LAHORE: December 23, 2017: The twelfth convocation of Beaconhouse National University (BNU) was held on Saturday at Tarogil Campus, Raiwind Road, Lahore. Vice Chancellor Mr. Shahid Hafiz Kardar presided over the ceremony while the Chairperson, Board of Governors, Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri was the Chief Guest while members of the board graced the ceremony as honored guests. Also present were Deans of BNU Schools including Prof. Dr. Gulzar Haider, Prof. Dr. Tariq Rahman, Prof. Rashid Rana, Prof. Dr. Khaver Zia, Prof. Dr. Ruhi Khalid and Prof. Dr. Taimur-ul-Hassan, faculty, dignitaries, guests and parents of the graduating students.
A total of 384 graduates were awarded degrees of which 291 were conferred Bachelor, 91 Masters and two doctoral degrees. These include 89 from Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), 43 from Razia Hassan School of Architecture (SA), 35 from Seeta Majeed School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS), 93 from the School of Media & Mass Communication (SMC), 60 from the School of Computer and IT (SCIT), 38 from the Institute of Psychology (IP) and 26 from the School of Education (SE). 20 gold medals were awarded this year.
The Arfa Karim gold medal was awarded to Zunaira Arif of the BS (Hons.) Software Engineering program while Nasim Hijazi gold medal was awarded to Muhammad Firas Shams of the BA (Hons.) Journalism program.
Vice Chancellor Shahid Hafiz Kardar while addressing the members of the board “Since embarking on the journey 14 years ago under your leadership, we have not only been able to carve a niche for ourselves in offering an array of modern-day disciplines in a contemporary environment but have also remained unique in the scale and scope of our endeavors. Our commitment to standards remained subjective and qualitative, however not strictly empiricist.” He continued, “Charting ahead, I am pleased to inform you that we regard our 2020 vision as work in progress to position ourselves for addressing the challenges of competition, technology and innovation which we see as opportunities to be explored.”
Chairperson, Board of Governors, Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri addressed the graduating class of 2017. In her address she stressed the need for Liberal Arts education and critical thinking among the students. She said, “A Liberal arts education empowers one not only to think, interrogate and question but also hones our curiosities with concrete reasoning. The world must continue to produce quality critical thinkers to help all of us to analyze our prejudices and to lead us towards common goals of peace and harmony.”
In recognition of the services of Prof. Salima Hashmi, the founder, Dean of the School of Visual Arts and Design at BNU, the Chairperson, Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri conferred the title of Professor Emeritus on Professor Hashmi for her contribution to Art and Design Education and to the University.
Address by the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Shahid Hafiz Karda
Honourable Chairperson, Members of the Board of Governors of BNU,Deans and Members of the BNU Faculty,Distinguished Guests, proud parents, and BNU graduates,
I would like to begin by extending a warm welcome to the Chairperson and the honorable Members of the Board of Governors on the Twelfth Convocation of Beaconhouse National University. I also welcome faculty, distinguished guests and parents on this auspicious occasion. But above all, I wish to congratulate our 384 graduating students who will be receiving their degrees today. BNU is approaching the 15th year into its journey in delivering its commitment to provide finest academic standards in a liberal arts environment. With each passing year I have perpetually felt at a loss of words in narrating the extraordinary achievements of our faculty, students and graduates. For the past few years, given the time constraint, I have been finding it challenging to recapitulate their instrumental contribution in my annual report. To discharge my