Amidst much excitement and high expectations, the ‘Learning Without Borders – The Baltistan Experience’ initiative commenced in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan this July. Under this programme, 150 students from LUMS, and 150 students from the University of Baltistan (UoBS), have come together for a month in Skardu to learn with, and from, each other.
This first-of-its-kind project features five experiential learning courses: Life Sciences, Entrepreneurship, E-commerce, Water Informatics, and Green Energy. Each course is designed and taught together by faculty from LUMS and UoBS to provide students with an immersive experience so that they are better equipped to solve challenges and make an impact in the future.
Each visiting student from LUMS is partnered with a Balti counterpart to enable cross-cultural communication and learning through close and sustained interaction. Students also get the chance to explore the awe-inspiring local landscapes and participate in activities like campouts, hikes and watching polo matches.
Through the on-campus classes at the Allama Iqbal Open University in Skardu, course-based field trips to various locations such as the Sadpara Dam and Deosai Plains, interactions with students from different educational, cultural, and social contexts, and joint participation in recreational activities, students are able to have an immersive learning experience that helps prepare them to propose innovative solutions to regional and global challenges.
This ambitious goal was realised in December 2021, when a 10-member delegation from UoBS, led by the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Naeem Khan, participated in a week-long workshop at the LUMS Learning Institute, co-facilitated by LUMS Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad. Together, faculty members from both universities co-created and co-designed the five courses that are being taught this summer.