Are we really producing quality graduates for industries?

Chairman

HEC

Pakistan

Subject: Are we really producing quality graduates for our industries?

Dear Sir

In a recent past, I got a chance to meet a bunch of exciting and passionate students to have their views about an important issue of Industry-Academia linkage. They were none other than great AMAL fellows and alumni. I have this memorable experience under the umbrella of HEC-AMAL faculty development program focusing on reducing the gap between Industry and academia. In a meeting with AMAL fellows, I got a chance to interact with some students having a background of Life sciences. They all were carrying the wonderful ideas which they want to implement in the future. I met a girl named Sumbal doing Mphil in Molecular biology from CEMB, The University of Punjab Lahore Pakistan. She was uncertain whether she will be able to get job after this or if she is going in a right direction to do so. She was in AMAL to get this direction by following which she can reach to the destination of success. Like all her other fellows she was unaware of industries, related to her field, working in Pakistan. She was complaining about lack of guidance and counseling related to the job opportunities and start ups by her teachers. I paused for a while and then said YES we as teachers are not guiding you people in a manner by which you can look for your goals confidently. I came up with some thoughts which I want to share with you.

· If she is learning, developing confidence and getting directions about her future goals by studying at AMAL then why the higher educational institutes in our country are failing to do so?

· Why she was so unclear about her future prospects even after reaching Mphil level.

· Why she doesn’t even have knowledge about job or start up opportunities.

The reason that struck my mind was “Industry-Academia Gap”. There is a strong need to revise the curricula of applied fields. All the subjects of applied fields need to be tied up with industrial exploration. Students studying courses in applied subject should be taken to the relevant industries so that they can get the practical insight of the process. Apart from that they will be able to prepare themselves in a better manner to do job in these industries or to develop their own start ups in future. I will request you strongly to sit with relevant stakeholders and bring some changes immediately in curricula of applied fields to address this alarming issue.This is the only way to reduce all important gap between the Industry and Academia.

Regards