ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission hosted a lecture to 43 university sites via its video conference facility which was also attended by vice chancellors and their representatives of Rawalpindi and Islamabad as well as HEC senior management.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC presided over the session. He introduced the guest speaker Prof. Rodger A. Randel, who is two time Mayor, and former President of University of Oklahoma. He is Director, OU Centre for Studies in Democracy and Culture and a Professor at Department of Human Relations.
Prof. Randel presented a comprehensive overview of the American higher education system. Outlining the evolution of the higher education he defined the development and later creations of community colleges, teaching colleges and research universities. He also shared in detail the most important component of a successful system, being quality and various check and balances that have been created to uphold the quality of teaching.
He highlighted the importance of the President/Rector of a university which in the US system is executive driven. He stressed that the head of the university is answerable to the Board of Governors and also responsible for guidance and being responsible for providing the leadership and the ability to guide through transitions. He also mentioned the need to maintain academic freedom and ways that could be protect and the importance of respecting the other’s point of view and hence the need to be politically correct.
He praised the progress Pakistan has made in the last decade and encouraged the university leaders to have faith in themselves and experiment with new solutions. He said his observations were based on multiple visits to Pakistan and study of the system. He said new technology such as internet has put Pakistan at par with other advanced countries and Pakistan should not be hesitant to try new solutions. He said Pakistan possesses great skill and potential for new possibilities and innovations. He said he witnessed exceptional commitment and quality in Pakistan which can steer the country to success. He said if this skill was honed effectively, he foresaw Pakistan as a global leader in the field of higher education.