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The leader and pace-setter in higher education

PAGE REPORT
Aug 13 - 19, 2001

By any standard Preston University is the oldest and the largest University in the Private sector in Pakistan. Established in 1984, Preston today has the largest network with nine campuses throughout the country with total enrollment exceeding 5500 students.

Keeping in line with the evolving technological advancements and requirements of the global business and national needs, the University is offering high quality education in the fast-growing and ever-expanding fields of Business Administration, Information Technology, Textile Engineering, Textile Management and E-Business. The University's nationwide network covers all the major cities of Pakistan, namely Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan and Faisalabad.

Talking to this correspondent, the pioneer of Preston University and its present Chancellor, Dr. Abdul Basit said the mission of Preston University is to offer students the opportunity for personal growth and development, skill enhancement, or professional job advancement through the provision of high quality education which provides for the development of well-rounded individuals who possess both vocational and people skills as well as the ability to perform research utilizing a variety of available research opportunities.

Preston University campuses in Pakistan are affiliated with Preston University, USA with full status of the University campus. Preston University, USA is licensed by the State Department of Education, Wyoming, USA to operate as a degree-granting institution, and is authorized to award associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees under the Statutes W.S.21.2.401 through 21-2-407 of the State of Wyoming, USA. The degrees of Preston University are recognized and accepted by the private sector in Pakistan and abroad. Thousands of our graduates have been accepted for well-placed, highly paying jobs in well-established Pakistani companies, multinationals, international banks, and in many large corporations in North America, Europe and the Middle East. A large number of our graduates, during the recent years, have been accepted (and many were granted transfer of credit) for advanced study purpose at universities in USA, UK and other countries.

He said Preston University is accredited by the World Association of Universities and Colleges, USA and is a member of several prestigious organizations including the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and programs (ACBSP), which is recognized by the US Department of Education, American Management Association, US Chamber of Commerce, Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, Wyoming Libraries Database, and the American Library Association. Preston University campuses in Pakistan are organized and managed by Management Education Trust, as a non-profit social service institution. Management Education Trust is registered with the Government of Pakistan? under societies Act XXI of 1860.

Explaining the background, Dr. Basit said Preston University Pakistan was first established in 1984 as the School of Business and Commerce, offering university level courses in the private sector for the first time in the history of Pakistan. With a humble beginning in 1984 in Rawalpindi, the University now has nine campuses in all four provinces of Pakistan. The University has expanded its operations and diversified its educational programme to meet the ever- increasing need for higher education in the country.

Dr. Basit said "Preston University has several distinctions over its competitors. It is the pioneer private institute of management education in the country. The enrollment of more than 5500 students and 17 long years of experience makes it the oldest and the largest private university in Pakistan. Uniform courses and examination policy offer a unique flexibility to the students regarding transfer from one campus to another without loss of time or academic credit, should the need arise. The University offers excellent physical facilities and equipment and provides an atmosphere and an environment conducive to high quality education."

"Several institutions now offer professional education in Pakistan, but success of Preston University is the excellence in designing curriculum and identifying right type of text books. The University is continuously exerting to develop the business professionals to meet the demand for education in IT and e-commerce. The teaching and evaluation standards are set at a very high level. Students are frequently given assignments, quizzes, term papers and projects. The University has also initiated doctoral programs in business administration, computer science, economics, environment management, development studies and textile management. The Karachi Campus of the University has already launched the technology courses of B-Tech (Pass), B-Tech (Hons) and Bachelors and Masters in Textile Management", said Dr. Basit.

"Preston University has the distinction of designing its own curriculum to satisfy the needs and demands of students and the market. The extensive job acceptance of our graduates by a wide variety of highly respected and well known multinationals is a testimony to the quality of education imparted through its curriculum and dedicated faculty", Dr. Basit added. The duration of the Masters programs is 16 months, as there are no unnecessary semester breaks. This profoundly articulates the unflinching dedication of the university's competent management team and par-excellence faculty.

