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HEC, Microsoft to accelerate digital transformation

By Our Correspondent
February 18, 2021

Islamabad: Microsoft Pakistan and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) have signed an Education Transformation Agreement (ETA) to help academic institutions leverage new technologies in the learning process.

The agreement was inked at a virtual meeting held between HEC’s Chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri HEC, Vice President Education, Microsoft, Europe Middle East and Africa Mark East, and other key executives from both sides.

Under the ETA framework, Microsoft collaborates with universities, helping them in their digital transformation journey through a strategic technology framework implementation that helps them build a secure and connected campus, promotes teaching and learning activities, creates opportunities for academic research, and increases chances of student success through easy access to knowledge and latest tools. There are multiple programs that are part of this framework.

During the pandemic, HEC has been providing remote learning solutions to drive continuity for academic activities in universities. To support the same initiative, Microsoft collaborated with HEC to bring more than 100 universities and 500,000 plus students to a digital hub of Microsoft Teams that brings conversations content, assignments, and apps together at one place, letting educators create vibrant learning environments.

Through this agreement, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, will be accessible to universities and will transform their IT infrastructure with latest cloud offerings, manage their cyber security through cloud-native SIEM, build high performance research clusters, host their learning management solutions and innovate their on-premises applications.

Microsoft will also provide consultancy to universities to adopt Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform for their Finance and Operations and Campus Management solution requirements.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Banuri hoped that these interventions will introduce modern technological tools to enhance faculty to student interaction at all levels and provide easy access to knowledge. “This cooperation has long way to go till the fulfillment of Digital Pakistan vision,” he remarked.

“We have seen how this new normal has completely changed the way we interact with technology. We are witnessing the rise of remote and blended learning solutions by integrating technology in way we teach and educate,” said Jibran Jamshad, Education Lead for Microsoft Pakistan. “With Microsoft 365, Azure and our productivity suite including Microsoft Teams, institutions can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and design classrooms that foster innovation and inspire students to achieve more,” he added.