An annual spot on the LUMS calendar, the Summer Coaching Session (SCS) was organised by the National Outreach Programme (NOP) Centre and was held from July 15 – 29, 2019. The sessions equipped attendees with the foundation for applying to LUMS as well as with skills they can utilise in all areas of their academic careers.
The NOP Online Application System saw continued success in its second year of operation, and the team received 9,439 applications, a historic number, for the Summer Coaching Session. After a gruelling and rigorous verification process, 770 students from all over Pakistan were shortlisted and invited for the session.
A team of 40 volunteers was assembled for the event. The team consisted of passionate LUMS students who were eager to serve their community. They were responsible for conducting lab sessions, managing attendance, ensuring hostel discipline and a plethora of other student-related activities.
Registration Day saw 664 enthusiastic students enter the LUMS campus. The students were as diverse as previous years, with 399 males and 265 female students who hailed from cities such as Parachinar, Musakhel, Rajanpur, Ghotki, Rawalakot and Gahkuch. A majority of the students, 578, were boarders and stayed on campus for the duration of the sessions, while the others were Day Scholars from within Lahore.
After a holistic orientation session, students were plunged into a rigorous and exciting schedule filled with academic and extra-curricular activities that spanned over two weeks.
A specific curriculum based on English, Math, basic sciences and SAT preparation was designed in order to allow students to prepare for the global examination required for LUMS Admissions. Additionally, Critical Thinking Skills and Presentation Skills classes were also incorporated in the schedule to inculcate conceptual thinking and public speaking skills.
Lab sessions were also organised to acquaint students with the basics of email management, web browsing, the Microsoft Office suite and the LUMS Admission and Financial Aid online applications. The ultimate aim of these activities was to prepare the students for the SAT, but to also foster the development of vital skills they would require upon admission at LUMS.
A dynamic and experimental element added to this year’s session were ‘Energisers’. The key themes were teamwork, self-confidence, equality and diversity, and ethics. These Energisers allowed students to think outside the box and also gave them the chance to engage in multi-faceted discussions and group work that would support their academic activities as well.
Interspersed between classes, attendees had the opportunity to listen to some of the brightest minds from within and outside LUMS through various motivational talks. Professor Tariq Jadoon from the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE) spoke to the attendees about the various disciplines and majors offered at LUMS while Dr. Muhammad Tariq, faculty member at SBASSE, inspired students to identify the gifts within them. A renowned corporate trainer, Ahmed Fuad, also attended the event and urged students to dare to dream. LUMS Alumni Haseeb Ashfaq, Muhammad Abu Bakar and Waqas Haider spoke of their journeys at LUMS and encouraged students to face their fears and be their own competition.
All activities were designed in a way to combine academics and enjoyment, so participants could enjoy a balance of work and fun. This year, an array of extra-curricular activities were designed with the help of the LUMS student societies to give attendees a taste of life at the University. The session’s first major event kicked off with the academic gameshow ‘Challenge Your Talent’ where students participated in activities to win prizes. The Sports Gala took place in the second week of the session and highlighted the importance of physical activity and provided students the chance to engage in sports such as badminton, table tennis, cricket, volleyball, football and basketball. A scavenger hunt was also organised, and multiple teams worked to solve the clues that were scattered across campus in order to obtain the grand prize.
The events culminated in a Drama and Music Night, where participants could show off their acting and singing skills. Some students presented a play based on the importance of taking the paths less travelled and following one’s heart, while others performed musical pieces from all provinces of Pakistan.
Participation rates in all events were unprecedented and the attendees were extremely positive and appreciative. The organisers were pleased with the positive feedback on the sessions, and noted the contribution of a variety of stakeholders to make the event a success including: administrative departments, Student Societies, instructors, TAs, the mentors at The Student Factory (TSF) and student volunteers.