Explaining Preston's stand point on fast track IT education, Dr. Basit said, "At present Pakistan's Software Exports stand at a depressing $16 million, which is a mere fraction of India's annual Software Exports of approximately $4.5 billion. To stay on the fast track of Information Technology superhighway, and to join this business revolution, the only option available to us is gaining more knowledge and skills in the related fields. This aim can only be fulfilled with the acquisition of quality education from an institution, which is committed to its unbeatable standards of excellence. A name that immediately comes to one's mind with this standpoint is "Preston University".

The computer labs of Preston University are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to give the students hands-on-experience and further enhance their computer proficiency and IT skills. The computer labs offer all major operating environments including Novell, UNIX, and Windows NT etc. Preston University has modern libraries at all its campuses that together hold more than 60,000 volumes of books, journals and audiovisual materials.

Preston University, Pakistan has been offering doctoral degree programs in a variety of disciplines like Business Administration, Computer Science, Economics, Development Studies and Environmental Management, since 1995. Minimum duration of the PhD is two years. It is a self-spaced distance learning program, which both Pakistani residents as well as students abroad can benefit from.

Despite its modest resources, the university offers over 500 scholarships each semester, of which 200 scholarships are awarded to freshly admitted students. All scholarship awards are made on a merit-cum-need basis. Scholarships are also offered to armed forces personnel or their children and government employees and their families, admitted to a program of the university.

The most important support service that the university provides to its students is in the area of job placement. The University provides extensive help to its students for securing internships and jobs. Consequently, its graduates are quickly absorbed in the mainstream businesses in the corporate world.

The capacity building programs being offered at Preston University thrive on reducing the enormous gap between the escalating demand and non-availability of competent professionals, especially in the field of Information Technology, in national as well as the international job markets. The latest offering of the University the "Master of E-Business" is guaranteed to create a phenomenal shift in the existing status of the World Wide Web, and capture the true potential of business on the Web in Pakistan.

SINDH GOVERNMENT CONFERS CHARTER ON PRESTON INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (PIMSAT)

The government of Sindh has promulgated an Ordinance providing for the establishment of Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology (PIMSAT) at Karachi as a full-fledged degree granting institute. PIMSAT is an integral part of the Preston University network in Pakistan.

President of the Preston University, Dr. Abdul Basit congratulated the management, faculty and students of Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology on attaining this remarkable achievement. He lauded the untiring efforts of the Preston team to bring their long-pending dream, to become a chartered university, to fruition ultimately. He also extended his gratitude to the government of Sindh for having granted Preston its long over due recognition. Dr. Basit expressed the hope that Preston's dedicated team will now work more diligently and dedicatedly to prove that they more than deserved the honor bestowed upon their institution, and go beyond the call of duty to earn similar laurels for the institution in future also.

Coventry University UK and Preston Pakistan

Contemplating collaboration in IT education

The Coventry University, UK and Preston University, Pakistan is contemplating to collaborate in the field of IT education in the country.

Representative of the Coventry University, Furrkh Aslam who is currently visiting Pakistan, has said that his university is looking into the prospects of collaborating with a private or public sector university in Pakistan, for promotion of IT education. During his address to the management, faculty and students of Preston University recently, he said initially Coventry University would be interested in inking an agreement with an established local private or public university for transfer of credits. In the long run, this collaboration could, perhaps, mature into a more mutually beneficial relationship. Coventry University's local partner could, on mutual agreement, conduct a full-fledged external degree program of the university here in Pakistan, at some point in time.

Coventry University's representative eulogized the role Preston University, Pakistan has been playing in imparting market-driven business, IT and other programs at the bachelors and masters level, since its inception in 1984. He said he saw good prospects of Coventry University's entering into an agreement with Preston, which is very well established and has the largest network of campuses in the country. The final decision to do so would, however, greatly depend on the outcome of the evaluation he is conducting of several other indigenous institutions for this purpose, he maintained.

About Coventry University, UK Mr. Furrkh said it has a long tradition as a provider of education. It can trace its roots as far back as Coventry College of Design in l843. It was in the year 1970 that the Coventry College of Art amalgamated with the Lanchester College of Technology and Rugby College of Engineering Technology, resulting in the birth of Lanchester Polytechnic. In l987 the name was changed to Coventry Polytechnic, and in the year 1992 the title of "Coventry University" was adopted. He said Coventry University is an accredited institution in the UK, and is internationally recognized. Its international links include Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Oman and Dubai.