Namal College: A Great Step
The News, April 28, 2008
By Mumtaz Alvi
ISLAMABAD: The prime minister, along with the chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, launched the quality Namal College in Mianwali on April 27.
The college is the brainchild of Imran Khan, who was appalled at the high level of unemployment among the youth of Mianwali. Therefore, in order to provide high quality training and employable skills, so that the youth of the district could earn a decent living, he wanted to open a college.
A large number of people gathered on Sunday for the inauguration of the college, including government ministers, educationists, and donors alongside the people of Mianwali, who have so generously donated the land on which the college has been built.
Imran's vision is to create a world-class research university and knowledge city where scholars can work and study in an Oxford-like academic environment. "This is the most beautiful location,” said Imran referring to the surroundings, "and exactly the right kind of environment to set up a centre of excellence. In a few years’ time, academics will work and live here."
Working alongside Imran for the last two years has been the University of Bradford, one of the leading universities in the UK, especially in engineering and management courses. The university has been ranked No 1 for graduate employment in the north of England in The Times League tables for the last five years and has a history of developing and delivering high quality and demand-driven degree programmes as well as an excellent reputation for research.
In December 2005, Imran was appointed the university's first international chancellor, succeeding four previous chancellors, the first of whom was Harold Wilson, Labour Prime Minister of Britain.
The University of Bradford has granted 'Associate College' status to Namal College. Commenting on the importance of the partnership with the Namal College, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bradford Mark Cleary said, "The university does not award Associate College status lightly. In our 42-year history since we were granted our Royal Charter, we have given this status to only eight Associate Colleges in the United Kingdom and only three around the world. We were, however, inspired by the vision and values for Namal College, which we felt were very similar to our own and to the commitment for excellence, exemplified by Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, also a partner of the university, which we know will be demonstrated here at Namal College too."
The Bradford University will be involved in designing the courses and curriculum, in ensuring quality assurance mechanism and training and development for the faculty. Courses will be delivered in 4 phases. The Phase I will offer certificate courses, Phase II diploma courses, Phase III degree course and Phase IV research degrees.
The initial curriculum will be focused in the following areas: Construction (masons, carpenters, electricians), automotive engineering, electrical engineering with emphasis on appliances repairs; agricultural equipment engineering, development and maintenance, and cement industry work.
Majority of the students at the university will be on scholarships and come from areas where they would not have had the opportunities that the Namal College would offer. The Namal College will be of enormous benefit not only to the Mianwali district but also the whole of Pakistan. Over the long term, Namal College's "Knowledge City" will act as a best practice model for other regions of Pakistan to extend its benefits nationally, like the Shaukat Khanum is doing today.