responsibility, I would tread on recounting these albeit carefully with a hope that my words do justice to the impacts our efforts have produced in the national and international arenas. To begin with, I would like to congratulate Dr. Ruhi Khalid, Tariq Rahman, Gulzar Haider, Taimur-ul-Hassan, Wajiha Rizvi, Farhat Jamil, Rabeya Jalil, Sahr Bashir and Syed Nauman Ali for their research contribution including: ⦁ Publication by Director, Institute of Psychology (IP), Dr Ruhi Khalid and Dr Farhat Jamil which made its way to an international journal with an Impact factor of 2.72 besides the former’s publications in the national Journals on Gender & Social Issues and Psychological Research. Dr. Ruhi presented a paper along with Fatima Nadeem in The British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference. The publication of abstracts of some of the papers from IP at the Third International Conference on Open and Flexible Education at The Open University of Hong Kong, the 2nd World Conference on Women’s Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka and many international conferences within Pakistan. Dr Ruhi also served as a reviewer of the APA approved American Journal and as an HEC reviewer for psychological research, best research paper award for Psychology and Faculty Development Scholarship. ⦁ Dean, Seeta Majeed School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and internationally acclaimed linguist, Dr. Tariq Rahman was elected as a visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. He received the Best book award for his book ‘Names: A study of Personal names, Identity and Power in Pakistan’ by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan. Dr. Rahman has also been selected as Alexander Von Humbodlt Fellow for 2018 at the center for South Asian studies, University of Heidelberg, Germany and has been invited to the Salzburg Global Seminar on Language Policy, Austria. Articles by him were published in reputed scholarly journals. ⦁ Dean, Razia Hassan School of Architecture (RHSA), Dr. Gulzar Haider presented a paper at 2017 THAAP Conference. Razia Latif, Syed Haseeb Amjad, Maham Zohair and Zeeshan Sarwar from the School also presented their papers at the conference. Dr. Gulzar Haider convened the Pervaiz Vandal award for Art and Architecture and participated at the International Design Conference 2017. ⦁ A paper by the Dean, School of Media and Mass Communication (SMC), Dr Taimur-ul-Hassan, was published in reputed national journals on Global Media and Strategic Studies. Associate Professor, Dr. Wajiha Rizvi of SMC, presented a paper at the 1st International Humanities Conference, hosted by the Forman Christian College University. A research article by Dr. Wajiha on Political conspiracy and propaganda was published in the International Journal of Media, film and journalism. Faculty member, Mehroz Sajjad of SMC, participated in a conference at Emerson College USA on Smart Cities and Soft Power. Faculty member, Zeeshan Zaighum, contributed to the development of the curriculum for a course on “Conflict Coverage & Crisis Communication” under the aegis of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan. ⦁ In Mariam Dawood School of Visual Art and Design, Associate Professor, Sahr Bashir’s paper was published in Garland, World Crafts Council, Australia publication. Associate Professor, Rabeya Jalil, presented her paper at the 3rd International Conference on Advances in Education and Social Sciences, Istanbul. She also presented a paper at National Art Education Association Convention in New York. ⦁ In the School of Computer and IT, Assistant Professor, Syed Nauman Ali Shah, presented his paper at the 14th International Conference on Innovation in China. Assistant Professor, Zubair Anwar, got appointed as a research reviewer and approver on Six Sigma, Lean Supply Chain in World Conference on Quality Improvement by the American Society for Quality. ⦁ A research article by Mr. Ijaz Hussain of the Department of Business administration was published in the Lahore Journal of Economics.
