As part of NEDians Convention 2007, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy's keynote speech and then had a conservation with Dr. Shamsul Haq, the Pro VC of NEDUET. Both confirmed that, under Dr. Ataur Rahman's leadership, there has been a dramatic increase in spending on higher education. Here's a quote from Prof Hoodbhoy's speech: "Currently(2007), HEC's total spending is a huge Rs. 33.7 billion, mostly for universities." This is a 10-fold increase in about 4-5 years.
A brief conversation with Dr. Shamsul Haq confirmed for me that the money is currently not an issue for NEDUET. The funds, according to him, are being used to send faculty abroad for higher education and to improve buildings, labs, equipment and infrastructure in general.
The biggest problem Dr. Haq brought up is the ability of NEDUET to attract and retain competent faculty because of the constraints imposed on faculty compensation by the various Government pay-grades being applied in the process. In other words, the compensation offered by NEDUET (and I assume other government-funded institutions) is not competitive with the industry and the market. This is obviously a very serious issue because the quality of the faculty is the greatest contributor to the quality of education and research at an institution of higher learning.
One of possible ways that NED alumni can play a role here is to set up a mechanism such as an alumni center to get more involved in understanding and influencing decision-making processes. We can try and lobby for compensation reform and development of various of various incentives to attract and retain the best possible faculty at NEDUET. What do you think? Please jump in and talk about what alumni in general and you in particular would do to improve the situation?
Dear Riaz sahib;
NO it is the not money which can attract the good faculty. It the environment, current admin is not supportive of young faculty. I do not understand why the govt. can not get a competent VC. Please read my articles in Pakistanlink NED University Deteriorating Standards and in the attachement.
I agree with Zeshan's opinion that Compensation does matter and is one of the major decisive factor to attract competent faculty but at the same note, work environment is also very crucial to keep the faculty for considerable period of time. If they are not given the space and authority to do what they do best and they are tied with the RED TAPE & Bureaucracy, then eventually we will end up with the type of faculty that we have now. (I mean no disrespect to any one but we all know the credentials of our senior/junior faculty members, i.e., almost no research at all, several decade old teaching materials, lectures, even test papers). I heard about Dr. ATTA’s program about hiring qualified Ph.D's with proven track records with very competitive salaries with one condition, that is to keep their jobs they have to be able to publish certain number of research papers in international scientific journals every year or so. I think this would be the best stimulus that is needed in our higher education, especially in science and technology sector. The problem is no matter what salary is paid or what facility is provided, unless there is a research and development culture is present, every thing will turn down to the old fashioned 9-5 easy going, cool, no hassle teaching job.
I did an online survey last year of about 1000 NEDians including alumni, students, faculty etc. Money was an issue, particularly faculty salaries and curriculum quality in the top 5 issues. However, the #1 issue cited by the majority was lack of vision by the NED administration. If you do not articulate a vision backed up by clear goals. workable strategy and concrete plans, it is hard to move forward to accomplish anything great...such as preparing engineers for the challenges facing them now and expected in the future. It also involves establishing close industry-academia alliances and joint research projects with the assistance of alumni working in Pakistan and overseas.
Well, money does matter !! There isn't any doubt about it.
Be it low salaries or the monopoly of Grey-heads or any other reason
No matter what the grounds are we are deprived of quality teachers and this is quite an alarming situation!!
I am afraid where are the labs which are being facilitated by the FUNDS? Even in our Electrical Project Lab we don't have a proper oscilloscope. The systems sucks big time and so do the faculty and management ! University is ISO certified but still the rights of students are badly humiliated, no freedom of expressions, no regard to their self-respect. I know i am sounding a bit childish but thats what they do !!
WE HAVE GOT THE BEST OF WORST FACULTY HERE!! (ain't talking about the few exceptions)
And Alumni are pride and support of any organization,they have their roles to play and to serve back . I wonder,why NED don't have any official alumni association yet. I strongly appreciate the idea for setting up an alumni association to exert some pressure at the high officials and to bring some constructive change ! The time is now to unleash the silver lining of the NEDian cloud.
I absolutely agree that all brand name institutions have an Alumini Organization. How come at NED thought about that. Its the alumini organization which brings a lot of value to an institution. I would say that NED should have some seats for Aluminia's Childern also. Mr. Riaz probably can help to set up NED Alumini Organization. Regards, M. Afzal
For what it's worth, it's been pointed out by Azhar Tufail (NED Alumni Assoc of UAE) that Aamir Farooqui "did his graduation in Electronics Engineering from Dawood College, and was from batch 1986-1987. We all know what happened at later stage, when NED University revoked the recognition of Dawood College. "
I am personally not taking a position on this issue. This is just in the spirit of full disclosure that I am letting you know this information. You are free to draw your own conclusions.
Here's a note from an NED faculty member re Aamir:
"As a matter of fact, Dr. Aamir has helped many ned students in their
final year project in digital design, getting admission abroad and in
getting jobs during late 90s and early this century. He is a known
person in the field of VLSI. I also used to think he was an old
nedian. He even held some competition and gave awards from his pocket
and contacts. I think two out of three award winning groups belonged
But something happened (may be the way his proposals were dropped),
that charged him. His anger is obvious while arguing his case."
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