ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain has underscored the critical role of universities in nation-building process and urged heads of universities to focus on promoting excellence in learning and prepare the young generation for meeting future challenges.

The President noted the role of institutions of high learning in creation of human and knowledge capital of society, while talking to a group of vice-chancellors and rectors of the leading universities of the country who called on the President here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday.

The vice-chancellors and rectors felicitated the President on assuming his responsibilities and briefed the President about their institutions.

The President thanked them for their best wishes. He said the universities need to play greater role in equipping the students with the steel armour of knowledge and relevant skill-sets so to enable them contribute towards the nation building process.

Those who called on the President included among others Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal, Vice Chancellor (VC) Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology Karachi, Dr Najma Najam, VC Karakoram International University Gilgit, Tajdaar Alam, Rector Virtual University Lahore, Prof Dr Ahmed Al-Dariwesh, President International Islamic University Islamabad, Prof Hina Tayyaba, Acting VC Pakistan Fashion & Design Lahore, Imran Rahman, VC Institute of Space Technology Islamabad, Dr Malik  Akthar Kalru, VC NFC Institute of Engineering & Technology Multan, Maj Gen Masood Hasan, Rector National University of Modern Languages Islamabad, Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad, Rector National Textile University, Faisalabad, Dr Ijaz Ahmad Malik, VC Air University Islamabad, Vice Admiral Shahid Iqbal HI (M) (Retd), Rector Bahria University Islamabad, Dr Muhammad Aslam, SI, Rector, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences Islamabad, Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai, VC Quaid-i-Azam University and Prof Dr Nazir A Sangi, VC Allama Iqbal Open University.

Executive Director Higher Education Commission Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Secretary to the President Himayatullah Khan, Additional Secretary Ahmad Farooq and Director General Syed Moazzam Ali were also present during the meeting.