Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology held a visit to the National University of Technology and held it’s meeting on campus with a comprehensive briefing by Rector NUTECH on its role, functions and responsibilities. The Committee was headed by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed and was attended by Senators Hidayatullah and Sabir Shah.
The committee was briefed about the university established in October 2018 as a university for industry. The idea was conceived in 2015 and made an act of the Parliament in February 2018. The basic idea behind creation of the university was skill development; its growing need and degenerating quality. Producing technology and implementing our skills in maintaining technology is lacking in our society. Our skilled labor is very scarce, most of our diaspora is unskilled labor. We don’t create technology we just buy technology. All these reasons paved way for a dedicated skill and technology developed university like NUTECH.
The Committee chairman Senator Mushtaq Ahmed observed that our institutions are producing students that do wonders broad but they have rarely been able to bring about noticeable change in ours society. He expressed hopes that this institute will help in achieving this objective. The university is not just producing higher education but has a National qualification framework with 4 tiers of education structure. The committee was told that the university puts emphasis on practical experience of how industries work and engagement with industry is a regular feature in all tiers of education. Half way through the semester students give two days of every week to industry visits and gaining experience from working in their field of study. The Committed observed that this field requires thorough technology related legislation as well as adequate financial resources as Commercializing Technology is the need of these hour.
While discussing the importance of integrated efforts it was observed that the technology university boards should have representation of industry and chambers of industry should have representation of universities so that better liaison is in place to ensure that both are aware of the requirements of the other sector and better individuals with the requisite skill are prepared.
The briefing gave details about NUTECH’s initiatives about Curriculum’s alignment with industry needs, becoming an entrepreneurial university, mandatory conditions of industry representatives, Application of Technology in society, Competence index scores, Joint working groups, Joint technology platform for experts.
The institution has arranged Memorandums of Understanding with Heavy Industries Taxila,, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and Inspection and Technical Development Directorate (ITD) and Collaboration with University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy and University of Utah, USA. It was told that the university aims to produce 150 PhDs experts by 2022 and 5000 PhDs 800 technology fields by 2033. The Committee appreciated the idea of establishing a campus of the university in Quetta in near future and of creating a productive workforce for upcoming ML-1, ML-2, ML-3 and futuristic approach based joint research projects on modern technologies of magnetic levitation, evaluated tube rail transport, solar, wind energy rail, tackles systems.
The Committee was told that the budget allocated to NUTECH in 2018-19 was 1200 million and 481.52 million was surrendered to the government. This year 731.30 million have been allocated to the university. The Committee urged the university to try to utilize the budget in best possible ways and also observed that such universities should get in uplift in terms of technical and financial support. Having technical institutions in every industrial zone was also recommended.
The Committee assured the Rector NUTECH that it will fully support the university to ease the process of signing MoUs with foreign institutes a week as having a sound and dedicated legislation regarding the area of technology and skill development
Chairman committee observed that only 1 percent of Pakistani students are enrolled in technical and vocational training institutes, and institutions like NUTECH will help in addressing this dilemma. The aspects of having more focus on centers of excellence and research and development, the need of government, industry and academia to work together, moving from low tech to high tech skills, Apprenticeship programs we’re also discussed.
The briefing was followed by a visit of the campus whereby the Committee was shown how students are studying in high tech labs and research facilities.