Islamabad,Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that concrete steps will be taken to enhance interactions between public sector universities of AJK and leading foreign universities to help boost the quality of higher education in AJK.
The President made these remarks during a call on meeting by Faisal Mushtaq, Punjab’s Minister for Human Rights, Minorities, Social Welfare and Population and Professor Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor University of Wolverhampton at the Presidency here at Jammu and Kashmir House. They were accompanied by Dr. Debbie Gilliland, Head of Transnational Education, University of Wolverhampton; Safia Farooqi, Dean of Academics, The Millennium University College Islamabad, and Sabina Zakir, Director Roots Millennium Schools
President Masood Khan on the occasion also congratulated Faisal Mushtaq on assuming his charge as caretaker Minister in Punjab.
The President informed the Vice Chancellor that AJK has five public sector Universities which are focusing on cutting-edge disciplines. He said that we have the distinction of establishing a dedicated women’s university at Bagh. He said that the Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) is focusing on providing modern engineering courses and similarly the University of Poonch specializes in subjects related to agriculture and allied technologies.
Professor Geoff Layer while appreciating the efforts of the AJK Government in promoting higher education said that their University wishes to explore new professional and academic relationships for enhancing collaborations in research and innovation with universities in AJK.
President Masood Khan during a press briefing after the meeting said that by collaborating with prestigious universities of the world we will build high-quality technical education infrastructure at a tertiary level. He said that we plan to initiate exchange programmes for students and faculty members, and also explore avenues for scholarship programmes. He said that there is a need to encourage modern research and innovation in order to bring our universities on par with leading universities in the country and region.
The President informed that AJK with an educational score of 85% has the highest educational score in all of Pakistan. He said we have excelled in overall retention, enrolment, gender parity and learning of students. “We have achieved quantitative goals and now aim to achieve qualitative goals through strong academics collaborations to help steer our students towards excellence by promoting research and innovation in modern disciplines”, he said.
Owing to his extensive experience in Pakistan’s academic landscape, President Masood Khan invited the Vice Chancellor to visit Azad Kashmir and evaluate the academic facilities there and interact with the academia. He said that with the right exposure we will be able to establish a knowledge-based economy and create state of the art institutions which will be centres of excellence and research.
He added that with these steps we look forward to enhancing cooperation towards strengthening academic and research linkages between our universities and leading international universities.
The press briefing was also attended by Prof. Dr. Kaleem Abbasi, VC University of AJK, Muzaffarabad; Prof. Dr. Haleem Khan, VC AJK Women University Bagh; Prof. Dr. Habib-ur-Rehman, VC MUST and Prof. Dr. Dilnawaz Gardezi, VC Kotli University.