Islamabad - A comprehensive plan is underway to further strengthen 44 regional offices of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in order to provide best possible educational services to its 1.3 million students across the country. This was stated by the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui while addressing the concluding session of three-day workshop held here on Thursday that was attended by the regional directors, a press release said.

He said all available financial, technical and human resources were being utilized for providing quality education at the doorstep of the students.

It was part of series of professional development’s activities for capacity-building of the regional staff, enabling them to do their best for consolidating students’ support and complaint management system.

The participants were given in-depth briefing about admission, examination and students’ support fund. They were also updated about the management, finance and information techniques. A number of steps were taken during the last two and half years for up-gradation of the regional offices. These included setting up accessibility centres of visually impaired students, strengthening of library network and installation of security camera in the offices’ compound. Besides this, land is being acquired in major cities for building the University’s own offices. The cities included Vehari, Toba Tek Singh, Narowal, Sahiwal, Chakwal, Hyderabad and Sukkar. In order to accommodate the needy students, nine scholarships or fee-waiving schemes were launched, the Vice Chancellor added while highlighting the steps recently taken to bring about qualitative improvement in the University’s overall working.

He pointed that the University made a record enrolment in the recent semesters, crossing the figure of 700,000 students that reflected the trust of the students in their learning system and the academic ranking.  

Dr Shahid Siddiqui advised them that they must keep their offices open for attending students’ proposals and complaints. They should meet the students’ academics needs on fast-track basis. The vice chancellor hoped that the regions will fully facilitate the students in the new admission (Autumn 2017), starting from first week of August.

They should set up information camps in their respective regions to guide and help the students, he added. He also briefed the directors about the recently introduced steps for their welfare including promotion to next grades and filing up vacant posts.

Five Selection Boards and six Departmental Promotion Committees’ meetings held in a short span time for this purpose, he added.

Director Regional Services Dr Mian Arif Saleem Arif and Assistant Director Madam Nsreen Akhtar Malik and other officers also briefed the participants about their duties and responsibility towards the students.