From Smart Classroom to MOOCs in PakistanMarch 1, 2019
On 12 February 2019, Mr. Hassan Shehzad, Programme Specialist of ICHEI, paid a visit to University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore to learn the updates and discuss the insights of Smart Classroom project; a collaborative project of UET Lahore, Weidong Cloud Education, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and ICHEI.
Welcomed by team of Al-Khwarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS) and HUTIC (Huawei UET Telecom IT Center), an orientation was given on project’s background and on the progress made so far. Followed by Smart Classroom site visit, a comprehensive and productive meeting was held with Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Director of KICS UET Lahore. He expressed warm appreciations to the Chinese government, SUSTech, ICHEI and to Weidong, sponsor in deploying the hardware and software for bringing the latest educational technologies to the institute. He also showed keen determination in encouraging and making sure that the other faculties and departments at UET will fully employ the Smart Classroom.
Government of Pakistan is determined to strengthen higher education system through implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and MOOCs is one of focused interests. To align with government’s strategy in revamping higher education, a strong will for availability of online courses from UET was also voiced. Applying expertise in STEM subjects from SUSTech, quality MOOCs on latest topics (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Telecom, Robots in Education, Cyber Security, etc.) can be designed, developed and localized by UET. In the coming future, this will be a pilot phase that will ideally lead to online degree programmes from institutional to national levels, possibly a joint-degree or certification, as well as internship can also be explored. ICHEI assured the commitment to assist UET in linking up for more collaborative opportunities with universities, MOOCs providers and enterprises in China. To prepare students with in-demand competencies in new era through MOOCs, offering online courses has great potential to benefit wider audience and improve the higher education in Pakistan, UET and ICHEI concluded.