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Education: PPL partners with NUST, HU



PPL partners with NUST, HU

KARACHI: Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) today partnered with two leading universities, Habib University (HU) and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) to provide quality tertiary education to deserving and aspiring youth.

It was in this context that Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PPL, Syed Wamiq Bokhari presented cheques of Rs. 16.8 million jointly to Pro-Rector Academics NUST Air Vice Marshall Dr. Asif Raza and another of Rs. 5 million to CEO HU Foundation (HUF) Parvez Ghias at the company’s head office.

The company’s grant of Rs. 16.8 million to NUST will cover the expenses for training approximately 320 students, 160 each from Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, through a residential programme to prepare for NUST admission test under the mutual NUST-PPL Outreach Programme.

Whereas its donation of Rs. 5 million to Habib University as endowed scholarship will support five deserving students under its Talent Outreach Promotion and Support Programme for one year whereby eligible students go through preparatory training for entrance test at HU and selected, deserving students’ tuition fees and other academic expenses are covered.

General Manager, University Advancement Office, NUST, Maria Qadri and CFO, Habib University, Feroze Cawasji along with other representatives of the two institutions and company officials attended the ceremony. MoU between PPL and NUST was also signed on the occasion.

Relevant pieces published earlier:

i) Chairman of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Tariq Banuri Thursday said all the reforms and policies in higher education will be implemented after thorough deliberations with an active involvement of concerned stakeholders especially university faculty. He expressed these views during a meeting with a delegation of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and Working Group on Higher Education Reforms, a press release said. The delegation, which called upon the newly appointed HEC chairman comprised of President Dr. Kaleemullah Bareach, Dr. Shehzad Ashraf, Dr. Ashfaq Khosa and Murtaza Noor. The delegation greeted Dr. Banuri over his appointment as 4th chief of HEC through the transparent and merit-based selection process and assured full cooperation in addressing the challenges being confronted by higher education sector in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Banuri said multiple challenges of higher education sector could only resolve through close coordination and effective liaison with the concerned stakeholders. He said the role of HEC was a facilitator, while universities were autonomous, adding that the HEC would play its role for capacity building of varsities and extend more autonomy to varsities. Dr. Kaleemullah discussed the Senate resolutions on an enhancement of retirement age to 65 years for university teachers and a 75 percent tax rebate for university teachers. Dr. Banuri assured his full support in this regard.

ii) PM appoints Tariq Banuri as HEC chairman, Prime Minister has appointed Dr. Tariq Banuri as new HEC Chairman, a post that remained vacant following lapsing of Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed’s 4-year-term on 14thA six-member committee comprising former health minister Dr. Sania Nishtar, former lawmaker Shahnaz Wazir Ali, educationists Faisal Bari, Mirza Qamar Baig and Syed Babar Ali and federal secretary education, after much deliberation presented four names to the PM. Other three names were: former vice-chancellor of Islamia University Bahawalpur Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar, Iqbal Chaudhry and Anwarul Hasan Gilani.  Dr. Tariq Banuri, a Utah University professor, holds a Ph.D. degree in economics from the Harvard University and MA in development economics from the Williams College.  Dr. Banuri, who commenced his career as a civil servant joined UN as a research fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER). Armed with the WIDER model Dr. Banuri successfully set up Islamabad’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute as its Executive Director. He has also served as a member of the board of governors of Pakistan’s central bank, member of Pakistan Environmental Protection Council, and member/secretary of the Presidential Steering Committee on Higher Education, as well as coordinating lead author of the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr Banuri who has recently worked as a director at UN’s Division for Sustainable Development at authored twenty books and thirty research papers. (29th May 2018) 

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MAJU, Azerbaijan’s varsity sign MoU for academic cooperation



Fee-free university to open in Pakistan

KARACHI: Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi (MAJU) and Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic cooperation with each other.
MAJU Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr. Kamran Azim and Rector, Khizar University, Dr.Hassan Niknafs have signed MoU.
This agreement is based on the reciprocity principle and expresses the genuine interest of both universities in exchanging students, scholars, academic information and dual degree programs, said a statement here on Sunday.
As per MoU, MAJU and Khazar University besides exchanging students and faculty/ staff will encourage the development and implementation of visiting scholars/tutors, cultural exchange, cooperative /collaborative research projects, cooperative (joint and double) degree and joint summer programs at respective campuses.  The term of this agreement shall be five academic years that is 2018 to 2023.
Both Universities will cooperate for short term training programs/ projects and service – learning programs, cooperative and exchange lecturing plans and lecture content, conferences and seminars, academic supervision of graduate /post-graduate students.
As per MoU in the event of students exchange, specific arrangement for payment of related expenses, including round-trip travel, board, lodging, tuition and health insurance will be agreed upon by both universities in advance.

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Coventry Uni. delegation calls on Chairman HEC



PM appoints Tariq Banuri as HEC chairman

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Coventry University, London called on Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Tariq Banuri and discussed feasible collaborations between the two organizations.

