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February 22, 2015

SUIT becomes leading educational institution of KP: Dr Salim

Islamabad

 
February 22, 2015

Professor Dr. Salim ur Rehman is a gold medalist in Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering. He was commissioned in the PAF in 1985. As a PAF officer, he served the PAF in various capacities. He also developed the Recovery Plan for the Mirages, PAF acquired from Australia in 1990.
In 1991, he earned the Ministry of Science and Technology Scholarship for Higher Education abroad. He completed his masters and PhD in Industrial Engineering in 1993 and 1995, respectively, from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.
Dr. Salim served National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) for over six years and sought retirement as associate professor in 2001. He is one of the founding members of Sarhad University. In 2003, he became dean, while in early 2006, he took over as the third vice chancellor of Sarhad University. Dr. Salim has a number of research publications in national and international journals of repute. He has also developed many software products. One of his software packages for linear programming is currently being used by many universities. His areas of research include quality control & quality management, optimization, statistics, and stochastic.
While talking to ‘The News’ International in an interview conducted in connection with Vice-Chancellors’ Forum being held in Islamabad, Dr. Salim said that Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology (SUIT) was established through an Ordinance of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, (KPK), issued in 2001, and recognised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
The university is run by a Board of Governors, comprising serving and retired vice-chancellors, a judge of Peshawar High Court, distinguished scientists and a representative of the HEC, Islamabad.
Since its establishment, Sarhad University has developed itself as one of the premier educational institutions of the country as borne out by the fact that its category has been upgraded to “Category W-3”

university on a scale from W to Z as per government of Pakistan/Federal Cabinet criteria requirements.
The ranking criterion is based on the quality and size of the faculty, research output, students’ performance and quality; financial and infrastructural facilities available with the university. HEC has placed SUIT in top 15 position in General Medium Category and also ranked at no. 2 in the private universities of KP in the HEC ranking, based on publication of most number of research papers in an year, i.e 110.
The university is dedicated to imparting high quality education, with emphasis on demand-oriented skill development and training under excellent conditions of learning. Its educational programmes are designed to enable the students and in-service personnel to develop skills and competence in engineering, pharmacy, management sciences, computer science, telecommunication, electronics, chemistry, biotechnology, mathematics, psychology, arts, education, communication and media studies, library and information sciences, sports and physical sciences and other disciplines, besides providing broad based, cross-functional education, with due emphasis on developing critical, analytical, and logical thinking and knowledge of societal matters. He said that the growing enviable reputation of the university and recent up-gradation of its ranking by the HEC of Pakistan is primarily due to the commitment of the faculty and staff to provide students best facilities, with the solid support of the management and sponsors, Board of Trustees, and Board of Governors of the University. Present strength of the students at the Main Campus is above 4000 and that of the Distance Education Centers is above 15,000, he added.
About recruitment of faculty members and faculty positions, he informed TNI that the university has employed faculty members with Ph.D qualifications-their number is now more than 50. The overall number of full time Faculty members has also increased to 300 – thus maintaining healthy teacher to student ratio of 1:20. Most of teachers in upper three categories, i.e., professors, associate professors, and assistant professors are either Ph.D degree holders or having post-graduate qualification (MSc/M. Phil) from abroad (i.e., UK, USA, etc). These highly qualified professionals are teaching and conducting research in various disciplines, i.e., pharmacy, engineering, management sciences, and arts/social sciences/education. The university is planning to induct more Ph.D degree holders in these fields in order to academically enrich its faculties.
Regarding establishment of laboratories, he asserted that the university has established 50 laboratories-equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment-for teaching/research in the fields of electrical, civil, mechanical, electronics and telecommunication engineering, pharmacy, biotechnology, computer science, chemistry, etc.
About accreditation of degree programmes, he said that all the professional programmes are duly recognised / accredited by their respective regulatory bodies, i.e. Pakistan Engineering Council for Engineering Programmes, Pakistan Pharmacy Council for Pharm-D Program, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council for MPH Program, NCEAC of HEC for Computing Programmes, and NBEAC for Management Programs.
While discussing about increase in enrolment, Dr. Salim informed that owing to wider public acceptability of the University as a quality institution of higher education, and increasing confidence of parents and students, based on gradual improvements of its learning resources and induction of highly qualified teaching staff, the overall intake of students in the University has now increased up to 4000 – the Pharm-D (Doctor of Pharmacy), Engineering, and Management Science degree programmes being most popular ones. Providing access to higher education at affordable cost shall make Sarhad University one of the leading Universities in KPK in the near future.
Regarding linkages with Various Organizations, he was of the view that realizing the importance of establishing linkages with external partners to develop a knowledge-driven society, the University is making deliberate efforts to achieve this goal. A number of well-reputed Universities/Organizations, within the country and abroad, have been contacted for this purpose. An MoU was signed with SMEDA for the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre at Sarhad University. This was the first MoU signed by SMEDA with a Private sector University in Pakistan. Both SMEDA and Sarhad University have jointly encouraged the final year students of the University to set up their own businesses reducing their dependency on others. A number of internationally renowned Universities, he added, have approached the University for collaboration in post-graduate studies and teachers exchange programmes for promotion of joint research activity, and within a year, substantial progress in this direction is expected.
About Research Publications, he said, that during last year, different Departments of the University have published 110 research papers in Higher Education Commission’s recognized International Journals. Hopefully, the University will be in Top Ten ranking of Higher Education Commission for the year 2015.
Regarding Distance Education Programme of SUIT, he said that Sarhad University is the only private sector University of Pakistan allowed by its charter to offer education through distance / virtual means. The programme has achieved enormous success as the number of Distance Education Centers of the University has risen to 35 including centers in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi (UAE), Kuwait and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). These centers facilitate the Distance Education students to attend online lectures, seminars, and workshops; use library and laboratory facilities and seek counseling, help and guidance. The factors that contributed towards enormous success of Distance Education programme include, direct contact between the University and the students, open and extensive on-line communication as well as frequent meetings and discussions with centers and students, world class curricula, periodic feedback and centralized arrangement and conduct of examination. In connection with Distance Education System, the University has developed an international level software to help students of far-flung areas to access courses of their concerned subjects, he concluded.

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