Chairman Higher Education Commission, Dr. Tariq Banuri, visited Habib University (HU) on May 3, 2019 to gain a thorough understanding of HU’s unique academic offering and approach to undergraduate education.
HU President, Mr. Wasif Rizvi, Vice President Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Dr. Christopher Taylor and Mr. Shahnoor Sultan, Chief Financial Operator and Director Operations, welcomed Dr. Banuri and led a comprehensive campus tour for the visiting dignitary.
During the campus tour, Dr. Banuri explored HU’s infrastructure and various spaces, which included classrooms, laboratories, library and the film studio. Mr. Rizvi explained key features and provisions of each space as he guided the visitor around the campus, along with other members of the HU fraternity. Dr. Banuri was also informed about the range of academic support and student life on offer to HU students, in addition to their core academic program.
He also visited the Supplemental Instruction situated in the Ehsas Center at Habib University, where students receive the extra support they require to succeed in their respective courses. Moreover, they are also provided substantial career counselling as well as mental health counselling.
During the tour, Mr. Rizvi elaborated on how students at HU come from diverse backgrounds and how the university offers equal opportunities to them, despite any socioeconomic barriers they may face.
After the hour-long campus tour, Dr. Taylor gave a brief presentation, where he addressed the guest and initiated an overview of Pakistan’s education landscape and the inherent structural deficiencies, particularly in the realm of higher education.
Dr. Taylor went on to explain how HU is learning from the best practices employed by esteemed international higher education institutions, such as Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University. He said that HU’s integration of the Liberal Arts and Sciences provides the foundation for its approach to education and stressed the need for a well-grounded, contextualized and holistic academic experience at the undergraduate level. “The Habib Liberal Core, which translates this approach into action, serves as the ‘Paradigm Changing Curricular Project’ of HU,” said Dr. Taylor.
Dr. Taylor stressed the need for a well-qualified and motivated faculty, and gave relevant details on HU’s internationally educated and experienced faculty, who he referred to as ‘inspirational mentors’.
HU’s global outlook and collaborations were emphasized as Dr. Taylor explained how students and members of the faculty have ample opportunities to gain enriching international experiences through various programs, such as ‘Study Abroad’ and various platforms for faculty training and teaching in foreign universities of repute. Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley and Pitzer College were mentioned as key partners.
Dr. Banuri was informed how, as a manifestation of its international outlook, HU has become a renowned platform for intellectual public engagement, having hosted more than 300 scholars and thought-leaders from renowned institutions around the world.
Recognizing the problem of ‘accessibility’ to higher education, Dr. Taylor went on to explain how HU is striving to tackle the issue through the indigenous Talent Outreach, Promotion and Support (TOPS) program and through some of the country’s most generous Scholarship and Financial Aid (SAFA) offering.
In his closing statement, Dr. Taylor mentioned areas for collaboration between the HEC and Habib University, including Pedagogical Innovation, Undergraduate Research and Support towards Facilities and Research.