May 20, 2013: Habib University organized an interactive forum for high school student counselors from across Karachi. The purpose of the forum was to introduce Habib University to those most concerned with student development and to explore the possibilities of high school counselors and Habib University working together to enrich the current framework for student counseling and guidance services.
Yasmeen Bano, Head of Student Recruitment at Habib University shared the changing career dynamics and market trends, elaborating on how Habib University is planning to provide a holistic and enriched learning experience to students to address this challenge,. “The need of the hour is to have a holistic learning approach. Habib University’s broad-based programs are being developed to bring together a wide range of skill sets and subjects, customized for the local environment and taking into account future market trends.”
Speaking at the workshop, Mrs. Maliha Naqvi, College Counselor, The Lyceum School, remarked upon the crucial role of counselors in identifying feasible options for students. “Foreign universities, seemingly the most preferred choice for students, have their own set of challenges. At times the language and cultural barrier that students face from faculty and the local peers is itself a huge hurdle in their social and academic development. Habib University is making a promising start in liberal arts in the local market with its core curriculum and could very well be one of the foremost options when it comes to social sciences.”
Mrs. Ahsanuddin, Coordinator for Student Counseling, Karachi Grammar School, explained the relevance of exposing students to a broad-based curriculum with the right mix of arts, humanities and sciences. “Habib University is a welcome addition to the higher education sector as students are looking for a good local liberal arts university for their first degree.”
Counselors were engaged in discussing the current practices of student counseling and their successes and challenges. Counselors highlighted that students face several challenges as they move from middle school to high school to university and the most effective way in easing the transition is to start counseling as early as possible. Counselors at the event felt that ideally students should have sessions with their counselor prior to choosing subjects for O’ levels so that could have a clear idea about all the options available to them. Student counselors should familiarize themselves with the latest information on local and international higher education opportunities in different fields, so as to provide effective guidance.
The workshop stressed the significance of counselor-parent relationship and the pivotal role it can play in a student progress. Counselors expressed concern about parents pressurizing their children to pursue careers that they do not have an inclination towards. “We encourage students to opt for subjects they’re passionate about and enjoy. We also facilitate parents in making honest assessments about financial analyses when it comes to foreign universities,” said a participant.
The participants concluded the session with unanimous agreement that the best way forward is to meet one on one with parents and students to encourage mutual consent between stakeholders on subject choices and career options. Counselors should embolden students to follow their paths and realize their individual potential and self-worth.