As for our Art and Design faculty’s global recognition and contribution, it has been a phenomenal year nevertheless with: ⦁ Dean, Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), Rashid Rana receiving the prestigious Asia Arts Award Hong Kong. Professor Rana was invited by Royal Opera House London for a landmark collaboration with OBE Wayne McGregor and legendary American musician Steve Reich. In 2016, Rashid Rana invited 16 eminent personalities from the world of art and design to collaborate with him on his project ‘Present Elsewhere’, organized by Art Asia Archive Hong Kong. He also participated in exhibitions at various international public institutions including Fort Mason Chapel San Francisco, Arnolfini Bristol in UK, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto in Japan, Art Basel Switezerland and Art Dubai UAE. ⦁ Associate Professor, SVAD, Ali Raza participated in a group show at Katherine Nash Gallery, Minneapolis. ⦁ Associate Professor, Risham Syed had her ground breaking solo exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery as part of 70 years of independence celebrations, besides her group shows at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany. ⦁ SVAD Faculty, Basir Mahmood presented his work at prominent galleries in Paris, at Planet 9 in Germany, Contour Biennale 8 in Belgium, Transformations in Amsterdam, Netherlands, The Open Hand at Gujral Foundation, Jor Bagh, New Delhi, India and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Amsterdam. Basir was also invited as a guest advisor by the Dutch Art Institute. ⦁ SVAD faculty members Aisha Abid, Aroosa Naz Rana, Ehsan-ul Haq, Matt Kushan, Unum Babar, Rohma Khan and Komal Naz won international grants and remained fully engaged in international residencies in the Netherlands, Latvia, Scotland, France, Austria and the UK over summers. Just as the previous years, BNU continued being an engaged institution: ⦁ The School of Media and Mass Communication entered into a memorandum of understanding with the LEO Television Network to practically engage 20 students on various production initiatives. SMC also entered into a MoU with Agahi for research collaboration towards setting up Pakistan’s First Foresight Lab. ⦁ In continuation of our undertaking for the support of the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act, SMC and Punjab Information Commission signed a memorandum of understanding, whereby 20 students from the Department of Journalism were placed on internships at PIC for its facilitation with support from GIZ. ⦁ RHSA remained involved with Hope Uplift Foundation in the design work for the DHA Campus school building for the underprivileged children.Our graduates and students did us even proud this year: ⦁ Hassan Mujtaba Zaidi, a graduate of the ELM program, won the Queen Young Leader’s Award 2018. Mujtaba will embark on a one-week residential program in the UK during which he will collect his Award from Her Majesty The Queen. ⦁ Basir Mahmood our graduate and faculty member of SVAD clinched the VISIO Acquisition Prize 2017 at Florence for his work titled “Monument of arrival and return”.⦁ SVAD alum, Mahbub Jokhio, was selected for the artist residency at Gasworks, UK. ⦁ Our graduate, Kubra Khademi from Afghanistan presented her work at a number of international exhibitions and festivals in France, Catalonia/Spain, and Belgium.⦁ Sana Obaid, of MA Art & Design Studies program, had her solo exhibition at Open Source Gallery, New York. ⦁ RHSA graduate Nisar Ali Mirza won the Institute of Architects, Pakistan’s prestigious Kausar Bashir award 2017 for socially responsible architecture. ⦁ Final year student of architecture, Aimen Fatima won the Nippon paint’s Asia Young Designer Award 2017 in the category of Architecture.⦁ Fahad Malik of the Department of Journalism got selected for Global Volunteer Program of AIESEC in Cairo. Hassan Raza of the TFT Department participated in the Winter School of Physical Theatre in Graz, Austria and Alizeb Raees and Usman Banday of TFT attended the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. ⦁ The students of Theatre, Film and Television Department also remained engaged in various film projects over the summers in the industry including Saud Manzoor, in the feature film, “Rehbra” directed by Amin Iqbal, Sharjeel Shahid, in the ISPR tele-film “Jinnah ka sipahi” as the 2nd assistant director, Anum Abid and Hooria Touseef as assistant directors in the now running soap on Filmazia, “Yeh Meri Zindagi Hai”, Yumna Baloch as an actor in an upcoming Jawad Bashir’s online show, “Chatkhara”. Ramis Shah, Mohammad Eraj Hammad, Mohammad Faisal Malik and Yumna also worked in Bilal Lashari’s upcoming film, “Maula Jutt 2” as wardrobe handlers. ⦁ This year the student members of the BNU Dramatics society staged their annual play – Agatha Christie’s, “And Then There Were None” to packed audiences over three days at the Alhamra, Hall II. The performance received rave reviews from critics and media. As for the international acceptance of graduate scholars from BNU at prestigious institutions:
⦁ Three graduate students of IP were selected for Fulbright Scholarship besides others joining Columbia, McGill, King’s College, Manchester, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Glasgow University. ⦁ Sijil Shahbaz from IP was selected for Ugrad exchange progam in USA. ⦁ Another IP PhD scholar, Asma Bashir, began work as a guest researcher at a reputed research university in The Netherlands.⦁ Maham Waqar of Theatre, Film and TV got selected for her Ugrad exchange semester at Keene’s State College, New Hampshire. ⦁ Graduates from the School of Computer & IT got acceptance at universities in Australia, Germany and Finland, while Sameen Reza earned the prestigious 2018 Fulbright Ph.D. Scholarship. With regards to our international collaboration efforts led by our bright and young faculty member Fahad Buksh: ⦁ A bilateral exchange agreement materialized with five reputed Turkish Universities including Kadir Has, Dogus, Izmir, Yeditepe and Yasar. By virtue of this agreement, students from BNU are currently pursuing their semester-abroad in Turkey at Kadir Has and Dogus and another group will be setting out to Izmir, Yeditepe and Yasar for spring 2018 semester.
