Skip to main content

Importance of higher education highlighted in Saudi

Speakers in the podium during the annual technical seminar organized by the Institute of Engineers Pakistan, Saudi Arabian Center. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman (third from right), Ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia Naeem Khan (third from left) are also seen.

Riyadh, (Saudi Arabia): Higher education is the key for a country’s growth and this core message was echoed in Saudi Arabia at a recently held annual technical seminar organized by the Institute of Engineers Pakistan, Saudi Arabian Centre.

“Socioeconomic development of any country is no longer dependent on natural resources of the country, rather knowledge is the main driving force of world largest economies such as Japan and many European countries”- said Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, a topmost scientist from Pakistan in his keynote address. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman is the first scientist from the Muslim world to have won the prestigious UNESCO Science Prize and the recipient of highest national civil award in Pakistan. Nowadays Industrialization through innovation and production of high value goods belonging to engineering, pharmaceuticals, IT, biotechnology, etc. is the key to high GDP growth of a country, he noted in his key note address titled “Higher Education, Science and Technology – Imperatives for the Socioeconomic Development”.

He cited examples of latest innovations of science which are just like wonders and magic for a common man such as Harry Potter’s disappearing cloak has now become a reality by the invention of meta-materials which can bend the rays of light away and shows the covered object as invisible.

Dr. Atta gave also the example of Graphene (mono layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honey comb structure) material, a strand of which, approximately 150 times thinner than a human hair, is so strong that a huge elephant can be hanged through this strand without any breakage. It is 200 times stronger than steel. Similarly he gave many examples of new innovations from nano technology, DNA technology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, etc.

Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman emphasized that higher education has direct correlation with exports and gave example of South Korea which had only 5 percent higher education enrollment in 1960 with only $32 million exports and per capita income of only $72 only, but witnessed an increase of higher education enrollment to 92 percent in 2009 which led to an increase of exports to $354,000 million and per capita income of $30,200. Today, the GDP of South Korea stands at $1.2 trillion.

Moreover he told the gathering that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US has a great impact on the economic development of the country. MIT graduates and faculty founded around 4,000 new companies which generate employment for 1.1 million people with annual sales of approximately $240 billion and collectively these companies can represent the 18th largest economy in the world.

He also gave the example of Malaysia which has been investing about 25 percent of its budget in education for the last 30 years and today about 87 percent of total high-tech exports from Muslim world come from Malaysia alone. In 1980, the GDP of Malaysia was only $26 billion, which increased to $303 billion in 2010 with per capita income stands at $14,700.

A country should have simultaneous bi-modal approach taking care for basic needs (health, primary education, water, etc.) and top-down knowledge based economy with emphasis on higher education linked with industry, he stressed.

Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman has made tremendous efforts for the progress and development of science and technology and higher education during his tenure with Pakistan government from 2000 to 2008 as federal minister and chairman HEC. He managed to increase the development budget of science ministry to 6000 percent and higher education development budget to 2400 percent.

The seminar was also attended by the Ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia Naeem Khan and the board member of Saudi Engineering Council Dr Ibrahim Al Hammad.

The Chairman of IEP-SAC Engr. Jaleel Hassan thanked the sponsors and the guests for making the event successful.

Popular posts from this blog

Cisco to train Omani graduates in Amsterdam

Muscat, (Oman): Cisco Systems has announced it is to select graduates from colleges and universities in Oman for a two-year training abroad, Muscat Daily , an English Daily from Oman, has reported.

This is part of Cisco mission of helping Oman to utilise its potential in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector through its training programmes. “We will receive applications till the end of this month and the shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in May. Those selected will begin their training in Amsterdam in July,” said Iyad al Chammat, general manager of Cisco Systems in Yemen, Oman and Afghanistan. The company is also offering a six-month internship programme in Oman for third and fourth year students, he said.

“In Oman, we are paying back to the community through our academies. We have 20 academies in the sultanate, including those at the Sultan Qaboos University, Higher College of Technology, and CAS,” Chammat said.

Al Chammat also noted that Cisco has 20 ac…

Astronomy in the Arab world discussed at AUS

Sharjah, (UAE): American University of Sharjah (AUS) held a high-impact seminar entitled Steps for an Arab Astronomy Renaissance at its campus on May 14, 2014. The event, which was held in partnership with Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG), drew a large audience comprising students, faculty members, university officials as well as members of the public.

The seminar, which was hosted by Mohammed Yahia—editor ofNature Middle East and a prominent science journalist who also represented Nature Arabic Edition, a scientific publication in Arabic by Nature Publishing Group—was a follow up on the article on the state of Arab astronomy published earlier in Nature by Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, Professor of Physics and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Science. The event featured a number of exciting presentations, including an engaging review of the state of Arab astronomy by Dr. Guessoum.

Commenting on the importance of seminars such as these throughout the region, Ya…

Second Pakistani University opens in UAE

RAS AL KHAIMAH, (UAE): One more Pakistani University has started its operations in Ras Al Khaimah with a mission to provide good quality affordable education for Pakistani families living in UAE. Name as “Abasyn University”, the new educational platform will offer degree courses to the 800 to 1,000 pupils who comes out of Pakistani high schools in the UAE every year.

Previously Szabist University in Dubai was the only Pakistani university in the emirates. Abasyn’s Ras Al Khaimah centre is its overseas branch campus. As a famed brand in Pakistan, the Abasyn University has campuses in Peshawar and Islamabad. Abasyn University is considered to be more affordable as it charges only Dh1,200 a month. This makes it more affordable than Szabist which charges Dh1,900, and Abasyn is significantly cheaper than other institutions.

On average, university fees in the UAE start at about Dh25,000 a year. However, for anything science or engineering based, costs can rise to more than Dh45,000.The…