PR No. 50 Islamabad: January 5, 2017

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal urged vice chancellors of public universities to help Higher Education in devising higher education Vision 2025 to cater socio-economic needs of the country.

Minister expressed these views while addressing to “Vice Chancellor’s Committee Meeting” organized by the HEC. The event was also attended by the Chairman HEC and Vice chancellors of public universities from all over Pakistan.  The meeting stressed upon promoting science and technology research through US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor which includes improving education and research system for consistent performance.

Federal Minister observed that all developing and developed countries are focusing on scientific education. He said that developed nations in the world have made use of the great opportunities inherent in the system of higher education and ushered in the required paradigm shift to build the knowledge capital and pave the way for real development.  ”Pakistan has great potential to become a developed nation by 2025 if we refocus our attention on the system of Education. Education, in general, and higher education, in particular, plays a key role in the realization of Pakistan’s extraordinary potential and aspirations for economic and technological development” said by the Minister.

Minister stressed that performance must be consistent. While talking about US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, minister said that this will provide our students access to US top universities. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said that U.S. Pakistan Education, Science and Technology working group provides a platform to strengthen cooperation under the U.S-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, focused on advancing academic networks, partnerships, and exchanges in higher education, science and technology. He maintained that 10000 Pakistani scholars will be sent to the United States for study in the next 10 years under the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor. Minister said that KPIs of Vice Chancellors should include number of students getting prepared to get admission in universities of America under US-Pakistan knowledge corridor.

In addition, Minister talked about six strategic directions which include making our academic programs and instructions relevant to our development needs, relevance of research and innovation with national objectives, link between academia and industry, universities engagement for community uplift, technology integration, technology embedment & academic freedom and teaching of life success skills. He maintained that we will craft a future direction to make sure these all important elements are addressed to build best leaders for tomorrow.

Minister said that successful implementation of the concept of autonomy requires willing and honest participation of the students, teachers and management in the education process. A system of academic audit at every step of the implementation of the concept of autonomy should be acceptable to all concerned parties. The facilities for carrying out autonomous functions such as innovations in curricular content, systems of examination and evaluation, teaching methods, supplementary learning, etc. require not only sufficient financial resources but also continuous training and upgradation of teachers.

Minister also highlighted steps taken by government to bring radical changes in the education sector which includes National Curriculum Reforms, Transformational Teacher Training initiatives and alignment of examination system with new curriculum reforms.  He also talked about STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics] subjects and considered that arts are important to teach children innovation and creativity. “By 2025, we can take pride that Pakistan has best higher education system in South Asia, he concluded