Pakistan Launches NUTech to Prepare 21st Century Workforce

As technology begins to permeate every aspect of life in Pakistan, the country needs a balanced mix of highly skilled workers, technicians, mechanics, technologists, engineers, researchers and development scientists to meet the challenge.  Recent launch of National University of Technology (NUTech) is part of Pakistan government's response to this challenge.

21st Century Workforce:

Pakistan's economy is rapidly transforming from traditional agriculture to modern business and industry.  Accelerating penetration of smartphones, personal computers, flat screens, mobile broadband, indoor plumbing, motorized vehicles, home appliances, air-conditioners, tractors, tube-wells, advanced construction machines and  solar and other technology-based products and services requires a highly skilled workforce to design, manufacture, market, sell, operate and service.

Building this new highly skilled work force must begin with designing curricula and facilities. It also demands a new crop of trainers and educators and closer collaboration between academia and industry.

National University of Technology (NUTech) Campus in Islamanad

NUTech Launch:

National University of Technology (NUTech) has just been launched as a federally chartered institution of higher learning.  It is enrolling students now for its first academic semester starting in September 2018.

NUTech will not only produce hands-on engineers and scientists but it will also serve as an umbrella organization for training skilled technicians and tradespeople to build, service and maintain advanced technology-based plant and equipment.

NUTech will work with a national network of technical and vocational training institutes to produce skilled workers.  It will include representatives of business and industry in design of curricula to ensure these workers meet the needs of the industry.

Specialized Institutions:

Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002, is an example of a specialized institution aimed at developing human capital in the aviation sector.

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc.

Air University has added a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

Higher Education in Pakistan:

There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14.  The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years.  In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).

Graduation Day at NED Engineering University For 1300 Graduates in 2013

Pakistani universities have been producing over half a million graduates, including over 10,000 IT graduates, every year since 2010, according to HEC data. The number of university graduates in Pakistan increased from 380,773 in 2005-6 to 493,993 in 2008-09. This figure is growing with rising enrollment and contributing to Pakistan's growing human capital.

Source: UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2009

Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only one university, the University of Punjab. By 1997, the number of universities had risen to 35, of which 3 were federally administered and 22 were under the provincial governments, with a combined enrollment of 71,819 students. A big spending boost by President Pervez Musharraf helped establish 51 new universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008. This helped triple university enrollment from 135,000 in 2003 to about 400,000 in 2008, according to Dr. Ata ur Rehman who led the charge for expanding higher education during Musharraf years. There are 161 universities with 1.5 million students enrolled in Pakistan as of 2014.

Former Chairman of HEC summed up the country's higher education progress well in a piece he wrote for The News in 2012: "Pakistan has achieved critical mass and reached a point of take-off. For this phenomenal growth to continue, it is important for the government and other stakeholders to support and further strengthen the HEC as a national institution and protect its autonomy. If this momentum continues for another 10 years, Pakistan is certain to become a global player through a flourishing knowledge economy and a highly literate population".

Here's an introductory video about National University of Technology (NUTech) Pakistan:

https://youtu.be/ZDQ2dy3cBSY

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

10 Pakistan Universities Among Top 300 in Asia

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Education Attainment in South Asia

Dr. Ata ur Rehman Defends HEC Reforms

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

Business Education in Pakistan

Armed Drones Outrage and Inspire Young Pakistanis

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  • Riaz Haq

    ‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ to transform skill sector, says minister

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/592255-hunarmand-pakistan-to-trans...

    The government is fully committed to reforming the skill sector of the country that will not only ensure a prosperous future for young people but also the country.

    This was said by Minister for Federal Education & professional Training Shafqat Mehmood during a visit to the new building of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) here on Wednesday.

    NAVTTC Chairman Syed Javed Hasan and Executive Director Dr. Nasir Khan briefed the minister on the 14 components of ‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ programme, a component of Prime Minister’s ‘Kamyab Jawan’ programme, under which NAVTTC is initiating a comprehensive reforms process of the country’s skill development sector to make it compatible with the requirements of the country’s huge youth population as well as domestic and international job markets.

    “Hunarmand Pakistan is a unique and comprehensive program aimed at skilling our most precious national asset, youth, by creating employment opportunities for their social and economic uplift and enabling them to play pivotal role in the national development.

    "It presents both challenges and opportunities for NAVTTC to bring reforms in the skill sector of the country,” he added.

    The minister emphasized on a uniform certification regime that would serve as a gold standard and would be recognized both in the local and international market.

    He also stressed that selection of the best TVET institutes based on merit and transparency must be ensured which is paramount to the overall success of ‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ programme.

    “We are focused on imparting quality training to our youth which is the only way to guarantee maximum employability to our TVET graduates,” said chairman NAVTTC Syed Javed Hasan.

