STAFF REPORT ISLAMABAD: Scholars from the Muslim world have resolved to work for greater academic interaction, create an Islamic universities pool of scholarships, and to initiate joint research and development programme in order to achieve the set goals in the field of science and technology.

This resolution came after a recently concluded two-day interactive and technical session at the Vice Chancellor Forum 2013 in which heads and representatives of 200 universities from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) participated in Islamabad. The forum was organized by the COMSATS institute of Science and Information Technology (CIIT) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

The forum provided an effective platform to the universities, leaders of academia for research cooperation in different mutual interest sectors. Similarly, the event proved a milestone in the field of academic research as it provided a platform to different universities to sign mutual agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in general and specific areas of their academic interest.

On the occasion, a delegate from Turkey, in their presentation, suggested that the Muslim countries should establish a data base as a one platform about research papers, articles and other documents.

“We should avoid copying Western ideas or just imitating their activities and programmes; we need to move beyond this rhetoric,” remarked Prof. Arif from Turkeys Bursa University. He said that it was time to go forward and materialize the plans.

“We should avoid copying Western ideas or just imitating their activities and programmes. We need to move beyond this rhetoric as saying something is easy but the practical implications shape the dreams,” said the professor.

Bangladeshs Intl Islamic Universitys VC Prof. AKM Azharul Islam in address said that the concept of the universities was changing dramatically. “From e-learning to formal at-home-classes will diminish the classroom culture,” he cautioned.

Prof. Iqrar Ahmad Khan from the Universities of Agriculture Faisalabad said to give admission to students only on the passes of marks is a tradition that ought to change. “This is not the way to invite best talent for universities,” he said.

The VCs of Universities of Brunei Darussalam urged the participants to equip themselves with higher standards of education as the upcoming war would be nothing but the war would be nothing but the war of knowledge.

In the concluding ceremony, Dr SM Junaid Zaidi, Rector COMSATS CIIT, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director HEC, and Prof. Nisar Ahmed Siddique, Vice Chancellor IBA Sukkur, also addressed the gathering.

The other adopted resolution include instituting personal mobility progrramme for facilitating travel, interaction among researchers and scholars and setting up of inter-disciplinary centers of excellence.

The speakers were of the consensus view that internationalization over the years has transformed from a reactive to a pro – active strategy, adding the universities have social, cultural, ideological, political, and economic responsibilities towards society; the predominant role though is creation of knowledge and knowledge workers.

Internationalization of Universities is seen as an enticing cocktail of possibilities, as it provides an enormous opportunity for the academics to become creators of difference and effectors of the change thus facilitating emancipation and social progress. The increasing competition, commercialization and the cross-border delivery of higher education has challenged the value traditionally attached to voluntary and missionary academic cooperation, exchanges and partnerships. At the same time, internationalization of curriculum, teaching and learning processes, i.e. internationalization at home has become relevant and compliments the traditional focus on mobility.

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