Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that serious measures will be taken to uphold merit and academic excellence at higher education institutions in public sector universities in AJK.
The President made these remarks during a meeting with Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), who called on the President here at Jammu and Kashmir House. Welcoming the Chairman HEC, the President also felicitated him on his elevation to the post.
During the meeting, various issues related to promoting higher education in AJK and other financial, academic and administrative matters of the public sector universities of Azad Kashmir were discussed in detail.
President Masood Khan had expressed his desire to enhance the outreach of AJK public sector universities and explore collaborations with international universities in the fields of research, split degree courses, and student and faculty exchange programmes. He said that HEC in this regard can play a major role in helping act as a conduit towards achieving these goals.
The President also informed the Chairman of recent developments at AJK Universities, including organizing job fairs, various conferences on CPEC and Kashmir, and inter-varsity sport and speech competitions. He said that AJK universities are also exploring avenues for setting up incubation centres to help promote linkages between academia and the industry.
President AJK said that Azad Kashmir has achieved quantitative goals like setting up educational institutions and is now focusing on achieving qualitative goals with special emphasis on research and introducing modern and innovative disciplines. The President also urged the HEC Chairman to assist in exploring avenues for introducing skill development programmes for the youth of AJK.
He also informed that AJK Government intends opening new sub-campuses and upgrade existing academic infrastructure at public sector universities. He said sub-campuses are being established in far-flung areas of AJK so as to facilitate the students.
They urged promoting and marketing the universities of Pakistan and AJK internationally in order to encourage a knowledge-based economy. The President said that we shall endeavour to make a conducive environment for attracting foreign students.
The President invited Chairman HEC to visit AJK Universities and also share his expertise with the leading academicians of the state. He also invited the HEC Chairman to address the faculty and students of various AJK Universities. The Chairman welcomed the invitation for visiting AJK in the near future to help understand and explore prospects for further promoting quality higher education in the region.