Dr. Arshad Ahmad Talks to City42 on International Literacy Day
To mark the International Literacy Day, LUMS Vice Chancellor Dr. Arshad Ahmad, in an interview with City 42, explained how LUMS is ensuring access to high-quality education for talented students across Pakistan.
He introduced the Learning Without Borders philosophy at the University, which provides students with the independence to curate an educational experience in line with their own interests. “Thirty-five years ago, the founding fathers of the University including Syed Babar Ali envisioned that LUMS should be a superior teaching and learning university.
Today, students at LUMS can access a broad-based education at five different Schools that boast a holistic curriculum. They can pursue a specific degree but also pick up different courses from different disciplines.”
Dr. Ahmad also explained that LUMS is a not-for-profit, and the key focus of the University is diversity; students from more than 140 towns and villages form part of the LUMS student body. “Different languages and perspectives come together which enriches the students’ learning experience. In 2001, we started the National Outreach Programme (NOP) which accesses talented students from underserved areas all across Pakistan. The NOP sponsors these students on the basis of merit, through the help of our partners and provides them with an opportunity to gain a world-class education at LUMS.”
Earlier this year, the NOP won the global Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Platinum Award 2021 in the ‘Best Practices in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ category. CASE, a prestigious not-for-profit organisation, is dedicated to educational advancement with global institutions that share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society. The NOP was selected from among nearly 300 entries submitted from across the world for the eight award categories.
Apart from the NOP, LUMS offers several financial aid initiatives, added Dr. Ahmad. “One out of three students benefit from anywhere between 20% to 140% financial support. Till now, LUMS has disbursed PKR 7.8 billion in financial aid.”
Dr. Ahmad also spoke about how LUMS is working to remove educational barriers for women. “What is required for nation-building is to pay attention to women. The influence they have on children and in homes is unmatched. At LUMS, philosophically we give this issue a lot of attention. If you look at senior administrators at the University, 40% of those positions are occupied by women.”
To watch the complete interview, please click here.