British academicians to help improve AIOU academic network

ISLAMABAD: Open University (OU) of United Kingdom will work with Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in evolving a long-term sustainable strategic plan to further improve its academic network for providing quality education and best possible services to the students.

A two-member of UK-OU’s team conducted a scoping study of the AIOU’s academic system during its five-day stay here, Vice Chancellor AIOU, Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui said here Monday.

They assured AIOU that they will give their necessary input and suggestions for preparing the plan that help the University to achieve it future academic goals, strengthening students’ support system, exams’ evaluation process and tutors’ teachings methods.

It endorsed the vision of Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui in regard to University’s further development and hoped that it will turn it into one of the best open-distance learning institutions in the World.

The OU’s team comprising Dr Nicholas Richard Watson and Mrs Anna Childs visited here to study the open learning system in Pakistan. The visit was sponsored by the British Council, Islamabad.

In their interactive meeting held at the end of the visit, the team appreciated the achievements of AIOU in the education sector and the initiatives taken by Dr Shahid Siddiqui in the recent year for promoting innovative applied research, updating curriculum, introducing automation in delivery system and focusing more on professional development of its faculty and academic staff.

During the meeting, attended by AIOU senior academician Dean Sciences Dr Naghmana Rasheed and Registrar Dr Muhammad Naeem Qureshi, it was decided that the two Universities will resume their decades’ old partnership in consolidating the Open Distance Learning system.

The idea of establishing Open University in Pakistan under an Act of Parliament was brought from UK by former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Buhtto to fight out illiteracy.

Dr Shahid praised OU for its solid contribution and support in establishing the AIOU in 1974 at its initial stage.

The AIOU, Dr Siddiqui said has achieved its stipulated targets in bringing a large number of country’s population in the educational net.Its annual enrollment has now reached to 1.3 million with a huge infrastructure network.

The delegation held separate meetings with Heads of various departments and pointed out certain areas which needed improvement.

It hoped that some deficiencies pointed out during the discussion would be overcome with an indigenous in built mechanism as per the needs of their students.It appreciated the professional caliber of the University’s Faculty and its serving departments. APP