LUMS Wins THE Awards Asia 2022 in the Excellence and Innovation in the Arts Category
LUMS has won the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2022 in the Excellence and Innovation in the Arts category. A record number of 500 nominations were submitted. Earlier this year, the University was shortlisted for the Student Recruitment Campaign of the Year and Excellence and Innovation in the Arts categories.
Known as the 'Oscars of higher education' these awards recognise outstanding leadership and institutional performance and celebrate Asia’s higher education institutional excellence in all of its diversity.
Dr. Nadhra Shahbaz Khan, Associate Professor and Director, Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature and Dr. Murtaza Taj, Associate Professor, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering, are the architects of this award-winning project.
THE’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Phil Baty said “While we congratulate the 10 who won this year, everyone who reached the final stages deserves enormous credit for the work they did in 2021. Theirs are all fascinating and inspiring stories, and proof, if it were needed, that Asia’s universities are equipped with the vision, resources and will to rise to any task.”
The Excellence and Innovation in the Arts category recognises ‘the pioneering work that is taking place in universities to promote the arts’. Vice-Chancellor, LUMS, Dr. Arshad Ahmad said, "We are extremely proud of Drs Khan and Taj. The multidisciplinary nature of Sikhvirsa Pakistan is proof of what collaborative work can achieve and exemplifies the University’s 'Learning Without Borders' philosophy."
Poster submitted for the THE Awards Ceremony
Sikhvirsa Pakistan is a project emerging from a year-long multidisciplinary collaboration between the history and computer science departments at LUMS. The first website of its kind in the region, it narrates a visual journey of Sikh culture and history by resurrecting Sikh-period artefacts in the iconic Lahore Fort’s Sikh Gallery through visual data. This project has translated into an undergraduate history course entitled, HIST-2121: Digital Preservation and Historical Documentation. The course engaged students in the humanities, social sciences and pure sciences in learning to use cutting-edge software for documentation and publication.
Describing the initiative as 'impactful and collaborative', the judges said, "Through internal, multidisciplinary collaboration between the computer science and history departments, a new project has emerged – a new but not necessarily exclusive way of looking at and reading history."
Delighted to receive the news of the award, Dr. Khan commented, "This is a very exciting and proud moment for me and my very small, four-member team. Collaborating with Dr. Taj for teaching a course on digitally documenting heritage sites, the Sikh Virsa website, and another one that we are building for neglected pre-partition monuments of Lahore, as well as other big and small projects, are rich learning experiences."
Talking about the project, Dr. Taj said, "Digital Heritage is an emerging idea that allows us to give a new life to the fading chapters of our history and culture. This project is a step forward in this direction. It not only informs us about the untold stories of objects from the Sikh era, but also allows us to reimagine those times for years to come."
The complete THE Awards ceremony 2022 can be viewed here.