PROJECT DIRECTOR - ENGR. IMTIAZ HUSSAIN GILANI
Welcome to the University of Technology (UoT), Nowshera, website. While most people know us by this abbreviated name, after a tragic terrorist attack, and student deaths in a school in 2014, the name was changed to “ Shuhada-e-Army Public School University of Technology, Nowshera”. UoT is the acronym we commonly use!
UoT is a pioneering educational enterprise in many ways. 1) It is the first public sector university in Nowshera District, 2) It is the first “technology” university in the province, and 3) It is the first “technology” university in Pakistan!
Nowshera District is contiguous to Peshawar District, and lies east of it. It straddles the mighty Indus, and is less than 100 kilometers from the famous Khyber Pass that leads to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics. As a gateway to the West, and sitting snugly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Nowshera District boasts the valor, hospitality, folklore and frontier-romance attributed to this rugged terrain, and the hardy people inhabiting it.
Over time, the engine-of-growth has clearly shifted from dependence on natural resources to “knowledge” as the driving force. And technical knowledge is now considered the best fuel to fire such an engine. Technology in Pakistan has had a skewed development: On the high end of technical education, the engineering sciences have kept pace - relatively speaking - with the world, but the “technology” side has remained moribund, and the knowledge-base of people in this sector is medieval. There are myriad different reasons for our educational malaise, but suffice it to say that technical and vocational education got the shortest end of a very short stick!
The PTI government are trying to correct this imbalance in one fell swoop by 1) establishing a Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) in 2014, and, 2) Establishing UoT, Nowshera, which will have TEVTA’s Government Colleges of Technology (GCT’S) as affiliate institutes. For once, the TVET sector has been given the importance it deserves, and I am confident TEVTA and UoT will be the change-agents we desperately needed in this neglected sector.
UoT, Nowshera, strictly follows the HEC curriculum where 70% time will be spent by students in laboratories or in the field, and 30% time in class rooms. We have state-of-the-art laboratories, where cutting-edge knowledge is transferred to students. These students will have marketable skills and readily find gainful employment. One reason the TVET sector was faltering is because potential students found no merit in joining it when they could see th
ose before them hopelessly looking for work. The Middle East was one place where many found employment. But with maturing of technical education, the skill-set required there are not in tune with our technical graduates. As a result that market is drying up.
UoT, Nowshera has removed a glass ceiling for those that want to pursue higher education in technology. We are starting with Bachelors programs in limited disciplines, but will add Master’s programs and other disciplines in time. This alone will attract a better class of students, who, historically would end up taking non-marketable general education.
We are currently housed in leased premises as per Stage 1 of the project. Stage 2 envisages developing a dedicated campus on land measuring at least 500 kanals that the provincial government will provide. This process is in its final stages. Once we have identified the land, we will seek development funds from the Federal Government.
UoT, Nowshera is in its infancy, but there is such tremendous support for this initiative that already we have been asked to establish campuses in Swabi and Charsadda Districts. While some people think we should wait for UoT, Nowshera to stabilize before we get into other ventures, I feel that since demand for good TEVT education is enormous, establishing other campuses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be a soothing balm to the restless, and ever burgeoning youth bulge: More than half the population is less than 30 years of age. This is a tremendous resource if we channel it in the right direction. Left unattended, this can become a ticking bomb!
At UoT, Nowshera, we have attracted the best faculty and supporting staff. The heart of a university is its faculty. Along with their normal duties and responsibilities, these pioneering men and women are driven by passion to bring our dream of a world-class technology to fruition, and I salute their spirit, commitment and exuberance.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a “frontier” province. And like frontiersmen anywhere, there is that extra “oomph” to what we do. Taking calculated risks with courage runs in our blood. UoT, Nowshera is another example where Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is leading the nation from the “front” by establishing the first “technology” University of Pakistan. I am confident at UoT, Nowshera we will afford students an opportunity that will not only change their destiny, but also help Pakistan’s economic development in a significant way.
Let me close by thanking you for visiting our website. I hope you know us better now, and got the information that you needed. We shall endevour to keep this site informative and easy to read. Any suggestions for improvement shall be welcome.
God bless you all.
Imtiaz H. Gilani