    “This huge project envisages the reform agenda of TVET sector of Pakistan, and has been developed after extensive deliberations and feedback from key stakeholders from across the country incorporating all eight identified interventions as prescribed in the road map by the Task Force on Technical and Vocational Education," said Executive Director NAVTTC Dr. Nasir Khan.

    The meeting was also attended by all the Regional Director Generals of NAVTTC.

    The key components of this programme include development and standardization of 200 technical and vocational qualifications, international accreditation of 50 Pakistani TVET institutes, extension of NAVTTC’s Job Portal with National Exchange Portal, establishment of 75 smart Tech labs for virtual skill development programs & distant learning programmes, establishment of 10 country-of-destination specific facilitation centers, establishment of 70 labs/workshops in Madrassah(s), Skill development training of 50,000 youth in High-end technologies, training to 50,000 youth belonging to less developed areas of the country especially Balochistan, GB, AJK, and newly added districts of KP (ex-FATA), Southern Punjab and rural Sindh, Apprenticeship training of 20,000 youth in industry under Apprenticeship Act 2018, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) of 50,000 youth to bring informally trained workers into the national mainstream, establishment of National Skills Accreditation Council at Islamabad, accreditation of 2000 TVET institutes across Pakistan, and establishment of 50 incubation centers to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship in skilled youth.

    The minister appreciated the efforts of NAVTTC to uplift the TVET sector of Pakistan and said the effective execution and implementation of the program will transform the skill development of the country. The minister also planted a sapling at the new premises of NAVTTC.

  • Riaz Haq

    China to provide $4m equipment for #vocational training institutes in #Pakistan for socio-economic uplift. Vocational training will support development of skilled #labor force for low cost #housing, #agriculture, #COVID mitigation, pest control, etc. https://nation.com.pk/09-Jul-2020/china-to-provide-dollar-4m-equipm...

    China would provide training equipment worth $4 million (approximately 650 million rupees) for the vocational training institutes/ schools around Pakistan through National Vocational and Technical Training Commission.

    The signing ceremony for Letter of Exchange for provision of ‘Vocational School Equipment and Material’ was held at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Yao Jing, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, and Dr. Wang Zhihua, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of China in Pakistan attended the ceremony and from Pakistan side Noor Ahmed, Federal Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, signed the LOE.

    The ambassador reassured cooperation by government of China for socio-economic development in Pakistan. A number of projects under social welfare of the poor and vulnerable people are already under progress like cooperation in PM’s Low Cost Housing Scheme and boosting rural economy through agricultural support. Government of China has also supported Pakistan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Pesticide and equipment has been provided to control the locust spread in the southern parts of the country. The ambassador also appreciated the continuity of CPEC projects particularly establishment of export-based industry in Special Economic Zones under SEZs despite challenging conditions globally due to pandemic.

    Secretary Economic Affairs reiterated strong commitment towards further strengthening and expanding of bilateral economic cooperation between China and Pakistan. Both sides agreed that all the ongoing initiatives will be pursued very closely to achieve the targeted completion so that people of Pakistan can benefit from the Chinese assistance in a more productive manner.

  • Riaz Haq

    Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s flagship project, Pak-Austria Fachhochschule University completed in Haripur

    https://pk.mashable.com/social-good/4983/khyber-pakhtunkhwa-governm...

    Pak-Austria Fachhochschule University, Haripur will offer specialised courses like artificial intelligence, railway engineering, mineral resource engineering and agriculture food technologies and others. It is pertinent to note that construction work on university was launched by the current government last year.

    PAF-IAST said,” PAF-IAST is nestled in natural mountains that flank its campus from all sides, offering one even the ravishing view of snow-capped peaks of Nathiagali and natural winding trails. To its north-west is Tarbela Lake, a journey of only a few kilometers from the campus.”

    “Set in middle of the campus is natural lake, fed by the springs of surrounding mountains. The campus is just a 3-kilometer drive from the Hazara Motorway,” PAF-IAST said.

    The major cities like Islamabad and Abbottabad, are just an hour’s drive, while small towns like Wah, Hasanabadal, Taxila and Swabi can be reached in just half an hour from the campus.

    PAF-IAST said the university wanted to contribute to the development of sound industrial economy in Pakistan and to strive and achieve the goals of effective higher education in engineering, science, and technology.

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    Skilling Pakistan
    A Vision for the National Skills Strategy, 2008-12” seeks to achieve three main objectives in the context of defining technical education at policy level: 1) providing relevant skills for industrial and economic development; 2) improving access, equity and employability; 3) assuring high standards in skills development. These objectives are consistent with the policy of government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards poverty alleviation through skill training and human resource development. Underpinning these prime objectives is our prime focus on meeting workforce demands in key growth sectors such as industry, IT, information and communication technologies, medical technologies, electrical and mechanical as well as mineral resource development, extractive metallurgy and construction fields.