Islamabad: At Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan (HEC) project of HEC hosted the third meeting of the consortium of 11 universities to create high-quality asynchronous online courses. These courses will work as a component of the new undergraduate core curriculum across the country.
Moreover, the consortium is formulated on the expertise and interests of these universities. To create and deliver high-quality online learning platforms and massive online courses. The universities under the consortium are AIOU Islamabad, Agha Khan University Karachi, and Balochistan University of Information and Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).
COMSATS University Islamabad, Habib University Karachi, Hazard University Mansehra, Lahore. College for Women University Lahore, University of Management Sciences (LUMS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), University Of Baltistan Skardu and Virtual University Lahore.
Moreover, Vice Chancellors and senior officials of different departments were part of the meeting.
In addition, HEC’s executive director Dr. Shasta Sohail chaired the session. In her opening remarks, she said, “As a woman, I am glad to be a part of his initiative as it will benefit all, irrespective of gender. Pakistan Edx will enable women to continue contributing to the economy without compromising their domestic and official responsibilities. Many women, especially in disadvantaged areas, will benefit as mobility can be an issue for women in many areas in our country”.
Moreover, Dr. Nasir Mehmood, the BC of AIOU, welcomed everyone and pledged AIOU’s support. Dr. Mahmood Butt, the project coordinator of HEDP, moderated the discussion and emphasized the value of the university’s input in formulating strategies for ODL and Pakistan Edx’s future.
Besides, the new curriculum will ah e 11 courses drawn from five board categories of HEC undergraduate policy.
Pakistan Edx is an excellent initiative supported by the World Bank under the umbrella of HEC’s HEDP project.
However, the main objective is to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) in collaboration with well-known international platforms. The platforms, including Edx and Coursera, aim to expand the horizon of high-quality education on a national level.
On the other hand, Pakistan Edx will benefit the youth in need as they can enroll in MOOCs created by top-notch faculty. The platform was by the same organization that has played a significant role in developing many other international learning platforms. The platforms include MIT/Harvard’s Edx, University of California San Diego, Edx and Wikimedia.
Moreover, over a 55million students around the world have already taken advantage. The HEC PERN project complemented the platform, extending high-speed internet access to all universities. These initiatives and projects are significant for provinces similar to Balochistan, newly merged districts of KP, interior Sindh and Punjab.
Besides, to guarantee high quality and accessibility, a deep discussion took place on quality assurance and sustainability. The representatives and officials of these mentioned universities provided their opinions on technical and financial executions of this activity. All the universities agreed to contribute towards Pakistan Edx.
Alas, the discussion ended with establishing the deadlines for accepting credit from online courses. Including minimum contact hours required, and developing Expressions of Interest for creating systems.