⦁ We also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Chonnam National University, Korea for cooperation in academic and research related activities. In continuation of our efforts to improve infrastructure and facilities, I am delighted to note that SMC after completely operationalizing a state-of-the-art sound studio and music recording facility has initiated its first WebTV transmission online. With a concern for the emotional and learning challenges of our students, a counseling facility was added last year which continues to advise and assist our students, faculty and staff. This year we have also added a physical health component by engaging the services of internationally acclaimed health service-providers, CloudClinic and IHeal to make available an on-campus facility for speedy diagnosis and addressal of common illnesses with a cutting-edge technology for medical record management and its online availability. Last but not the least, the Twelfth convocation of BNU is a singularly spectacular occasion in marking the achievement of a milestone for us. This year we have our first batch of doctoral graduates from the Institute of Psychology. And I must offer my heartiest felicitations and commendation to the faculty of the Institute of Psychology for their efforts in facilitating completion of the research requirements of our PhD scholars Ayesha Sarfaraz and Sidra Afzal. I owe all achievements in the passing year to the support and cooperation from senior faculty at BNU including Dr. Gulzar Haider, Dr. Tariq Rahman, Dr. Ruhi Khalid, Professor Rashid Rana, Dr. Khaver Zia and Dr. Taimur-ul-Hassan in complementing my efforts with perseverance and dedication.It is imperative to note the vital role played by worthy members of the Board especially the extraordinary support and guidance from the Chairperson, Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasur, guaranteeing that we enjoy complete freedom to navigate through our challenges and conquer new frontiers.
Honorable Members of the Board! Since embarking on the journey 14 years ago under you leadership, we have not only been able to carve a niche for ourselves in offering an array of modern-day disciplines in a contemporary environment but have also remained unique in the scale and scope of our endeavors. Our commitment to standards remained subjective and qualitative, however not strictly empiricist. Our criteria of progress and development converged with global standards of excellence to provide an extraordinary environment guided by considerations pursuant to the rationale mandated by you. ⦁ We remain a small university catering to an intimate student body insisting on quality of enrollment rather than growth in numbers. ⦁ Our academic expansion plans focus on selective horizontal and vertical progress and on consolidation of existing offerings with concerted efforts for continuous experimentation and pedagogical reconfiguration in line with employability trends and job-market prospects. ⦁ We remain a dynamic, albeit a sensitive, learning organization in keeping a close watch on best practices home and abroad in delivering our promise.
We also remain an enabling institution with a national, regional and global footprint by virtue of fluid movement and global recognition of our scholars, artisans, practitioners and faculty engagement in research and scholarship.⦁ We continue to provide the academic and learning environment for you if you are talented but unable to bear the burden of our fee by providing merit and need-based scholarships to our students, with some eligible for both. Charting ahead, I am pleased to inform you that we regard our 2020 vision as work in progress to position ourselves for addressing the challenges of competition, technology and innovation, which we see as opportunities to be explored.
In the immediate term, however, I must bring to the attention of all present that we are commencing some of our key infrastructure expansion plans without ado including the construction of the first phase of a 42,000 sq. ft. segregated on-campus boarding facilities for boys and girls to accommodate 72 girls and 66 boys designed by Nayyar Ali Dada Associates. The relocation of the library space to its designated location as per the original campus plan in the central block with enhanced capacity for reading areas, reference sections and rack-space for additional books and allied facilities besides construction of a Student Activity Area. We have very eagerly followed the due process with the authorities for receiving a green signal to commence a FM radio transmission, which we have been told is in its conclusive phase and hopefully shall be going on air in the forthcoming year. The plan for an educational broadcast TV channel is in its rudimentary stages and will also take shape, hopefully in 2018.Before I part, I would like to address the class of 2017:
“Life can put your best laid plans through the paper shredder. You may never get your dream job in an uncertain job-market. But you cannot solve your problems by passing the buck of blame to others or the circumstances. “Summon resilience, overcome adversity without fearing failures and dare to take risks to find an interesting challenge. So, enjoy life; don’t bore yourself with a dull life. Don’t give up on your dreams and don’t ignore your instincts.
