KARACHI - A high level meeting of the vice chancellors and representatives of various public and private sector universities of Sindh, while acknowledging that enrolled students are the real stakeholders of the varsities, emphasizes upon engaging them in peace building process at the campuses.

They observed that sustainable peace in the campuses and cities would only be possible when real stakeholders get the ownership and they are listened by the authorities concerned. They agreed to give ownership to students and decided to engage them in different activities other than curriculum activities.

They also decided to draft policies which make rooms to create space for students’ involvement in the extra curriculum activities so that their leadership qualities could be utilised with full potential.

The VCs agreed to have rational policies for the students and dialogues with them to address their problems and grievances. They also observed that as campuses reflect the societies that are why tolerance and peace could not be established in the surroundings of varsities until there is peace in the city.

Karachi University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi chaired the second meeting of the Inter University Consortium for the promotion of social sciences, arts and humanities, held at the Vice Chancellor Secretariat on Monday. The national coordinator IUCPSS Muhammad Murtaza Noor briefed the audience about recommendations gather from public and private sector universities and said that it would be soon published for the record.

Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Lyari, VC Professor Dr Akhtar Baloch, Iqra University VC Dr Waseem Qazi, Dow University of Health Sciences Professor VC Dr M Saeed Quraishy, Sindh Medical University Karachi VC Professor Dr Tariq Rafi, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, University of Law, VC Justice (r) Zia Pervez, Dawood University of Engineering Professor VC Dr Faiz Ullah Abbasi, Sindh University VC Professor Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat, Institute of Business Administration Executive Director Professor Dr Farrukh Iqbal, Vice President (Academics) Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology Professor Dr Altaf Mukati, Director Usman Institute of Technology Dr Zahir Ali Syed, Shaheed Benair Bhutto Dewan University VC Dr Muhammad Auranzeb Khan, Director Metropolitan University Yousuf Ibn Hasan, Registrar Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education Captain (r) Ahmed Zaheer, Registrar Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology Syed Sarfaraz Ali, Huma Bukhari of Newport Institute of Communications and Economics, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, Indus University Sheema Haider and others attended the meeting.

Professor Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr Tahir Ali, Dean, Faculty of Management and Administrative Sciences, Professor Dr Nasir Sulman, Dean, Faculty of Education, Professor Dr Rahila Ikram, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy and pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr Shahnaz Ghazi, Dean, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Dr Syed Asim Ali, Advisor Student’s Affairs, members student advisory council were also present on this occasion.

The participants acknowledged that violence incidents have reduced to almost zero at the educational institutions. Professor Dr Muhammad Burfat urged to give students representation in senate and syndicate of the varsities. He observed that after the 18th Amendment, public sector universities are confused as they do not know whether they have to follow the Higher Education Commission Pakistan or HEC Sindh.

“The universities are facing deduction of grants from HEC Pakistan, paying salaries, pension, medical bills and other expenses on time are one of the biggest issues of the VCs that were why providing facilities to students have become dream for them.”

Professor Dr Burfat suggested that universities should carry out their activities as autonomous body and do not take any kind of pressures. Professor Dr Akhtar Baloch said that society is on decline and role of universities has increased as they have play very key role in the uplifting of the society.

He expressed that we are making robots rather than intellectuals while varsities real job is to create leadership. Dr Waseem Qazi mentioned that inequality in the society is one of the major causes of intolerance in the masses.

“We have to promote justice and dialogue system in the society to create culture of tolerance. The balance is missing from our daily lives and collective efforts are not being made to bring changes in the society.” Professor Dr Farrukh Iqbal suggested that campuses must have healthy and positive environment for students so that they could establish friendly interaction with each others which would promote the harmony culture in the university.

Professor Dr Tariq Rafi said that not only students, teachers too need to learn about tolerance and whole society has to give space to others then we would have sustainable peace. Professor Dr Faiz Ullah Abbasi expressed that if administration start listening to students then they would be able to overcome at their problems. Professor Dr Saeed Quraishy said that students should have unions but they must not be allowed to operate and work on political grounds.

Professor Dr Altaf Mukati recommended to make swift and necessary changes in the syllabus and said that our curriculum must be up to date. The subject like Islamiat must be took seriously and taught by the professional teachers rather than visiting faculty member or someone else.

Syed Sarfaraz Ali said that SSUET works on the pattern set by the Aligarh University, India, and keen on producing leaders for tomorrow. Justice Zia Pervez said that outdoor sports create sportsmanship, harmony and team spirit and would play important role in producing fruitful results.

The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi said that like Karachi University every higher educational institutions has different models of extra curriculum activities and almost everyone is using them for their students.

He observed that we have to give freedom to students so that they could raise their voices. As academicians we have to give them right direction so that they could use their energy positively and for betterment of the varsities.