NED has spent a large amount subsidizing our education. We need to pay this back. According to some rough estimates this sum amounts to around $5000 to $7500. We need to figure out how to collect it and pay this amount. Typically, here in the USA the Alumni department which is a part of the university collects funds. Also each university has an Endowment fund. As an example Harvard University has a 26 billion dollar fund which is invested in the stock market. This was reported in the Los Angeles Times on September 13, 2007. (Business Section front page)
You have a solid argument and a great idea. IIT alumni, particularly Kanwal Rekhi (founder of TIE), are leading a similar campaign for IIT grads to give back to their alma maters. Given the lack of tradition and mechanisms for alumni involvement in South Asia, it has taken a lot of effort, patience and time for them to get it off the ground. We will need a sustained effort at developing a relationship with admin/faculty of NED, understanding their needs and our desires, to create a mechanism for NED alums to give back. Giving back should not be just handing out money but actually giving time and using our influence and connections with the industry and academia in the US and elsewhere to build relationships for the benefit of NED and NEDians. For details, please visit http://www.pakistanlink.com/Commentary/2007/Sept07/07/03.HTM a commentary I wrote on this subject. Hope you find it useful.
" NED Giving Back" or NED Endowmnet is not a new idea. We at NED Alumni Association have been working on this for the past five years. We have broken the execution of this assignment into three steps.
Our Alumni have been scattered all over the world and even in this age of hi tech few are in touch with each other. We have spent a lot of time on the phone, emails and simply word of mouth to connect with these lost alumni by creating Alumni Conventions in various populated cities of USA. So far we have successfully had Conventions in Houston (2005), New York/New Jersey (2006) and San Jose (2007). Through these Conventions we have managed to connect /reconnect at least 1000 alumni. Hopefully, thru this Ning website we will be able to continue to connect many more.
Thru these Conventions we have Energized several hundreds of Alumni to support the idea of NED Giving and NED Endowment. Several ex NEDSU Presidents and other executive members have attended our Conventions and taken active roles in organizing it. I see a trend developing. Every Convention we have had has created leaders that may play a key role in shaping the future of NED Alumni and the NED Endowment. Alumni that had faded into the unknown are slowly starting to surface and expressing a strong desire to join hands with NED Alumni Association to create a Worldwide Alumni Group
Lastly the group of Committed individuals who were a by product of these Conventions form a sort of a Corp Command in the cities we have had our Conventions. These dedicated and highly motivated individuals keep inspiring the rest of the Alumni in their cities to the cause of our Alma Mater and the need for giving back. So far we have ceated 8 leaders in Houston, 20 in NY/NJ area and about 12 in San Jose/ Silicon Valley area. That is total of 40 leaders in three years.
We at NED Alumni Association strongly believe that Giving Back can only be meaningful and permanent if we can Connect, Energize and Commit the masses of our Alumni to the needs of our Alma Mater. The future of the NED Alumni continues to look bright with future Conventions planned for Toronto, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Chicago.
I thank Riaz Haq for creating this Ning webiste for NED Alumni. As it is the only website that connects all the Alumni no matter where they are into one Central place please spread the word and ask all your Alumni friends to show unity of of our Alumni by joining Ning.
Indeed, it is a good idea, and will require someone to work with NED administration. I worked in NED, back in 1998 and 1999 and am sure, not all of the administration is bad. Few of them still want to work around the red tape.
There have been some off and on efforts and some consistent ones, too. I think what is needed is a concentrated, determined and persistent effort. You can always do the usual scholarships, but what is needed even more is career counseling for the students and influencing curriculum and teaching methods. Career counseling should start before admission to N.E.D. Presently the enrolment to CS related programs in Pakistan is very low at all institutions. All of us need to educate everyone we know that there is no dearth of jobs and opportunity for contribution in the CS area and convince talented people to choose CS majors, if they are inclined to do so. We must tell them that they follow what their inner voice and not suppress the thought of going for CS.
To influence the curriculum and teaching methods, I believe we need visits by prominent NEDians to the top N.E.D. administration and the academic departments on periodic basis. We must push and convince them to move in the right direction and praise them if they already are trying to move in the right direction.
Agreed. Adminstration of NED needs to be handled differntly. Several of our Alumni have in the past approached them on various curriculum issues and teaching of classes by by Alumni but were stone walled by the adminstration and came back very dissapointed. Curriculum and Teaching are issues that involve various entities like HEC, Board of Education, Govt Of Sindh and the NED Faculty. We are trying to learn their inner workings thru various sources. However, in the meantime we have plenty of work to do on our own Alumni. Unless we can prove to be a cohesive, active mass with real clout we cannot affect any changes.
Moin Sahib; I fully agree with you. I spoke with Mr. Akhund, Pro Fahim a few years back , and lately with Pro Shams and came up with the same conclusion. NED cannot just add a faculty named Alumni and gather funds. Also, they are of the opinion that they do not need money. That was the impression that Pro Shams and Dr Hoodby left at the San Jose convention. But progress should not stop and our collective effort should overcome these obstacles.
I would also like to point out another problem at N.E.D. in the recent past. Members of a particular student organization (need I name them? But here's a hint: student wing of an ally of the ruling party) have had, shall I say, considerable liberties. They've gotten away with anything. And that is true across pretty much all academic institutes in Karachi, as far as I can observe. I dont see any hope for a considerable improvement in the presence of such biased policies. Any ideas on how to address this issue?
Also, I second the point that NED is saying that they dont need funds. The setup of a recent research center in Karachi is an example. The researcher approached NED to setup the research center at NED but the offer was turned down, after which the center was set up at a different institution. The administration is pretty selective about whom they will work with.
Lets not spend time bashing NED and what is wrong with it. Lets focus on ways to bring the Alumni together first. We need a healthy, active and vibarant Alumni life. In order to achieve this we have to reach out for our Alumni friends and ask them to join this site to show their unity with our cause. Lets be pro active instead of reactive.
How about someone making a list of their graduating class with names and email addresses and sending it to Riaz Haq or me.
It right not to spend time bashing NED but the authorities there are such people that one can't stop oneself from doing so. Anyways, I agree about bring the alumni together. I offer my services for the list of people from my batch and their e-mail address, though I would need to ask my batch mates b4 doing so.
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