LUMS Vice Chancellor Speaks About Student Representation at GCU Conference
The Government College University (GCU) organised the first ‘All Pakistan Summit of the Students’ Societies’ where Vice Chancellor LUMS, Dr. Arshad Ahmad addressed participants from over 40 universities of Pakistan.
Dr. Ahmad gave a special talk on the importance of student representation on campus and spoke about the need for meaningful partnerships in a university. “I believe that students are the electricity that drives an institution. Our work is enriched by meaningful engagement between students, staff and faculty,” he said.
He outlined three broad areas where students can successfully partner with faculty and staff — governance, research and teaching, and co-curricular activities. He shared, “At LUMS, some 30 students are elected to form a Student Council which appoints their executive. This year the students chose our first female President and Vice President. We must give equal opportunity and support aspiring female leaders. The Council works very closely with the Office of Student Affairs and the Dean of Student Affairs who is proposing that the Council Executives be given full-time paid jobs so they can achieve their mandates and goals to improve the student experience.”
Dr. Ahmad also spoke about the pedagogical partnership programme at LUMS where students can work closely with faculty. “They co-design courses, co-author research papers, co-present work in conferences, and co-work on high-impact community projects,” he explained. They are also part of the mentorship opportunities as they apprentice in scholarship related activities, he added.
He also stressed the need for values that make such partnerships successful. “Values of respect, reciprocity, and responsibility are more important than the explicit goal of the partnership. We have to ask ourselves as faculty what it means to really respect students in terms of nurturing their talents and understanding where they are coming from. In my experience, the most difficult value in practical terms is the responsibility, because it involves sharing power.”