The two universities are communicating through various formal and informal channels to help Habib faculty give depth and breadth to the science & engineering programs being offered at Habib University
HABIB UNIVERSITY, April 12, 2016: One of Pakistan’s youngest universities has built a formidable working relationship with one of America’s top colleges over the past few months. Habib University, Pakistan’s first liberal arts and sciences university, has been working with Harvey Mudd College to share institutional expertise and introduce time-tested teaching and learning techniques to Pakistan’s higher education landscape.
Harvey Mudd was ranked number one among America’s undergraduate engineering programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges rankings. Its engineering curriculum includes a strong emphasis on experiential, hands-on learning and team-based projects with contemporary applications – a commonality shared by Habib University’s vision for its own School of Science & Engineering.
Faculty and staff from the two institutions have interacted frequently over the past few months through both formal and informal channels to learn about each other’s academic and administrative systems and institutional policies.
Several positive things have come out of the developing relationship between the two institutions. On April 9, for example, Dr. Rachel Levy, a member of the Harvey Mudd faculty, held a teleconferencing session with Habib faculty during which suggestions and ideas were shared regarding various pedagogical techniques and practices.
Industrial Advisory Board
The Clinic Program at Harvey Mudd is a program of collaboration between industry and Harvey Mudd that engages juniors and seniors in the solution of real-world, technical problems for industrial clients. Since the Clinic’s inception, over 1,500 projects have been completed for more than 450 corporate, national laboratory, and agency sponsors.
Habib University, which from its planning stages has placed great stress on experiential and hands-on learning, finds Harvey Mudd’s Clinic Program a close match to the project-based learning opportunities it wishes to provide to its students.
To structure and introduce a similar program at Habib University, faculty from Habib has held detailed discussions with their counterparts at Harvey Mudd. Harvey Mudd’s Director of Corporate Relations and Clinic Coordinator, Director of the Global Clinic Program, and Director of the Engineering Clinic have shared their experiences to help structure a similar initiative for the Pakistani context.
Following initial consultations, Habib University convened a meeting of movers and shakers in local industry to assess if a program like this could be feasibly launched in Karachi. The representatives of local industry were of the opinion that internships failed to live up to their purpose, and agreed that a structured program could give students specific problems to solve and spend productive time in a professional environment. The attendees agreed to work out a formal plan to this end. They will work as the Industrial Advisory Board of Habib University.
Refinement of Courses
Harvey Mudd faculty have also shared their experiences regarding the structuring of Engineering Design and various computer science courses, and will engage further through curriculum workshops and seminars with Habib faculty. Their physics faculty have also shared resources for an advanced physics lab at Harvey Mudd that can be adopted at Habib, while also sharing details on a course titled “The Science of Photography” that can be taught at HU.
“The people we talked to at Harvey Mudd are very impressed with what we have achieved since inception. When we told them it’s only been about two years since Habib opened its doors, they were really surprised considering how far we have come,” said Dr. Waqar Saleem, Program Director and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Habib University.
It is hoped that Habib University will make considerable progress on introducing truly world-class science and engineering education to Pakistan by learning from Harvey Mudd’s expertise in this area. The similarities in the two institution’s pedagogical goals and vision will help develop a symbiotic relationship between them, paving the path for mutually beneficial collaborations for their students and faculty.