Keynote Address


Is the expectation that university graduates be “productive” within a short span of time of joining Industry, rational? Focused on the generation of revenue through the “sale” of goods and services, Industry would argue that it is. Additional expectations are for a technical and “personal” fit; that the inducted human resource become a part of the Industry’s “team,” understanding its “culture” and creating a positive impact on the enterprise. These expectations of Industry, as the largest “Customer” of a University’s product, are reasonable and must be addressed. It also must be nuanced by the broader role of Academia to ensure that its graduates stay relevant with the times, continuing to grow from strength to strength as technologies change. While bridging the Academia - Industry gap, the level of education being imparted, area of study and the requirement to explore knowledge, far beyond the limits of imagination, are also key considerations.

Moving from these theories and addressing the current realities, throws up significant additional challenges. What are graduates of disciplines whose industries have been decimated by short-sighted politico-economic policies expected to do? And what are the expectations from fresh PhDs, furthering the state of knowledge in their respective fields, faced with the barren landscape of domestic demand for their expertise? Complex, intertwined issues, whose solution could change the destiny of this country. In this talk, we consider these matters, attempting to put forth viable proposals for the way forward.


Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi is co-founder and CEO of KnowlEDGE Streams (Private) Ltd., a new enterprise focused on the training of professionals for the IT Industry. He recently completed his term of founding Rector of the University of Central Asia, that he had joined in Aug. 2018 upon completion of five-years as Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences where he had spearheaded the transition of this prestigious, primarily undergraduate, institution into the top ranked research universities of the country. Prior to LUMS he was the Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission(HEC) for eight years, where he oversaw implementation of an ambitious portfolio of programs that resulted in a transformation of the higher education sector of Pakistan; resulting in an increasing number of Pakistani universities being ranked among the top universities of the world today. He has extensive teaching, research, consulting and entrepreneurial experience. In 2016 he was awarded the Sitar-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan for his services to higher education and in 2022 he was awarded the “Best of Education” award by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic. In 2022 he was also given the lifetime achievement award by the Pakistan Engineering Council.

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