Training for academic leaders through the Women Leadership Program

Islamabad: Women play an important role in the development of Pakistan as a large number of women are rendering services in their respective capacities in different important institutions and sectors.

Federal Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Shafqat Mahmood, made the remarks during the launching ceremony of a 6-day training in five modules as part of the Women Leadership Program 2021 organized by the National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) in collaboration with the British Council Pakistan. The ceremony also marked the inauguration of the Pakistan Women’s Universities Consortium (APWUC).

In his address, Shafqat Mahmood highlighted the importance of NAHE’s efforts to develop and train the country’s future university leaders. He noted that the development of administrative skills in academic leadership is very crucial because academic excellence does not necessarily mean aptitude for administration and management.

He stressed the need to identify university administrative talents at an early age so that these talents can be cultivated through training and exposure. Amid financial difficulties facing universities, university leaders need to know how to manage finances, he said while emphasizing the role of university leadership. He stressed that the government does not believe in gender discrimination in appointments and selections.

The minister advised universities to promote skill-based education because the future belongs to those with skills. He stressed that universities must ensure the quality and relevance of teaching. “It is important to have a large number of universities in the country, but this should not come at the expense of quality.”

In her welcome address, the Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr. Shaista Sohail, emphasized that women have a great role to play in national upliftment. “We must use their talent and recognize their interest in the progress of the country,” she said. She noted that leaders are not born, but a person can become a leader through struggle, determination, will and vision. Shedding light on the women’s leadership agenda, the executive director said empowering women in leadership roles is one of the ways to create equal opportunities for women.

Mara R. Wilmoth