Dr. Banuri welcomed the delegation to HEC and briefed them about the HEC’s initiatives and achievements regarding promotion of higher education in Pakistan. He said international collaboration will be helpful in resolving local issues. He stressed the need for research based on the problem-solving approach in order to help address the problems facing the country.

The delegation comprised Vice-Chancellor, Associate Professor Gary Armstrong, International Business Development, Prof Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Christopher Bland, Group Director, Quality Assurance, Associate Head Dr. Farzana Aslam.

The delegation shared the strength of Coventry University as well as the success of industry-university linkages. They dwelt in detail on the level of excellence in their engineering, research centers. Apart from serious involvement and funding from industry, it was revealed that the Government investment is also a major part in the uplift of the varsity. The Coventry University works on the premise that teaching and learning are deeply connected with the industry, they informed.

Dr. Farzana Aslam explained the importance of embedded employability which was the main feature of their programme where each graduate is taught skills for employment making every student fit for work. They also train their students to apply for placement in all over the world, where students are motivated with a suitable academic which results in the transfer of skills for a year.

Dr. Banuri expressed interest in the university’s achievements and stressed the need for bilateral collaboration for the promotion of higher education and research. He shed light on the HEC Split Ph.D. programme under which Pakistani scholars will spend two-three months every year in the university for research and other activities. The HEC will provide a monthly stipend and discounted bench fee during scholars’ stay in the UK, he added. He said Pakistan would welcome support in capacity building, knowledge and technology transfer, and research assessment mechanisms.

Earlier, the delegation held a series of meetings with HEC’s senior management and heads of various divisions as well as representatives of selected universities for interaction on different areas of interest including provision of PhD, joint research endeavours, academic partnerships, two-way mobility of faculty and students, transnational education, academic audit and teaching excellence framework.

The delegation highlighted that the research at Coventry University is based on five key themes namely Safety and Security, Intelligent Products and Processes, Creative Cultures, Sustainability and Resilience and Health, and Well-being.
Coventry University has over 1000 researchers (increasing to 1500 by 2021) working in 15 challenge-led interdisciplinary research centers. In addition to external research funding, the university is committed to contributing an investment of over £120 million in research programmes between 2014 and 2021.

In their meeting at the Research and Development (R&D) Division, HEC gave a brief overview on the initiatives, functions, achievements of R&D programmes and two R&D initiatives for the proposed Pak-UK Gateway project namely “Development of Research Excellence Framework (REF)’’ and “Mega Sectoral Research Grant”.

Possibilities of placement of HEC Ph.D. scholars in various priority areas at Coventry University also came under discussion and the delegation was informed that HEC has already availed partial fee waiver from many UK universities.

Moreover, capacity building opportunities available for Pakistani faculty, Quality Assurance implementation mechanism, and ranking criteria for universities were also discussed in the meetings with the heads of HEC divisions.

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Globally 300m children are not in school: UNICEF



UNITED NATIONS: ”Over 300 million children globally between the age of five and 17 years are not in school, the United Nations Children’s Fund said in a new report.
More than one-third of them, or about 104 million, are in countries affected by conflict or disaster, the report titled “A future stolen: young and out-of-school” said Wednesday.
Additionally, it said one in five young people between 15-17 years old in countries affected by conflicts and disasters have never even entered any school and two in five have never completed primary school.
The report looks at the education situation of children and young people from pre-primary to upper secondary age across all countries, including those affected by humanitarian emergencies.
“When a country is hit by conflict or disaster, its children and young people are victimized twice,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
“In the near term, their schools are damaged, destroyed, occupied by military forces or even deliberately attacked, and they join the millions of young people out of school and as the years progress they seldom return. In the long term they and the countries they live in will continue to face perpetuating cycles of poverty,” she said.
The report details that one-in-five youth, aged 15 to 17, who live in countries affected by conflict or disaster have never been in a formal classroom, while two-in-five never completed primary school.
Nearly 303 million youth between ages five and 17, around one-in-five globally, are out of school. One-third of them live in conflict or disaster-affected countries, according to the report launched ahead of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
Moreover, greater than half of the out-of-school primary-school-age children live in emergency-affected countries. It also points out that poverty remains the most significant barrier to education globally, leaving the poorest primary-school-age children four times more likely to be out of school compared to their peers from the richest households.
UNICEF said that with less than four percent of its global humanitarian appeals dedicated to education, the report calls for more investment in quality education from pre-primary to upper-secondary, in a safe environment within countries affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises.
By current trends, there will be more than 1.3 billion youth aged 10 to 19 by 2030, an eight percent increase. “This is a critical moment in history,” Ms. Fore said. Providing the future workforce with quality education and better employment prospects will yield greater economic and social dividends, according to the report.
“If we act wisely and urgently, we can empower and skill young people to be prepared to create peaceful and prosperous societies,” the UNICEF chief spelled out. “The alternative is too bleak. We cannot afford to fail,” she concluded.











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