Having only recently seen violence on campus between student groups, the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on Monday called for presenting a comprehensive road-map to restore student unions in colleges and universities of the country. However, the caveat was that these unions should not have any political patronage or affiliation.

This was stated by IIUI Rector Professor Dr Masoom Yasinzai in a statement on Monday.

The establishment of the student unions, he said, will lead to the creation of a robust system which will eventually groom ‘future leaders and educational reformers’ at these institutions.

He went on to elaborate that the role student unions have played in the past was eclipsed due to patronage by different political parties. This made unions deviate from their course and set some bad precedents which have created doubts over the efficacy of unions.

Dr Yasinzsai further said that unions should not work under the umbrella of political parties since then they will not be able to focus on educational issues and will become hostage to political agendas. Moreover, he remarked that in the past, student unions started working as political wings of different parties in varsities which destroyed the atmosphere of educational institutions.

“The main objective of these unions was for students to learn from each other’s expertise and to work for the promotion of education for future generations,” he added. He underlined the need to encourage those students at a university level, who would take up education and policy issues.

He suggested the government take the academia on board when formulating new educational policies, aimed at improving the education sector and to ensure optimum results at the national level.

Citing the example of some developed countries, he said, “We should learn from their expertise to reinvigorate our education system to meet contemporary requirements and tackle future challenges.”

The IIUI rector further said no university desires friction with any group of students on administrative or functional issues.