Delegation from Aga Khan University Visits LUMS to Discuss Collaborations
On March 22, a delegation from the Aga Khan University (AKU), lead by Provost and Vice President, Academic, Dr. Carl Amrhein, and Vice Provost, Asia and UK and Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Anjum Halai, visited LUMS to discuss various initiatives and potential avenues for collaboration. The AKU delegation was welcomed by LUMS leadership including the Vice Provost, Dr. Tariq Jadoon; Dean, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS), Dr. Ali Khan and Dean, Syed Ahsan Ali and Syed Maratib Ali School of Education (SOE), Dr. Faisal Bari.
Dr. Jadoon began the proceedings by providing the delegation an overview of LUMS, its rankings and achievements, the National Outreach Programme and the University’s ‘Learning Without Borders’ philosophy. He also highlighted the transdisciplinary work being done at the research centres at LUMS to create impact through cross-disciplinary research in the areas of water informatics, energy, linguistics, and economics among several others.
Dr. Halai gave a comprehensive presentation discussing the academics and achievements of AKU as well as the university’s plans to launch undergraduate programmes in the arts and sciences next year. She added that AKU is already in collaboration with LUMS in several areas, including the nine-university consortium that LUMS hosted, however there are many new areas that can be explored. “We are fortunate that we have partnerships with some of the leading institutions globally and we are very keen, as we go forward, to not just have a global perspective but to also look at a regional and national perspective. And today this conversation is an example of that,” she said.
Both Dr. Khan and Dr. Bari then apprised the attendees of the vision behind the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Education, respectively. Dr. Khan shared that the purpose of the programming at MGSHSS is to foster empathy, tolerance, and compassion in its students. “The School is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through excellence in teaching and research. We believe that both these feed into one another significantly. We also want our students to be principled, intellectually engaged and socially responsible once they graduate.”
Speaking about the need to establish a School of Education in the country, Dr. Bari said, “Education is a major sector in our country that needs attention and has issues that need to be addressed. All conversations in our country, be it about the good or the bad, from the Minar-e-Pakistan incident or the vote of no confidence, always comes down to the quality of education in our country.” Providing an overview of the School of Education and its MPhil and Executive MPhil programmes in Education Leadership and Management, he also shared that diversity plays a major role in admissions at the school as the aim is to reach even the smallest school in the country and improve education there.
To provide a holistic picture of all the different initiatives being taken up at LUMS, presentations were given by the Biology Department Chair, Dr. Amir Faisal; Director, LUMS Learning Institute, Dr. Suleman Shahid; Director, Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature, Dr. Nadhra Shahbaz and Director, Office of International Affairs, Dr. Furrukh Khan.
The interactive session resulted in insightful discussions on how teaching and learning models, quality standards and academic research can be improved through meaningful collaborations between both universities. In his concluding remarks, Dr. Amrhein endorsed the idea of both institutions working towards supporting each other and building a mutually beneficial partnership through forward-looking collaborations.