LUMS Vice Chancellor Discusses the University’s Recent CASE Platinum Award Win with Express News
Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, LUMS, was invited to an interview on the local news channel, Express News, to talk about the impact of the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP), and how it won the global Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Platinum Award 2021.
Dr. Ahmad believes that the core aim of every good educational institution is to bring in the most talented and deserving students, and that LUMS has taken this aim to the next level through the NOP. He explained, “Our goal is to ensure that merit comes foremost—socio economic backgrounds or financial difficulties should never hamper quality education.” He then emphasised that 1 in every 3 students at LUMS is on some form of financial support, ranging from 20-140%. Till date, the University has disbursed over PKR 7.8 billion in financial aid.
He also highlighted how since its inception in 2001, the NOP has enabled students from over 135 areas and villages from across the country to benefit from the top-quality education at LUMS. “Our students come from everywhere. This is the kind of diversity that turns LUMS into a mini-Pakistan encapsulating different cultures and languages,” he said.
Dr. Ahmad talked about how the CASE Platinum Awards recognise world-class programmes and practices in educational advancement and are engaged with top institutions from across the globe. LUMS was chosen as a winner from among 300 universities. “Their assessment is based on impact. They check evidence for the success of the Programme, spanning over years. They want to see why our Programme is successful,” he explained.
The impact of the NOP is multifold; the graduates return to their hometowns with the aim to influence the lives of their families and communities. This creates a ripple effect, enabling their brothers and sisters to also have the chance to attain quality education. About the mindsets of the NOP scholars, Dr. Ahmad believes that, “Their dream is to give back to their community, and they manage to do so through various social enterprises and initiatives.”
Highlighting the importance of a qualified faculty for the betterment of the Programme, he stated that, “These are the people who create the curriculum, set the standards and provide mentorship to the students. LUMS has over 200 faculty members who hold PhDs, which is more than in any other university in Pakistan.”
Along with the faculty and the curriculum, Dr. Ahmad believes that a major part of a university education is the transformation of perspectives, values and thought processes that it entails. It aims to instill in the students a sense of purpose; a determination to pay their privilege forward.
These aspects make the NOP an impactful and transformative experience and led to the Programme’s recognition at the prestigious CASE Platinum Awards 2021.
To watch the complete interview, please click here.