria for ranking of universities. Keeping in view the market demand for a skilled workforce, the meeting also discussed the prospects of introducing Associate Degrees (2-year degrees) in different fields and improving the quality and standard of higher education in Pakistan. The participants underscored the need for faculty development, research facilities and teacher training so as to equip them with the required skills to impart online education.