The New Student Orientation (NSO) concluded with President Habib University Wasif Rizvi sharing words of encouragement with the Class of 2025 in a candid online Q and A session conducted by the Orientation leaders. The session was held as part of the NSO week that began on August 23, 2021.
President began by narrating the need for the liberal arts model in Pakistan and what students can learn from it. The vocational aspect of education was alienating students from the problems plaguing society, he pointed out. The liberal arts model, he went on, was the solution of the times as it aimed to produce ‘engaged citizens’ that had an insight and the relevant skills to solve problems. Habib University was the first institution to envision this sort of nuanced approach.
He also said that there needs to be a conversation initiated around how undergraduate education should look like. This, he believes, is how Habib can have a bigger impact on the state of education.
In terms of the university’s locality, President Rizvi was asked why the leaders chose to build Habib University in a city like Karachi, and particularly in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. He commented that universities exist in areas and communities such as these to uplift them, which Habib has done successfully.
The pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges to higher education. President Rizvi remarked on how delighted he was to see the new generation possessing strong adaptability skills when it came to the virtual world. He credited the Habib community of Mohsineen’s commendable efforts in lending technological aid to those in need and the faculty’s flexibility in making the access to content easier, “we want to have the best environment both physically and virtually.”
Sustainability is one of the Habib University’s main challenges. President Rizvi emphasized that it was incumbent on society to play a part in making someone’s dreams of pursuing higher education come true. He cited examples of top universities like Stanford and MIT, that emerged when society came together and collectively invested in education. Pakistan should follow a similar example, he stressed.
The significance of Habib’s Yohsin ideology was one of the key messages President Rizvi imparted to the Class of 2025, “We are living in a crisis of imagination. How can we develop an inspired sense of leadership when our view of reality is heavily borrowed and artificial? How do we progress intellectually from here? This is why we adapted Yohsin and the ideals of ‘thoughtful cultivation’. If everyone can apply this philosophy to what they do, that’s a world we should be living in.”
In a parting note, President Rizvi stressed upon the Class of 2025 to demonstrate exceptional work ethic. He urged students to share their journeys with the rest of the community because a mission-driven project such as Habib University will only succeed if every stakeholder recognizes their responsibility and commits to the mission.