Friday August 12, 2022

HEIs asked to improve industry-academia linkages

By Our Correspondent
July 01, 2022

LAHORE:Secretary Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab Najaf Iqbal has said that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should focus on research, application of technology, and strengthening industry-academia linkages to bridge the industry-academia gap.

He was speaking as chief guest, on the launching of the Engineering Capstone Expo (ECE-2022) at the Punjab University (PU) here Thursday. The ceremony organised by Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) was attended by Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof Dr Shahid Munir, Vice-Chairman, PU’s former Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, PEC governing body members, and others. Najaf Iqbal said that Pakistan had the best brains but, unfortunately, lacked proper track. Due to the limited opportunities and incongruence of our degrees with the industrial needs, our graduates were either unaware of the modern industrial problems and their solutions or find few chances to prove their potential. There was a need to patronage their talent and provide them opportunities to showcase it to the industry.

This Expo would catch the attention of the local industry and would provide an opportunity to see the students’ potential and help to bridge the widening gap between industry and academia.

Prof Dr Shahid Munir emphasised the students’ practical exposure along with theoretical knowledge. “Practical exposure should be made part of the engineering curriculum. We need to focus on the applied aspects of the profession” he said, adding Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) was going to initiate an indigenous fellowship in applied subjects.

Prof Dr Niaz said that PEC, to support graduate students in their early career and job hunting, had announced a bursary of Rs40,000 for the first six months after getting a degree. He said that PEC had decided to make the engineering entrance test mandatory across Punjab to get admission to public or private universities. Dr Niaz said that the PEC, through its arduous efforts recognised the Pakistani engineering degrees for Washington Accord.

Engineering Capstone Expo (ECE-2022) is a series of competitions, organised by the Pakistan Engineering Council, among the engineering students of public and private sector universities across Pakistan to showcase their research skills, technologies, and Final Year Design Projects (FYDPs) focusing on industrial solutions and societal problems.

More than 5,000 students would participate in these competitions organised at each of the four provincial capitals and federal capital. The winners of the competitions would be recognised with rewards and certificates both from the PEC as well as the industry.