Prof. Dr. G Raza Bhatti
Vice Chancellor Message
First, I would like to congratulate Shikarpur and its great people on the establishment of The Shaikh Ayaz University. This journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, as the Chinese philosophers have put it a couple of thousand years ago. When an outstation-campus of Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, it kicked-off, I being its founding Pro-Vice Chancellor, and now again, I am back as the Vice Chancellor. In the interim, I very much appreciate the consistent efforts of my praiseworthy successors who helped realize the dream of upgrading this campus into an independent university.
With the transformation of University Grants Commission (UGC) into the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) in 2002, the higher education sector in the country attained a remarkable growth. The number of Degree Awarding Institutes (DAI) in the country were only 52 with 2.6 percent (0.26 million enrollment), Gross Enrollment of Students in 2002, whereas, there are more than 200 public and private DAIs with gross enrollment of more than 9.0 percent (1.576 million student enrollment) now in Pakistan. It includes 16.72 percent enrollment of students in the universities of Sindh province. More than 30 percent teaching faculty are PhD holders in the universities across Pakistan.
Keeping in view the access, quality and relevance of higher education demand in Sindh province, the government of Sindh has initiated number of universities on priority bases. It reflects the vision for a long-term objective of the present government to establish leading higher education and research centre across Sindh, attaining regional and international standards.The establishment of “The Shaikh Ayaz University, Shikarpur” is one such pursuit of this government geared at providing higher education to youths in this specific upper Sindh region.
Access to affordable and quality education is fundamental right of everyone. Universities play the most fundamental role as an innovation factory in producing highly skilled human capital facilitating delivery of socio-economic benefits to any country. Amid enormous challenges of today’s life, it would be extremely difficult to improve our lives, feed growing population, protect our children and environment, unless we create opportunities for all to benefit from quality education. Therefore, I truly believe that we must invest in our youth and provide them ample opportunities to prepare for the 21st century global challenges by learning innovative skills at par with the fast-paced developed world.
In this digital era, the world is rapidly transforming into an interconnected global digital domain where geographical boundaries have lost the literal meaning. Amid the emerging fourth Industrial Revolution, innovative technologies constitute the hallmark of the global competition fundamentally changing the conventional terms and ways of business. In this digital era, an ever increased use of modern Information Communication Technologies (ICT), such as smartphones, digital device and smart applications, is among top businesses and the innovative modern warfare tools, which is often termed as the fourth or fifth generation warfare and or hybrid warfare. With greater access to these devices, our young generation and students are more digitally connected than ever before who are growing with internet and cellular technologies. Today, the young children are “Digital Natives” who tend to outsource many cognitive tasking to these modern technologies.
In contrast, we have not been able to advance our education systems in schools/universities to commensurate with these emerging technologies. Therefore, there seems to be a concern that the means of learning and acquiring knowledge are still based on archaic learning models and lag behind many technological provisions that our kids/students are well accustomed to at their homes in shape of modern ICT tools. Thus, we may need to overhaul the pedagogical approach, with adoption of innovative and interactive teaching methods to engage our youth in a learning environment with logical use of modern learning aids and digital tools. Subsequently, it would create an ideal environment for the students to achieve the inquiry based approach, supported by modern technology, where students can learn by hands-on-experience and inquire smartly “what, why and how.”
Furthermore, over the last couple of decades, the Four Asian Tigers (Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan) have achieved unprecedented economic growth and rapid industrialization. Despite their low natural endowments, these economies have achieved exceptionally high economic growth. The unprecedented high economic growth is mainly linked to their supportive policies and excessive investments in education sector, which have enabled them to establish competitive edge among the top world economies. Thus, the economic standing and development of Pakistan in general and The Shaikh Ayaz University in particular solely depends on our ability to nurture Pakistan’s future generation that is the youth and our students. I envision for this University as a prestigious Centre for learning to prepare the workforce and socially responsible citizens of tomorrow by fostering knowledge, critical thinking and technical skills.
Shikarpur, once known as the Paris of Sindh, marked its golden prints in all fields of life but education was its illustrious landmark. The Shaikh Ayaz University, Shikarpur today, has sparked a new array of hope for the revival of the glory of this city. It is a matter of high esteem for me to witness the growth and transformation of this institution from an outstation-campus into a full-fledged vibrant university with tons of potential and future promises.
Inquisitiveness is the innate quality of human beings and universities play an essential role in this quest for knowledge by propagating, generating and creation of knowledge. I believe, universities are the number one and biggest production industries in the world because they generate human resources. Their products/graduates, i.e., students, are a blend of intellectual, moral and cultural elements. Furthermore, access to education enables them to free themselves from ignorance, bigotry, dogmatism and selfishness. Universities are a source of improved economic growth for communities by providing human resource. The Shaikh Ayaz University, Shikarpur is the quintessential of such an industry.
For a city like Shikarpur, a hub of economic activities, higher education is pertinent to both male and female for the growth and glorious future of the city. The Shaikh Ayaz University Shikarpur is gateway to a promising future and land of opportunities for both male and female members of the society. The future belongs to youth bulge and its higher education along with a set of skills equipped with latest technologies is the requirement of our tomorrow. This university is striving with determination to provide latest pedagogies to the students.
On behalf of the university management and faculty members, I wish you every accomplishment and productive learning in your chosen program of study. So learn well with perseverance and dedication.