Scholars from the Muslim world on Tuesday resolved to work for greater academic interaction, create an Islamic universities’ pool of scholarship, and to initiate joint research and development programme.
This resolution came after two-day interactive and technical sessions at Vice Chancellors Forum 2013 in which heads and representatives of 200 universities from the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) participated.
The forum was organised by COMSATS Institute of Science and Information Technology (CIIT), in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Ministry of Science and Technology and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO).
The event provided a platform for different universities to sign mutual agreements and memorandums of understandings (MoUs) in general and specific areas of their academic interest.
The other adopted resolutions include instituting Personal Mobility Programme for facilitating travel, interaction among researchers and scholars and setting up of inter-disciplinary centres of excellence.
One of the most feasible and new suggestions was floated on the second day’s panel discussion titled ‘The Future of The University and Universities of The Future’.
A delegate from Turkey suggested that the Muslim countries should establish a database as a one platform about research papers, articles and other important document.
Bangladesh’s Int’l Islamic University’s VC Prof AKM Azharul Islam remarked that the concept of the universities was changing dramatically. “From e-learning to formal at-home-classes will diminish the classroom culture,” he added.
Professor Iqrar Ahmad Khan from University of Agriculture Faisalabad said to give admission to students only on the passes of marks, is a tradition that ought to change. “This is not the way to invite best talent for universities,” he said.
The VC of University of Brunei Darussalam urged the participants to equip themselves with higher standards of education as the upcoming war would be nothing but the war of knowledge.
Professor Arif from Turkey’s Bursa University said it was time to go forward and materialise the plans.
“We should avoid copying Western ideas or just imitating their activities and programmes. We need to move beyond this rhetoric as saying something is easy but the practical implications shape the dreams,” the professor said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2013.