Universities Of Pakistan

Written By: Ahmed Farid

This article is written to praise the universities which Pakistan is proud of having. The article is about the universities that have kept high standards of education over the years and promises to produce professionals of tomorrow. The article will discuss different universities that are: Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (GIKI), NED University of Engineering and Technology, National College of Arts (NCA), Indus Valley School (IVS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and The Agha Khan University (AKU). These are the top seven most renowned universities of Pakistan that are recognized all over the country and even abroad. They are in top list of Higher Education Commission (HEC) ranking because of their faculty, research, assignments, number of Masters and PhDs, facilities, etc.

Let us briefly discuss each of the universities mentioned above. LUMS is a national university sponsored by public and private sector corporations. It was established in 1984 with a goal to develop an institution which would provide rigorous academic and intellectual training and a viable alternative to education comparable to leading universities across the world.

GIKI is the most prestigious engineering institutes of Pakistan. GIKI is known the world over for setting a standard of excellence in the field of engineering. Over the years, the institute has produced bright, innovative graduates employed at some of the most respectable firms all over the world. The Institute aspires to be a center of excellence in engineering sciences and technology, which acts as an effective agent of change and a model for others to emulate. It is autonomous and independently chartered and is funded by the private sector. It strives to attract faculty of outstanding talent and ability to provide the students a supporting and enabling environment. It hopes to produce graduates who distinguish themselves by their professional competence, humanistic outlook and ethical rectitude, pragmatic approach to problem-solving, and organizational and managerial skills. Given these attributes, they should be able to respond adequately to the needs of Pakistan and be the vanguard of their techno-industrial transformation. Apart from its outstanding academic programme, GIKI is also known for the versatility and vibrancy of its extra-curricular scenario. All of these activities are student-organized. At present, GIKI has more than 20 student societies. These organizations provide the students with various opportunities to indulge in their aesthetic interests and experience working in a professional environment. Moreover, these societies instill in their members the priceless qualities of teamwork and leadership.

The NED University of Engineering and technology is a government owned, and the oldest institution in Pakistan for teaching and turning out Graduate Engineers. This University presently offers undergraduate programmes in nineteen (19) Engineering disciplines along with one each in Architecture and in Information Technology. It is presently also offering twenty-seven (27) postgraduate programmes, this number is increasing each year. At present, the programmes for Doctoral studies are restricted to Faculty Members only. The university is implementing its wide-ranging Development Programme in which its demands for Faculty Development are sp high, that they leave no room for offering Doctorate programmes for external candidates.

Like all old institutions, the National College of Arts, has a historical tradition. Much of its present tone was set long ago when it was known as the Mayo School of Arts. Gazetteers written about the city of Lahore in 1915 describe the work being done at the school as one of the cultural highlights of the urban center. The Mayo School of Industrial Art was set up to commemorate Lord Mayo, the British Viceroy to India, assassinated in 1872. A teacher of painting and sculpture Lockwood Kipling, working then in Bombay in a Parsi School, was appointed its first Principal parallel to his charge of the Curator of the Lahore Museum.

In an age of rapid social, technological and aesthetic transition, Indus Valley School (IVS) feels committed to educating their students with the ability to analyze and critique experience, and to nurture their creative abilities so they become active, outstanding members of our society, both personally and professionally. IVS wish to go beyond technical instruction by placing emphasis on creative thought and action. Each department, despite its individual character functions are in close collaboration with the others, in order to develop an awareness of the essence of the visual arts, both traditional and contemporary. This underlying philosophy is reflected in their curricula. Through an interaction with diverse practicing professional artists, architects, academicians, scholars, archaeologists, art historians and designers, students are exposed to the importance of ideas, concept development, intuition and the value of research in the development of the creative process. IVS shall not feel content till we have succeeded in preparing our graduates to live in the world of tomorrow, enabled them to share in the responsibilities for social, economic and political problems and to apply their professional knowledge and abilities to the solution of such problems, so that besides being technically and aesthetically literate, they are above all, good human beings.

IBA is the oldest business school outside North America. It was established in 1955 with initial technical support provided by the world famous Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania; later, the University of Southern California set up various facilities at the Institute and several prominent American professors were assigned to the IBA. The course contents, the curriculum, the pedagogical tools and the assessment and testing methods were developed under the guidance of reputed scholars from these two institutions. IBA has jealously guarded the high standards and academic traditions it had inherited from Wharton and USC while adapting and adjusting them with the passage of time. A large number of Pakistani faculty members received advanced degrees from Wharton and the University of Southern California. Till 1994, the University of Karachi awarded degrees to the graduates. In that year the Sindh Assembly elevated the Institute's status to that of a degree-awarding institution. A bill is pending in the Assembly for conferring the status of a University to IBA. In spite of a rapid increase in the number of business schools, the IBA has maintained its position as the premier institution of higher learning in the field of management and business administration. The IBA initially offered MBA program only for day scholars. In 1957, an Evening Program was started to cater to the needs of the numerous working executives and managers who were interested in furthering their careers through part-time business studies. In 1982, a three-year BBA (Honors) Program was introduced which has now been upgraded into a four-year BBA program. The Center for Computer Studies was established in 1983 with the collaboration of IBM, Pakistan. It initially offered a diploma in system analysis to overcome a shortage of software professionals in the country. It now offers BBA (MIS), MBA (MIS) and BS (Computer Science, Software Engineering, and Information Technology), MS (Computer Science, Software Engineering, and Information Technology) and PhD programs. The PhD degree is being offered in the areas of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Operations Research, Artificial Intelligence, Cryptography, Numerical Analysis and Numerical Computing. In addition a PhD program in MIS/Computer Science and Engineering/ICT has been launched from August 2005. The Center for Executive Education offers Executive MBA programs for mid level public sector, non–profit sector and private sector executives, organizes customized courses for the corporate clients and holds short courses on emerging issues and themes for those engaged in business. A new Center for Entrepreneurial Development is being established and will become fully functional in 2010.

Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the University has campuses and programmes in Afghanistan, East Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Syria and the United Kingdom. Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Nursing Schools and a Medical College, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. Through its needs-blind admissions policy based on merit, the University imbues the most promising leaders and thinkers of tomorrow with an ethic of service and the skills to help communities solve their most pressing challenges while instilling the highest professional competence.

I appreciate what these universities have done for the country and hope other universities follow their steps to become better and to produce graduates who will serve the country better. Our education system is very competitive and Pakistanis are known for their skills and smartness abroad. Students who do their undergraduate from these universities go to very renowned universities abroad for further education. This is because these institutions are able to produce graduates as smart and well educated as any Ivy League or 1st tier universities abroad. I wish these institutes good luck for the future and hope they progress and become better.

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