Islamabad - Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has vowed to provide resources for infrastructure development at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU).

He was addressing a roundtable “QAU 50 Years: Setting the Development Agenda” here on Friday. The minister said that universities in all over the world are now becoming the engine of development. He urged the academia for relevant research to cater to needs of the society. “The capability to utilize the knowledge will ultimately give the competitive edge to any nation,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, Vice-Chancellor QAU Dr Javed Ashraf said that QAU has consistently been ranked the top university in the country by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). In addition, according to the US News and World Report, QAU is the only academic institution in Pakistan among the top 500 universities in the world. However the financial constraint is the main hurdle for QAU towards achieving its desired goals of providing best physical infrastructure and academic standards.

The vice-chancellor also briefed the minister regarding PC-I of proposed PSDP project ‘QAU Expansion Phase II.’ The proposed project consists of academic blocks, hostels, labs, administration buildings and staff residents. “The university, if gets the proposed project, would cater to the university infrastructure needs even in future,” said the VC.

The minister assured that all infrastructure development needs of the university will be fulfilled on priority.

Meanwhile, the 24th Master Trainers-Faculty Development Programme, organised by Higher Education Commission’s Learning Innovation Division, concluded at HEC Secretariat on Friday.

As many as 25 faculty members from 25 higher education institutions across Pakistan attended the eight-week programme. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, was chief guest at the certificate distribution ceremony. Shaheen Khan, Adviser (Learning Innovation and Sports), was also present on the occasion.

The faculty development programme has been designed specifically for in-service teachers who spend this time in rigorous training. Previously, 668 faculty members of different universities have benefitted from this programme in 23 batches.

The programme included Micro Teaching sessions to renovate teaching skills of the participants. Besides intensive training modules, general topics were strategically inter-mingled with regular course modules. Recreational and study trips were also arranged for participants.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, HEC Chairman said that teachers are assets for any nation and they are responsible for shaping the thought-process. He urged faculty members to spread hope among their students and teach their students the importance of tolerance in life. “Different segments of our society need integration and teachers have a very important role to play in that context. Remember that your students should not only excel in their respective disciplines but they should also become good human beings.”   

Dr Mukhar Ahmed advised the teachers to disseminate best practices learning during the programme. He underlined the need of assuring quality in universities at all levels.