LAHORE:Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfaraz has said that there should be no age limit for students aspiring to enroll at universities and colleges.
The minister proposed this during a consultative meeting on defining the roadmap for community colleges in Punjab.
Addressing the participants, Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz said that the incumbent government is focusing on strengthening the economy of the country by facilitating the access to avenues of education. He said community colleges in Punjab are going to become the hub of skill-based education as the government lays special attention on it, he said, adding that there was a huge gap in the industry and academia which needed to be bridged by engaging the local chambers of commerce and industry in the development of curriculum and subject streams for the students.
The minister said that community colleges project of the government of Punjab was a step towards imparting demand based education which would equip the students with two-year Associate Bachelor Degree in market driven subjects allowing them to enter the job market soon after their graduation.
Sharing the future vision of the government, Raja Yassir Humayun said that the government had envisaged establishing new universities in six districts of Punjab for which sufficient funds had been allocated in the budget. He said that colleges in Punjab would be affiliated with and overseen by their concerned district division universities. He said that the universities, colleges and local industry would be taken on board while finalisation of the syllabus and curriculum for the community colleges.
Speaking on the occasion, Director General PHEC Ms Zia Batool said that in order to produce more productive student suited for local industry local context should also be accounted for while defining the roadmap. VC QAU Prof Dr Muhammad Ali said that there was a trust deficit between academia and local industry there needed to engage the local chamber of commerce and industry in the curriculum development internships and training of the graduating students.
VC Home Economics University Dr Kanwal Ameen while sharing his views said that more focus should be given on life and communication skills of the students adding that these skills must be embedded in the curriculum of community colleges. The meeting held at PHEC secretariat at Arfa Software Technology Park (ASTP) Lahore was chaired by the minister and attended by Director General (QA & A) Ms Zia Batool, Special Secretary Higher Education Department (HED) Sajid Zafar and Vice Chancellors from four universities including Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, University of Sahiwal Home Economics University and Lahore Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering and Technology Rahim Yar Khan. Principals from Govt College Township Lahore, Govt College Marghzar, officers of Higher Education Department Govt of Punjab, Skills Development Council (SDC) Islamabad and representatives of Wright Education Consultants took part in the consultative sessions.
Meanwhile, first ever Vice-Chancellor of University of Home Economics (HEU) Lahore, Professor Dr Kanwal Ameen, called the first meeting of faculty members to address various important matters, such as their jobs status and their role in the future expansion, quality of education, and focus on research and development.
She emphasised on reviewing the curriculum, faculty research training workshops, infrastructure development, funds generation and facilities for the students. She shared her plans to uplift the university library, conference room and labs. The faculty thanked the VC for calling the meeting and taking them on-board. They also vowed to show their support for the initiatives that are to be taken.
UVAS: A delegation from the United States of America (USA) led by Casey E Bean, Agricultural Counselor at US Embassy Islamabad, Wednesday visited Ravi Campus of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Pattoki.
Other members of the delegation were Dr Martin Sieber, CEO of US Livestock Genetics Export and Asmat Raza, Senior Agricultural Specialist at US Embassy.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Rabbani briefed the delegation about academic, research, training and extension activities for the development of livestock, poultry, dairy and related sectors in Pakistan. The delegation was also shown a documentary showcasing the infrastructure development, education and research activities of the university.
Emeritus Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad and Faculty of Animal Production and Technology Dean Prof Dr Anjum Khalique were also present.
The delegation visited different departments at A-Block, including milk plant, clinics, vaccine production unit, library and central laboratory complex comprising animal nutrition lab, diagnostic lab, genetics and genomics lab, feed chemistry lab, meat technology lab, feed hygiene and safety lab and in-vitro embryo production lab, where they were briefed on the functioning, researches, food & feed analysis and services for poultry, dairy and feed industries.