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Pakistan: Universities role must to meet demands of internationalisation

Pakistani students

By Baqa-ul-Mohsin

Universities should enlighten their neighbouring communities to resolving their problems with the ultimate aim of developing society and economy through transforming the lives of students.

Pakistani universities have to rise to modern-day challenges and play a major role in serving humanity to make the society a place for knowledge production and promote social relations at national and international levels.

Quality education is the only solution to all problems being faced by the nation. Higher Education institutions have to contribute to the socioeconomic development of humanity including public health, improvement of crops production, and cross-cultural and religious understanding.

This was stated by IUB & GSCWU Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar while addressing a conference titled “Future Road Map of Higher Education” convened at the Government College University Lahore. The conference was held on special directive of the Punjab chief minister to ascertain current status of higher education in Punjab and exploring vistas to bring education at par with developed countries. Elaborating on the retrospect and prospects of internationalization, Dr Mukhtar quoted Hadith Nabvi “Go seek for knowledge even if you have to go to China” supporting Islamic ideology of internationalization. He said that in those days Arabia was far off from China and not a Muslim state.

However, globally, the idea starts catching up in the aftermath of World War-1 that brought catastrophe to the humanity.

Institutions like La Cite’ Internationale Universitaire de Paris established in the year 1920 was the initiations of efforts to create global peace through academic institutions by gathering people from different nationalities and geographical boundaries.

This idea of institutionalizing peace and creating harmony was widely acclaimed and received global support by far-sighted industrialists and philanthropists.

Dr Mukhtar described global pressures demanding internationalization in the light of World as a global village. Among several prominent factors few to mention are: differential economies, urbanization, culmination of cold war, role of Unesco in integrating global education systems, regional science and technology revolution and mainly global spread of public-private partnerships in educational systems. Further elaborating on the concept of internationalization, Dr Mukhtar remarked, “We need best teachers and researchers in our nation having international stature.”

It is not a big deal to identify international eminence of a faculty. Now database like Research Gate can evaluate strength and weaknesses of intellectual contribution.

He said that research eminence of teacher contribution can be evaluated by his/her citation by others.

He mentioned that there should be options for teachers to polish their capabilities through faculty development programmes and also transfer to other discipline if they cannot adjust themselves in competitive world of teaching.

Creation of quick knowledge demands cognizant teachers with an attitude to equip themselves with latest knowledge.

The IUB VC also shed light on different models of internationalization like import model involving inculcation of international standards in the campus through motivating student, faculty and employees and a vice versa export model followed by joint venture fostering inter-institutional efforts and a networking model promoting internationalization through small consortia by the higher education institutes. (The Nation)

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