Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that at the level of tertiary education in Azad Kashmir has achieved quantitative goals and now the aim is to achieve qualitative goals so as to provide the best possible education to our graduates.
He made these remarks while interacting with the Vice Chancellor of the Northampton University, Professor Dr. Nick Petford, who is currently on a short visit to Pakistan.
During the meeting, the President said that AJK already has 5 public sector universities with students studying a variety of degree programmes including engineering, management sciences, humanities, health sciences, law and many others. He said that statistically speaking the educational scores of AJK is far ahead of other regions of Pakistan.
The AJK President said that, we here, in Azad Kashmir want to focus on emerging and cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, hydraulic engineering, block-chain technologies and biotechnology; to help prepare our graduates for the dynamic and ever-growing job market.
Professor Dr. Petford said that Northampton University would also like to collaborate with AJK Universities and provide students with an opportunity to study joint-degree programmes. These programmes, he said, would holistically cover all academic aspects of the students and also the training of relevant teaching staff. He said similar training programmes which included training teachers to teach according to international teaching and quality standards have successfully been carried out in various universities of Sindh.
President Masood Khan welcomed the proposals of the Northampton VC saying that such measures would help improve educational standards in AJK universities. He said that in AJK, we are also focusing on promoting other relevant disciplines like tourism, hospitality, nursing and environmental sciences to cater to the local needs of AJK and the growing need for professionals in the field of tourism and to help preserve the natural beauty of AJK for incoming eco-tourists.
The President also proposed English-proficiency classes for students at AJK universities. He said that proficiency in English has become unavoidable; as now, English has become the lingua-franca. Professor Dr. Petford said that they have introduced similar programmes in other universities and look forward to collaborating with AJK universities in this regard.