And never, never lose faith in yourself!
I stand here proud today and can tell you how confident I feel in you and your abilities to take on the challenges of practical life. You have made the best investment into your future and through devotion and courage have made it to this day. I congratulate you and offer my best wishes to youHonorable Members of the Board, may I thank you and all the guests and parents once again for gracing this august gathering.
Address by Mrs. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri
Members, Board of Governors, Beaconhouse National University,Vice Chancellor, Deans and Faculty Members,Distinguished Guests,Proud Parents and Graduates,Ladies and Gentlemen!
Assalam-o-alaikum and a very Good Morning to you, It is my privilege to address this august congregation of the 12th Convocation of the Beaconhouse National University to witness the award of degrees to our graduating class of 2017. After the award of degrees to 384 Students today we will have successfully contributed 3266 graduates to the knowledge economy of Pakistan. No mean achievement for a university which is just 14 years old.Not very long ago, the Liberal Arts were considered areas of study only for the romantics which could not offer financially sound career options. Today, several decades later, the market place is looking for just these romantics who are trained in the Liberal Arts in all areas of design, in social sciences, media and communication – we cannot train them fast enough to meet market demands. The digital revolution has transformed the socio economic landscape of the country and brought it in line with global trends and challenges.Our world today which is sadly torn apart by inequality, conflict and war has finally come to realize that human capital must be shaped by principled thinking and creative vision. The world has realized that human capability can only be enhanced by progressive philosophical social theories of thinkers and doers as diverse as Marx, Foucault and Mandela. Our appreciation of the literary works of Shakespeare or the artistic excellence of Michelangelo or Matisse, widens our capacity for conscientious, diligent human agency and gives us the imagination to create dynamic, sustainable environments in which humanity can flourish.A Liberal arts education empowers one not only to think, interrogate and question but also hones our curiosities with concrete reasoning. The world must continue to produce quality critical thinkers to help all of us to analyze our prejudices and to lead us towards common goals of peace and harmony.I feel reassured to note that universities across Pakistan are gradually encouraging the inter disciplinary approach which is something that lies at the core of the philosophy and vision of BNU.
We are deeply gratified that we were, and continue to be, the leaders in the field. So much of our thinking in Art, Design, Architecture, Psychology and Media is now being taken up and replicated in other institutions in Pakistan. BNU has been vital in raising the bar in these fields.I feel proud of the fact that in the last one year our students, faculty and alumni have done us proud with their international presence and impact. There are so many areas in which our Faculty and Alumni have won laurels in areas of Art, Design, Architecture, Journalism, Theatre, Film & Television, Psychology, Computer and IT, and Business, that one cannot mention them all.
