VCs forum signs Khairpur Declaration on best practices for engagement of students at campuses

VCs forum

VCs forum signs Khairpur Declaration on best practices for engagement of students at campuses

KHAIRPUR, Nov 18,2023: The Vice Chancellors’ Forum signed Khairpur Declaration on “Best Practices for Effective Engagement of Students at University Campuses”  at its meeting held at Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur

The meeting was jointly organized by the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur and Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS), Islamabad and was presided over by Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto, Vice Chancellor Shah Abdul Latif University.

After detailed deliberations on the theme, the Khairpur Declaration was signed. The Khairpur Declaration said in order to encourage the participation of students in co-curricular activities, the Roll of Honors should be awarded to the best performers in co- curricular activities on semester/annual basis particularly during the convocations.

There must be a process defined to build departmental harmony inside the campuses by establishing linkage of students’ societies where they can sit to brainstorm on the inter and multidisciplinary approaches to work for productive results, the VCs forum decided.

Khairpur Declaration recommended that keeping the evolution of globe and recent trends in mind, we need to update our curriculum according to the needs and requirements of job market and industry. This cannot be achieved without sitting with industrial experts, taking their recommendations and incorporating them while updating. The curriculum is the only way to increase the employability ratio of graduates.

The forum said the engagement of universities with community and industry must be on frequent basis to have an idea about the supply and chain. There must be platform either in form of an Alumni Relation Society or department that should work on the alumni impact and connect the alumni with the current students for motivation and exposure of the industry. Guest lectures are also proposed in this regard where alumni should be invited on campus to interact with students and faculty.

The concept of 1-student, 1-mentor can be implemented in this regard by taking an alumnus as a mentor. Teacher’s training must be conducted on the principles of latest teaching pedagogies and strategies to practice and promote the 21st century skills inside the classroom. We should not rely on the traditional teaching practices where the teachers speak and the students listen without holding or promoting a two-way discussion to inculcate leadership and communication skills. Khairpur Declaration suggested.

There must be some national and international exposure programs where students and faculty should be given with the chance to visit other universities be it a public or private university to observe and learn from the best practices being implemented there to replicate them back at their campuses. Exposure visits of students’ societies are also recommended in this regard. A support study system is recommended for the newly enrolled students for their higher education readiness to cover the learning gaps, this may be achieved by offering them some mandatory online courses. A vibrant activation of Directorate of Students Affairs and Business Incubation Centers is dire need of the time. Students Startups and Business Centers should be established where the business ideas can be placed and pitched to promote the entrepreneurships skills in students to make them future entrepreneurs. The idea of 1-student, 1-business would be effective in this regard. Students’ centric policies must be adapted where they can raise their voices and reassured that they are being heard and are a part of decision- making process. The establishment of students’ councils is proposed in this regard that must be formed by an electoral process and they must be given their representation as a stakeholder. A specific budget must be allocated for the students’ societies to empower them in fulfilling their aspirations and achieving their vision and mission. Engaging students in learning additional language program is highly recommended to make them unique candidate in the global market.

Transparency must be assured at each sector of the universities, data related to the hiring or selection boards must be public and available on the university websites. There must be inclusion of co-curricular activities in the semester calendar, the concept of semester calendar should be both at the intra and inter- university level. There must be a mechanism framed for monitoring and evaluation of affiliated and associate colleges. These colleges’ students must be given with the chance to visit their respective universities and can participate in their co-curricular activities. Community centers should be established at campuses and students must be encouraged to work on the societal or community issues in their final year projects. The values of civics must be promoted, students’ societies should be asked and trained to presented the societal issues in their work, dramatic society may be asked to showcase the current community issues in their plays and on the same patterns the other societies can work in their respective capacities. The values of national integration must also be inculcated among students by engaging them in various events based on the topics like social, religious, peace, harmony, co-existence and tolerance.

Earlier, a Dinner was hosted in the honor of Vice Chancellors and guests. A Sufi Music Concert was also held.

Meanwhile, the guests visited the SALU F.M Radio Station, Command & Control System Room, Date Palm Research Institute (DPRI).

The cake cutting ceremony on the completion of one year of Students Societies Centre was also held. The progress report of Students Societies Centre was also presented.

The Vice Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Directors and Representatives of the Universities also shared their views. They commended the work done by the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur for the capacity building of the students and community engagement. They also appreciated the initiative of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto for the development of University.

Prof. Dr. Ataullah Shah, Vice Chancellor Karakorum International University, Gilgit, Prof. Dr. Zahid Hussain Khand, Vice Chancellor Aror University of Art, Architecture, Design and Heritage, Sukkur, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz Aqdas, Vice Chancellor Al-Khair University, Gujrat, Prof. Dr. Mir Muhammad Shah, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Sukkur IBA University, Prof. Dr. Maqsood Shah, Pro-Vice Chancellor Ghotki Campus of SALU, Prof. Dr. Ishtiaque Ali , Director Academics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Dr. Riaz Hussain Hamdani, Director Arts Council, Multan, Mr. Mian Muhammad Sajid, Director Barani Institute, Sahiwal, Prof. Dr. Minhoon Khan Laghari, Registrar, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Dr. Jameela, Representative of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar, Dr. Muhammad Sadiq, Representative of University of Baluchistan, Quetta, Dr. Mirza Abdul Qayoom, Director Students Affairs, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Agriculture University, Multan, Dr. Anees-ur-Rehman, Director Students Affairs, Bahauddin Zakriya University, Multan, Prof. Dr. Syed Ali Raza Shah, Principal, Khairpur Agriculture Engineering College, Prof. Dr. Taj Muhammad Lashari, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Mr. Muhammad Murtaza Noor, National Coordinator IUCPSS, Islamabad, Dr. Ali Raza Lashari, Incharge Students Societies Centre, Mr. Irfan Ali, Program Coordinator, IUCPSS, Islamabad attended the forum.

The guests visited the Kot Diji Fort, Shrine of Hazrat Sachal Sarmast and the historical Faiz Palace of Khairpur Mirs.