Interview Pakistan Punjab University

Dr. Qaisar: COMSATS PhD faculty more than any other university of Pakistan

By Hooria Butt

Skilled manpower is very important for any institution •Our 80% students get job at convocation day •After my PhD I realized that I must serve at University.

Our 80% students get job before the convocation day whereas other 20% students prefer their own business, some of them go for further studies and only five percent students have to struggle for job. This was stated by COMSATS University Lahore Campus Director Dr. Qaiser Abbas during an interview with the educationist. Following are the details:

THE EDUCATIONIST: Do tell us about your education and experience?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: I did my masters and M.Phil degree from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. After that I joined government of Pakistan Planning and Development department. At that time I got a scholarship from Government of Pakistan for PhD in China so I went to China for PhD. I came back in 2000 after completing my PhD and joined Government of Punjab. then I realized that I must serve at university after my PhD so I started my journey with COMSATS in 2002. I am one of the pioneer faculty members of this prestigious institute.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Sir, which new initiatives you have taken for the COMSATS?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: I started many business programs. When I joined, there were only 25 students and one campus and now this department is present in seven campuses and almost 4000-5000 students study in these programs and we have more than 200 faculty members for teaching. We also publish a journal. Here we host many national and international conferences. I also worked as head of department and chairman. We are also working for new campuses of the university.

THE EDUCATIONIST: There are 7 campuses of COMSATS. How do you compare Lahore campus with the other campuses?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: There must be a healthy competition among campuses. There are three big campuses at Islamabad, Lahore and Abbottabad. The Lahore campus is the second best in terms of research and number of students. in 2017 our publications were higher than any other campus of the university.

THE EDUCATIONIST: In university rankings an important indicator is number of PhD faculty. COMSATS has only 39%  PhD teachers so what initiatives have been taken by you to improve this percentage?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: Skilled manpower is very important for any institution and the percentage you mentioned belongs to Lahore campus only, but if we talk about the whole university then we have more than 1000 PhD teachers. At Lahore campus we have 225 PhD teachers. We have PhD faculty members more than any other university in Pakistan. I think if you have more skilled manpower than you can perform well. We also started sending abroad our faculty members for PhD on scholarship to raise the number of PhD faculty members. Government of Pakistan and Higher education Commission of Pakistan helping us in this regard.

THE EDUCATIONIST: You have 26,000 enrolled students and almost 11,000 students graduated. Please tell us about their employment rate.

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: Our 80% students get job at convocation day whereas other 20% students prefer their own business. some of them go for further studies and only 5% students have to struggle in finding a job.

THE EDUCATIONIST: In Pakistan we have 6% unemployment rate. As an expert of management sciences and entrepreneurship what solution you suggest to lessen this rate?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: We have 188 universities in Pakistan and in next 20 to 25 years we will have almost 300 universities. in our university we encourage students for entrepreneurship so that they can excel in life. Higher Education Commission established business centers which are very helpful for students. We have started a program in which we invite Chinese and Pakistani companies every year so that they can interact with our graduating students and give them ideas on how they can start their own business. I think we must motivate students for entrepreneurship to solve the problem of unemployment.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Sir, as an education expert what problems are there in higher education sector and how can we solve them?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: Universities are increasing in number but we should not compromise on quality. HEC must have a check and balance on universities. now universities cannot start PhD and M.Phil without a specific PhD faculty. But, there are some universities which are offering these courses but they do not have sufficient PhD faculty, we must stop such institutions if we want quality education. We must define the role of federal and provincial HEC at earliest.

THE EDUCATIONIST: What are the future plans for the Lahore campus?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: I started my journey with Lahore campus in 2015 and took many initiatives for its betterment. I started 3 to 4 new programs during last 3 years like Pharmacy, Interior Design, Chemistry and Mass Communication. in future, I want to launch some inter discipline programs. We can share resources by which we can make progress.

THE EDUCATIONIST: How can we make our research work more applicable?

Prof. Dr. Qaisar Abbas: In our university we published almost 2000 research articles last year and Lahore campus is the second largest contributor. We must talk about applied research too. We also motivate our faculty for the impactful researches. We also launched incubator centers for our students in which our faculty help them to find more ways for their businesses.

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