DECEMBER 05; ISLAMABAD: QUALITY EDUCATION AT TERTIARY LEVEL A MUST: MASOOD KHAN

Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that providing quality education at our tertiary institutions will be our foremost priority and we will ensure our students are trained in relevant disciplines to help their absorption in the growing and ever-changing job market.
The President made these remarks - as the Chancellor of AJK public sector universities - while addressing the 6th Senate Meeting of the University of Kotli, held here at Jammu and Kashmir House. The Meeting was attended by the Vice Chancellor University of Kotli Prof. Dr. Syed Dilnawaz Ahmad Gardezi, former Chief Justice AJK Supreme Court Mr. Muhammad Azam Khan, nominee Chairman Higher Education (HEC) Commission Prof. Dr. Ahmad Shuja Syed, Secretary Higher Education Mr. Zahid Khan Abbasi, Secretary Information Ms. Midhat Shehzad and former VC University of Swabi Prof. Dr. Noor Jehan.
During the meeting, numerous issues related to the academic, administrative and financial matters of the university were discussed in detail. The Vice Chancellor in his opening remarks briefed the Senate members of the University’s achievements over the year.
VC Prof. Dr. Dil Nawaz Gardezi informed that the University under the vision of President Masood Khan is focusing on improving the quality of the education being provided to the students. He said that 10 new degree programs have been introduced which will be made available for aspiring students upon approval of the HEC National Curriculum Committee. He said that existing programs have been extensively reviewed and revised by the Senate and Syndicate boards. He added that the university has restructured existing faculties according to the relevance of degree programs.
Stressing on the need to provide critical exposure to the students and helping them grow professionally; the President had desired that all AJK public sector universities organize job fairs inviting influential organisations and institutions form the management and financial sector. The VC informed the members that the University of Kotli had organized such an event in which leading management and financial institutions were invited to assess the students and give them the exposure and understanding of current job trends. The President expressed his satisfaction on the fact that financial institutions like the State Bank of Pakistan and Habib Bank were ready to provide the students with over 70 internship opportunities.
Recently, the University also completed major infrastructure projects. The VC informed that construction of the Girls Hostel under the HEC Umbrella Project has been successfully completed. Kotli University, he said, was the first to complete this project among other universities. The hostel, he informed, will be inaugurated on 24th of December this year. Other projects, he informed, include a Rs. 1.3 billion development project which includes construction of major buildings within the university campus. Similarly, the university has also recently completed construction of the main administration building and 12 lecture halls.
The University of Kotli has also acquired land amounting to 384 Kanal which has been handed over to the university administration. The land will be utilized for the construction of the new campus. Similarly, other projects include construction of link roads, boundary walls, cafeteria, indoor sports complex, faculty residential complex, market and a school for the children of faculty members and the people of the locality. This will help provide all required facilities on campus.
President Masood Khan on the occasion said that the University of Kotli has achieved major targets within only a few years of its establishment. He said that quality educational standards will be achieved with a razor-sharp focus on excellence, merit-based appointments and encouraging research and innovation.
The President also appreciated the fact that the University of Kotli had over the current year organized various international science seminars and symposiums, in which leading researchers and academics were invited from across the world. Kotli University also organized important conferences on the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which was addressed by leading economists like Dr Ashfaq Ahmad and senior secretaries to the AJK Government. He said that our universities will constantly evolve to keep up with the changing challenges seen in the dynamic job market.
President Masood Khan said that necessary academic exposure will be provided to the students through student and faculty exchange programs and also by sending deserving students for foreign scholarships. He urged the orientation of the students on professional grounds and also highlighted the importance of connectivity between academics, students and the industry. He greatly appreciated the fact that Kotli University is reaching to leading IT organizations like Microsoft which will also help develop an Incubation Centre at Kotli University.
President AJK also said that information technology and management being the main forte of the University of Kotli; the management must focus on creating a niche for itself in these fields. He urged the management to also create close liaisons with the diaspora community and reach out to influential overseas Kashmiris in order to help engage them in the betterment of the University and the region.
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