Special Reports

Expanding the Learning Horizons

Students from the University of Baltistan,Skardu embark on a winter study tour.
University of Baltistan, Skardu (UoBS) a newly established federal university in Baltistan, is committed to engage its students in practical learning opportunities that helps boasting their self-confidence, enhance their knowledge and trust about national institutions and develop efficient life management skill. As the campus remains closed in winter vacations for students, the university planned a comprehensive study tour of a group of 40 students from the senior most semesters of all programs on the basis of their CGPA merit. This group also included the football team of the university. With faculty and management/support staff the delegation became 50. Objective of the study tour was to provide exposure learning opportunities to the students of the remote villages of Baltistan studying at UoBS by visiting premier universities and national institutions. This way the university engages the youth in very positive and productive real-life learning activities and understanding the institutions of higher education and organizations.  


 


The delegation arrived in Islamabad, on January 9th after a long journey of around 35 hours due to road blockade over the Karakoram High Way (KKH) in Chilas. The first visit was scheduled in the afternoon of the same day to Quad-e-Azam University, the students had only two hours to fresh up and got ready. In Quad-e-Azam university the delegation visited different departments, libraries and the museum. The students’ body of Quadian Forum arranged a welcome tea party. Alongside the students visits the Vice Chancellor and his senior team had a meeting with the Vie Chancellor QAU and signed an MoU the same day.  
On January 10, the delegation visited the President House to meet His Excellency, Dr. Arif Alvi, for over one hour. The president addressed the students and highlighted the national expectations upon the youth population and introduced the Presidential Initiative on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in universities. The Vice Chancellor thanked His Excellency Dr. Arif Alvi for his welcoming time to the University and briefed about willingness and the capability of the university in AI related projects.
On January 11, 2019, the students’ delegation visited ISPR and met Director General (DG) ISPR, Major General Asif Ghafoor. The students watched few documentaries of national resilience and pride. Then the DG addressed the students in an open discussion way. In an interactive mode General Ghafoor asked few questions to students and explained the notions of ‘national security’, ‘fifth generation war’, role of youth in social media and responsibility of universities for guidance of the youth. The same day a group of 6 students were sharing their experiences on FM 98 Islamabad. In the morning for a short time the team also visited Expressed Media Center. 
On January 13, the delegation visited a private university Alkoser in Islamabad. This university in private sector is founded and patronized by Mohsin Najfi belonging the Kharmang valley of Baltistan. 
Secretary, Kashmir Affairs & GB was kind enough to dedicate his time to meet the visiting students delegation from UOBS for over one hour on January 14 at AJK Council Secretariat, Islamabad. The secretary opened the meeting session for questions from the students and students shared their views. The secretary was kind to consent to provide resources for a student bus and girls hostel and to facilitate the students for internship opportunities in national and multinational organizations. On 14th the delegation visited picnic sited of Islamabad then proceeded to Lahore in the afternoon. 



On 15th and 16th of January In Lahore the GB guest students visited Punjab University and LUMS. In Punjab University students visited their respective departments to have a feeling of the teaching leaning processes of this old university. The UOBS football team also played a friendly football match with the team of Punjab University, Lahore. In LUMS the students took special interest in the library where they were briefed about the library systems. The delegation also visited Wahga Border to witness the flag lowering ceremony on invitation of DG Rangers Punjab. On January 16, 2019, the honorable Governor Punjab graciously allowed UOBS delegation to visit Governor House Lahore.
This way the team of graduating students of University of Baltistan got a sense of national mainstreaming pride that enhanced their self-confidence and social skills as well. Such opportunities of practical learning help the youth to engage in more positive and productive roles in the future market of CPEC and associated opportunities.


A report by Dr. Zakir Hussain, Director Academics and External Linkages, UoBS, Skardu.
E-mail: [email protected]

 

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