KU convocation awards 1362 degrees: Khuhro stresses need to plan education of coming generations

KARACHI: Pro Chancellor Karachi University Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, who is also Sindh senior minister for education and literacy, has said that we have to think about education of our growing number of youth, as Pakistan is set to become the world’s fourth largest country in the year 2050 with an estimated population of 335 million.

He was speaking as chief guest at the annual convocation of University of Karachi here Thursday. He said with high teaching standards and a large number of graduating students every year, University of Karachi has a distinctly reputed place in the list of top universities.

He said that almost half of Pakistan’s 185 million population is under the age of 17. An estimate predicts that by 2050, Pakistan’s population will grow to 335 million, which would make Pakistan the world’s fourth largest country. The time is to think about how well our education system prepares its millions of young people for a productive future because it will profoundly impact the country’s internal stability, security and prosperity.

He said he is well aware of the difficult socio-political scenario of Pakistan and especially Karachi where it is becoming difficult for youth to strive for a successful career. However, strong nations build their own pathways and struggle to achieve their goals no matter how difficult it is. A complete paradigm shift in attitude toward achieving our goal is the actual need of the day. It is the time when a desperate call for success must be made by expanding our horizons of mutual intellect and shared knowledge. Coordination, irrespective of colour, creed, race, religion and sect, in all strata of life will resolve some of the fundamental issues.

He said he was satisfied that this University realizes its responsibility and is committed to the success of its students. It serves as an advocate for their intellectual development. “ I believe that the analytic and research skills formed and honed during graduate and post graduate study are critical for success in a variety of professional contexts. “

Earlier, the VC Prof. Dr. Muhammad Qaiser in his address said University of Karachi is an institution of higher learning and research which has a considerable stature in society. The vibrancy of its culture where students of diverse cultures are studying in different disciplines adds in its international reputation. Within a vibrant culture of collaborative learning, this university models itself for advancement in other universities of Pakistan as well.

He said his vision was to transform this University into a world class institution of very high rating in terms of teaching, curriculum development, equipment and facilities, research productivity, and quality of faculty, students and graduates.

He said the University, at present, offers academic training and research opportunities in nine disciplines. Its nine faculties include faculties of Arts, Science, Islamic Studies, Law, Management and Administrative Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering and Education. The academic programs offered by University of Karachi include B.S., B.A./B.Sc./B.Com. (Honours), BBA, MBA, BPA, MPA, M.A., M.Sc., M.Com., BE., B.L.I.S., M.L.I.S., Pharm-D, M.S., M.Phil, Ph.D. In addition, certificate and diploma courses are also offered in various languages and technical subjects.

He said according to a recent ranking by Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds (THE–QS), UK, University of Karachi was ranked among Top 400 institutions of the world in subjects Arts & Humanities, Social Science and Life Science from a pool of 30,000. The fact is pertinent to note that KU is the second university from Pakistan to achieve the honour.

He said the research and academic output of the university is well recognized globally as well. This institution of higher learning has a very good concentration of PhDs. It has so far produced 2000 PhDs including in different disciplines during the years 1958 to 2011. According to the databases SCI-E, SSCI, A&HCI from Thomson Reuters Web of Science, the university has published 365, 392, 431 and 488 publications in the year 2009, 2010, 2011and 2012 respectively in the field of Science and Social Sciences in reputed journals. It is indeed prestigious to mention that our faculty members receive Research Productivity Award every year since 2002. Research productivity award is also granted, in the year 2012, to more than 60 faculty members and research scholars of University of Karachi.

He said the University is accredited for having more than 60 patents in the field of scientific research both the national as well as international levels. The University has equally made good progress in the area of establishment of Academic Linkages and the promotion of viable outreach programmes nationally as well as internationally. In particular, we have been able to establish mutual collaboration agreements for active research collaboration between University of Karachi and following foreign institutions: George Mason University, Virginia – USA, Sharif University of Technology – Iran, IDAHO University – USA, Katib Celebi University Izmir –Turkey, Bozok University –Turkey, Sichuan Normal University –China, University at Albany -New York, USA, POSCO Tj Park Foundation, University of Kebangsaan-Malaysia, University of Foreigners of Perugia –Italy, University of Tehran –Iran, University of PEACE – Costa Rica, University of Bedford Shire – UK, University of Isfahan – Iran, Ataturk University, Erzum – Turkey, University of Mauritius, and Erzincan University – Turkey

He said at University of Karachi, we do not only focus the academic training of our students only instead we pay close attention to other significant areas as well. In this connection, the first mobile Thalassaemia Centre has been established in the University. This is the first ever thalassaemia centre established in any educational institution of Pakistan where free thalassaemia tests will be conducted and awareness will be given to the students and faculty members. In this way, the University is the first institution of Pakistan that has taken a serious step towards eradication of this genetic disease.

The university in the year 2012 conferred 760 degrees of BA/ BSc/ B Com/ BPA (honours), and out of them 180 degrees were awarded in the convocation. Out of total 2343 BS/ Masters degrees 703 degrees were awarded in the convocation.

Similarly, out of total 15 BSLIS 2 degrees were awarded in the convocation. Out of total 30 MLIS degrees 6 were awarded in the convocation. Out of total 18 BE degrees 2were awarded in the convocation. Out of total 172 Pharm-D degrees 83 were awarded in the convocation.

Out of total 120 M Phil degrees 16 were awarded in the convocation. Out 190 PhD degrees 100 were awarded in the convocation. The convocation also awarded one D Sc degree, and out of 1182 degrees of evening program, 269 degrees were awarded in the convocation. Hence, 1362 degrees were awarded in the convocation out of total 4831 conferred degrees.