President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed the need to conduct market-oriented research and development activities in the universities and equip the youth with marketable skills as per the market’s requirements.
The president, addressing the convocation of the National University of Technology (NUTECH), said that Pakistan had enormous human resources in the form of its huge youth bulge, which could be turned into an asset by equipping them with in-demand skills and providing them with technical and vocational skills. This, he said, would help enhance national productivity and efficiency, besides providing gainful employment to its youth.
Rector NUTECH, Lt. Gen (R) Moazzam Ijaz, members of the faculty, the graduating students, and their parents attended the ceremony.
The president said that with the advancements in technology, modes of learning were also changing and now a great volume of information and knowledge was readily available on online platforms. He said that in the past, scholars used to rely on limited technological tools and gained knowledge through observation and deduction, and knowledge was transferred through oral and printed means.
President Alvi underscored the need to increase the number of graduates, particularly in the fields of IT, cyber security, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, by imparting education through distance, online and hybrid modes of education. He said that virtual and hybrid modes of education had resulted in reduced tuition fees and training durations in many USA-based universities, adding that Pakistan already possessed the necessary infrastructure to promote virtual and hybrid learning.
He said that the virtual modes of learning as adopted by the Virtual University of Pakistan could be replicated in other varsities to increase the number of graduates while also maintaining quality. The president regretted that Pakistan had to face the phenomenon of brain drain as its talented and qualified people could not be absorbed in Pakistan’s system and institutions and they had to leave abroad to earn livelihoods. He said that Pakistan had invested greatly in the training and education of university graduates, however, due to systemic inefficiencies, the country had to suffer this loss.