Their achievements have continued to place our University in the fore front of higher educational institutions in Pakistan. This confidence in our quality has resulted in a greater number of applicants for admissions this year, larger than any before. The BBA programme has further enhanced our profile and was initiated due to great market demand. We are more than satisfied with the response. We will continue to ensure that quality is not sacrificed as the numbers increase. We are conscious of the fact that our role should not just be limited to imparting education, but should also include imparting a sense of social and civic responsibility in our students. We want our graduates to contribute to the social fabric of society and BNU has embarked on a number of initiatives to inculcate that among its student base. Among these are the various MOUs signed by BNU with the Punjab Government, Television Networks and Private Foundations. We have also signed bilateral exchange agreements with five Turkish Universities and entered with an agreement with a University in Korea. We are looking forward to the expansion of our campus facilities with on-campus boarding facilities for boys and girls and a designated library space, better student activity areas and a dedicated placement office to assist search for better employment avenues for our graduates and alumni.Higher Education is an exclusive privilege that only a select few of our society can afford and have access to. Beaconhouse National University has not only been providing superior quality Liberal Arts education but has been an enabler in making education accessible to those in need of assistance through our generous scholarships scheme. As the first Liberal Arts University of its kind the Beaconhouse National University in a relatively brief period, has evolved into a center of excellence and has made its mark in the region with the presence of students from all eight (8) SAARC countries, thereby extending its role as a platform for providing quality education, not only to Pakistani students but also by offering its expertise to neighboring countries. Both sets of students benefit from BNU’s unique non-profit charter which ensures that quality education is well within the reach of talented young adults aspiring to excel in these fields through the award of need based scholarships. Needless to say the faculty always plays a crucial role in not just teaching and inculcating knowledge and skills in the students but also in helping them develop a sense of pride and confidence in their ability to achieve. They must continue to motivate students to find their inner strengths.We are very fortunate to have with us a team of highly qualified, dedicated and experienced faculty members. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication to education and to this university. I would especially like to congratulate Dr. Ruhi Khalid and her faculty on their first batch of doctoral graduates. They have done us proud.It also gives me great pleasure to recognise the services of Professor Salima Hashmi to BNU.Professor Salima Hashmi is an eminent artist, educator, internationally recognised curator and prolific author on the history of modern and contemporary art in Pakistan.Professor Hashmi was the founding Dean of the School of Visual Arts and Design, Beaconhouse National University in its seminal decade. She was honoured by the Australian Council for University Art & Design Schools as their first International Fellow for her outstanding contribution to Art and Design. At BNU, among her many contributions is the setting up of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of South Asian Arts (UMISAA) which provides scholarships for South Asian students which I mentioned earlier. Professor Hashmi taught at NCA for 30 years and is a recipient of the President’s medal of Pride and Performance. Among her many accolades is the conferment of an honorary doctorate by the University of Bath Spa in the UK, last year. Beaconhouse National University is honoured to confer the title of Professor Emeritus on Professor Hashmi for her contribution to Art and Design Education and to the University.And now dear students, In the contemporary world, education means more than just grades and degrees. It is about acquiring knowledge and then expanding its frontiers and trying to change our world for the better. The world needs hope, it needs change and it needs you. The baton has now passed into your hands. You are the agency who have all the potential to become a tide so powerful that it cannot be stopped.You have now become a part of the larger BNU alumni, and we would like you to keep in touch with us. Your achievements in life will be our achievements of which we will take as much pride as your family. Your teachers have worked very hard in imparting the intrinsic virtues of responsible openness, freedom of thought and reasoning abilities essential for the world beyond these gates. In these turbulent times, my advice to you would be to stay steadfast in the face of hardships, persevere, and be patient without ignoring your responsibility to help change the global society for the better. You need to be the flag-bearers of the values this institution has inculcated in you and transfer these values to those around you. Your job is to engage, articulate and defend the liberal, enlightened and progressive voices for emancipation, empowerment, equality, and tolerance in societies the world over.Graduation is a time of celebration and triumph and marks the end of one phase of your life and the beginning of the next phase. It is a very proud moment for you and your parents and teachers who have all played their part in the end result. Today 384 lucky young men and women will be graduating. While you rejoice in your achievements today, I hope that you do not forget to thank your families who have supported and financed your education. I also hope that you will remember your teachers with affection and be thankful to them for helping you to reach this special milestone in your life.To those of you who have taught, nurtured and supported these young men and women in their endeavors, the Deans and faculty of BNU, I can only say ‘Well Done!’ you are the true guardians of our future generations and may you continue to guide our young minds with the wisdom and courage that is the hallmark of great nations. I would again like to extend my heartiest felicitations to all the graduating students and their proud parents.You are among the fortunate few who have had access to quality education, competent faculty, and extensive resources. I also take this opportunity to remind you that it is now your duty to the nation to step forward and face the challenges in the path to Pakistan’s development. Thank you and God Speed!