One- Day National Conference on Education Policy and Development
The Institute of Social and Cultural Studies in collaboration with PEP Foundation organized the "1st National Conference on Education Policy and Development 2019" with the theme of “Education for Social Justice and Quality System” in The University of Punjab.
The aim of the conference was to bring together all the stakeholder including educationists, academicians, researchers, bureaucrats, professionals and policy makers to address the challenges faced by Pakistani education system.
The Punjab University is preparing a national education policy which will soon be presented to the government of Pakistan, said Vice Chancellor Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar. The vice chancellor said the university administration and faculty members were also preparing economic, trade, environment, science and technology policies for the development of the country. Higher education was linked with socioeconomic growth and universities must play their role in uplifting the country, he added.
Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) former vice chancellor Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that the only difference between developed and developing countries was knowledge. “Knowledge is directly connected to power and politics. Through power, we control bodies and through knowledge, we control minds. The latter is more important.”
Chairman PEP Foundation Dr Khalid Iqbal said that only those societies survived that keep themselves updated with technology. He said that we need to think differently on our education system and adopt modern ways of teaching and learning.
Punjab Higher Education Commission former chairman Dr Nizammudin said there is a need to establish specialized universities and community colleges to produce skilled graduates according to the demands of government and industry. He added the government and industry should present their requirements for graduates in various fields. “We have been successful in increasing access to higher education, but we are still facing challenges in ensuring relevance and quality.”
Dr Rubina Zakar said that the conference would be helpful in preparing a policy document for the government for improving standard of education in the country, which would lead to our socio-economic development. Later, Dr Nizamuddin inaugurated new block of Sughra Begum Centre for Education Policy and Development funded by Promotion of Education in Pakistan (PEP) Foundation.
Student Advancement Fund Endowment (SAFE)
Promotion of Education in Pakistan Foundation visited 6 SAFE partner universities during this quarter. The major objectives of the visits were to discuss how to strategically align the fundraising function and develop a fundraising strategy.
During the visits, the partner universities shared their progress, challanges and the way forward to increase the fund. The universities reaffirm their commitment to set the effective fundamentals for the endowment fund. Most of the universities agreed to have a development office for the fundraising, engage alumni and organize a fundraising week in a year.
The following universities were visited during the quarter
International Islamic University, Islamabad
Punjab University, Lahore
Lahore College for women University
Government College University, Lahore
University of Education, Lahore
Beacon House National University, Lahore
University of Agriculture Faisalabad
The Business Incubation Center, University of Agriculture (Faisalabad) organized Invoke (Innovative Ideas competition) 2019 to foster entrepreneurial culture among University Students. More than 40 ideas were submitted. The students pitched their ideas on 12 March, 2019 to panel of judges. The scrutinize committee selected three top ideas. The winners were awarded cash prizes along with certificates. The winners will also be inducted in upcoming cohort of SSBC Program.
Comsats University, Islamabad
During this quarter, Student start up Business Center organized training session for enrolled start ups on Feasibility Analysis; Industry Analysis Exploring your Market; Legal Structure of Business; Management Leadership and Ethics; Franchising and Licensing and How to present your Business Plan.Two out of three enrolled startups i.e 'Auto Robotics' & 'Smart Silos' submitted initial draft of their business plans. These plans are being revised for the finalization.
Fatima Jinnah Women’s University
As per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between PEP and FJWU, the university is required to promote and enhance the SAFE fund by fund raising activities. In this regard, in spring semester 2019 students and faculty members were mobilized to raise funds through various co-curricular activities.
A minimum target of Rs. 25,000/- was given to each department for making a total of Rs. 6, 25,000/- in spring 2019. During the month of March 2019, fifteen departments have successfully organized their fund raising activities, such as movie screenings, fun galas, food stalls, cultural shows and many more. A total amount of Rs. 4, 60,000/-has been raised from these departments. All the activities were very well planned and the participation of the students in planning and implementation was extraordinary.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ALUMNI RELATIONS
In Pakistan, most of the public universities do not have a dedicated office for the alumni relations. Some of them have but they organize merely a dinner or get together to reminisce the old times. It should demand attention when thinking about fundraising, start-up, growth, strategy and vision. Alumni today want to engage with, participate in and speak to their university or college. As such they have a vested interest in the welfare of their alma mater. Just as commercial companies need to listen and adapt to their customers to remain competitive, universities and colleges must actively involve their alumni in the life of the institution. When they do so, they will see a return on investment that beneﬁts the entire institution.
What can alumni relations offer?
Often alumni relations is treated as a stand-alone activity, divorced from other institutional advancement endeavors. Whereas an integrated, strategic approach can reap signiﬁcant ﬁnancial and non-ﬁnancial dividends:
Sustaining an institution through donations and volunteering
Sponsoring research, student projects or courses
Participating in peer-to-peer fundraising
Brokering introductions to create new partnerships for the university with their employers,
governments and other afﬁliated organisations
Guidance and support when entering new markets or territories
Supporting student recruitment both at home and overseas
Providing expert advice and guidance to the university's leadership
Providing case study material or guest lectures to enhance teaching
Providing careers advice, mentoring or internships to current students
Playing a key role in governance structures
Taking part in focus groups for new communications materials, fundraising activities or alumni services
Helping to build and shape an institution’s brand
Contributing to the positive international public proﬁle of the university
Contributing to the positive online proﬁle of the university
Many alumni ofﬁces wait until students are in their ﬁnal year before they begin to engage them. But awareness should be built from the moment the student arrives on campus – students remain for a few years, but being an alumnus is lifelong. Keeping in close contact with alumni is an effective means for institutions to cultivate their alumni community and continue to receive their support. If a college or university wants to connect with its alumni, it has to engage with them actively and genuinely. An academic degree is a transformative experience, and not purely from an intellectual perspective; it can impact on many aspects of an individual’s life. Therefore it is important to harness enthusiasm among alumni, to establish a sense of belonging, and to nurture a lifelong relationship.