NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF COMPUTER AND EMERGING SCIENCES (FAST-NU)

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Nov 22 - 28, 2010

FAST is a renowned university of Pakistan for quality education and impact of its students in the development of local software. FAST pioneered the development of IT industry in Pakistan by offering the country's first undergraduate program in computer science. Research wings of the university are well recognised nationally and internationally. They embarked on cutting edge research having direct impact on the social, economic and technological needs of Pakistan.

Today, this university stands recognised as the leader and trendsetter in IT field in Pakistan and abroad. The university has four modern campuses at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar. These campuses provide excellent educational environment and recreational facilities to over 4,000 under-graduate and graduate students.

The holder of 4-year bachelor degree (BS Computer Science/BBA), with minimum of 130 credit hours after intermediate or equivalent qualification is considered eligible to compete for the posts of lecturer or equivalent posts of B-17 by the HEC/government of Pakistan.

MS (computer science) degree of 30 credit hours spread over four semesters after four year BS (computer science)/BS (IT)/BCS (Hons) degrees are recognised as equivalent to M.Phil degree for purposes of job, service benefits, increments etc. on the analogy of equivalence of M.Sc. Engg. and M.Sc. (Hons) agriculture degrees with M.Phil degree.

The university's Center for Research in Ubiquitous Computing (CRUC) promotes the idea of integrating computation into the environment, rather than having computers in daily life. At CRUC the research focuses on several topics such as Pattern Recognition & Multi-Lingual Interfaces, MultiAgent Systems, Wireless Networks & Grid Computing, Human Computer Interaction, Knowledge Engineering & Information Retrieval, Robotics & Sensor based Communication and Augmented & Virtual Reality.

SCHEDULE OF FEES STRUCTURE (RS)

FEE BBA/BS/MBA MS/PhD
Admission Fee Rs15,000 Rs15,000
Students' Club Fee (per sem) Rs1,500 Rs1,500
Tuition Fee (2010-11) (per sem) Rs68,500 Rs53,500

The Centre for Agro-Informatics Research is a research center dedicated to development of indigenous IT solutions to serve the agriculture sector. Currently, a 26 month long Rs30+ million Agricultural Decision Support System (ADDS) project is underway with a 30+ strong team. The ADDS project aims at developing an Agriculture Data Warehouse, a web based OLAP tool, fast data mining tool and a yield loss forecasting system. Centre for Research in Urdu Language Processing (CRULP) has been involved in research into languages spoken in Pakistan, developing computing standards and also developing speech, script and language processing applications for the end-users. CRULP participates in national and international bodies, including PTCL R&D Fund, Urdu Computing Standardisation Committee of National Language Authority, Editorial Board of Localisation Focus published by Localisation Research Centre at University of Limerick in Ireland and Unicode's Bidirectional Committee List. However, Software Engineering Research Centre (SERC) is dedicated to conducting research and development in software engineering. Through the establishment of the SERC, the university seeks to help and support the local software industry in establishing and improving their processes and practices through continuous feedback and training.

COMPARISON OF PUBLIC SECTOR SPENDING ON EDUCATION

COUNTRY PUBLIC SECTOR SPENDING (% GDP) LITERACY RATE (%)
Bangladesh 2.6 55
China - 93.7
India 3.3 -
Indonesia 3.5 -
Iran 5.2 -
Malaysia 4.7 92.1
Nepal 3.2 57.9
Pakistan 2.1 57
Sri Lanka ... 90.6
Thailand 4.5 -

With public spending on education as a percentage of GDP being amongst the lowest as compared to other countries, the outcome with regard to literacy level in Pakistan is not surprising. While the literacy rate has improved gradually over a period, Pakistan's indicators on this front continue to rank at the bottom end of global rankings. Within the region, only Bangladesh has a worse outcome on both indicators, spending by the public sector as well as literacy rate.

Nepal spends a substantial fraction more than Pakistan on education, while its literacy rate is marginally higher.

The poor quality of existing learning environment is evident from the fact that a large number of schools are missing basic infrastructure i.e. 37.7 per cent schools up to elementary level are without boundary wall, 33.9 per cent without drinking water facility, 37 per cent without latrines and around 60 per cent schools are without electricity.

For higher accessibility of education particularly for girls in low income household and to enhance the enrolment, existing schools should be upgraded with the provision of necessary infrastructure to improve both output and quality of education. The missing facilities in public schools become more glaring as compared to urban-rural angle.

CONCLUSION

Education is the most important factor, which plays a leading role in human development. FAST is ranked amongst the top IT institutes in Pakistan and is producing the most highly qualified IT professionals in the country.