Australian education for Pak students | Electricity outages
Australia a major study destination for Pak post-9/11
Islamabad, May 20: Australia
has emerged as the first choice for Pakistanis wanting to go overseas
for education due to soft visa regulations, lower tuition and lodging
expenditure, international recognition of degrees and friendly
environment, according to a leading educational consultant of the
country, said Saad Mehmood, resident director of Australian Education
Office (AEO), Pakistan.
In an interview with this scribe,
Saad was of the view that the West, especially the US, tightened visa
policy after the 9/11 attacks, thus making it quite difficult for many
in the world, including Pakistanis, to be there either for tourism or
education. In the circumstances post 9/11, Pakistanis looked for new
study destinations and Australia emerged as the most attractive.
Currently, around 3,000 Pakistanis go to Australia every year for
Saad said that currently, more than 5,000
Pakistani students were in Australia and interestingly, 20 per cent of
them were women. He gave many reasons other than easy visa rules why
Australian institutions are fast becoming the first choice of Pakistani
"First, the cost of education in Australia for
foreigners is lower compared with western countries. A recent Australian
government study found that in terms of total costs, including tuition
fees and living expenditure, the US and the UK are consistently more
expensive than Australia. Second, compared with the US and other western
countries, Australia is a close study destination for students from
Pakistan and thus, making it cheaper and easier to be there and return
during vacations. Also if parents want to visit children or be at their
graduation, Australia is an affordable option," he said.
AEO Pakistan resident director said that Australian institutions were
sensitive to religious and cultural needs of visitors, especially
students, and offered a wide range of support and monitoring services to
He said that Australia was a safer country compared to almost all other countries of the world.
and political unrest are almost nonexistent in Australia, so
international students pursue education plans without trouble. Let me
tell you Australia is one of the world's most harmonious multicultural
societies and its citizens are open, friendly people. Visitors always
get a warm welcome there," he said.
Saad said that
Australia offered internationally recognised education and training
system, which provided world class opportunities to international
students and that major employers and professional organisations around
the world, including Pakistan, recognised Australian qualifications.
said that Australia was continually refining and redefining its
education and training system while retaining the best of its
traditional values, such as the care of students and excellence in
The educational consultant said that
Australian universities, which are ranked the best in the world, offered
undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering a broad range of
disciplines from humanities and computing to engineering, health
sciences and law.
"Australia's public and private
vocational education and training institutions deliver training ranging
from accounting and applied science to business studies, marketing,
hospitality and tourism which is responsive to international students'
needs," he said.
Saad said that Australian educational
institutions used leading-edge technologies and learning programmes and
thus, promoting flexible and innovative approaches to teaching and
He said that AEO Pakistan operated as the
official liaison office for over 40 leading Australian universities and
educational institutions and facilitated enrolment of international
He said among those educational
institutions were University of South Australia, University of Western
Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Canberra,
University of Melbourne, Canberra Institute of Technology, Australian
National University, ACT department of Education and Community Services,
Bond University, University of Wollongong, Melbourne Institute of
Technology, Holmesglen Institute of Technology, Curtin University of
Technology, University of Western Australia, Deakin University,
University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Box Hill Institute of TAFE,
Tropical North Queensland TAFE, Academy of Interactive Technology and
Le Cordon Bleu.
"We began operations in Pakistan in April
1997 from Karachi, where the Australian deputy prime minister was the
chief guest. Our Islamabad office was opened in 1999 and that of Lahore
in 2004. Over the past decade or so, we've firmly established ourselves
as a 'study in Australia' specialist.
"We are able to
provide comprehensive and professional counselling and assistance to
genuine students intending to study in Australia. We are now also able
to offer pathway study options in the UK, the US and Canada," he said.
AEO Pakistan resident director said that his organisation was to
organise an international educational exhibition in Islamabad next
month, where representatives of leading Australian universities,
colleges and institutes would be in attendance to inform visitors about
undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD and other educational programmes and
scholarships offered on them, and counsel them on personal, educational
"I'm sure that the exhibition will be a great help to those wanting to study abroad," he said.
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Pakistani universities showcase fuel-efficient vehicles
Rawalpindi: Top universities from Pakistan unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient
vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia at a launch ceremony held at
NUST in Rawalpindi. This event has put Pakistani teams on track for the
competition at the Sepang F-1 track in Kuala Lumpur in July 2013. There,
they will compete with over 130 teams from 16 countries to see whose
vehicle can go the farthest on one litre of fuel.
from NUST, UET-Peshawar, UET-Jamshoro, NED, Air University, GIK, PNEC
and FAST are registered to compete in the event at Malaysia. Some of
these teams were present at the NUST launch event to showcase a range of
new and improved vehicles, running on a variety of fuels.
the occasion, Omar Sheikh, Managing Director, Shell Pakistan Limited,
said, "Pakistan and the world face an energy challenge, and Shell is
well positioned to help people meet their energy needs through efficient
and performance-driven products. Competitions like the Shell
Eco-marathon are opportunities for students to be a part of the dialogue
and the solution to our energy challenges. A panel of judges from
academic, media, industry and government sectors inspected the vehicles
at the launch event. Awards were given for Safety to UET-Peshawar for
their Prototype vehicle; for the best mileage to NUST for their Urban
Concept vehicle; GIK's prototype vehicle won an award for reducing their
ecological footprint the most, while the innovation prize was awarded
to UET-Peshawar's Urban Concept vehicle. Two novelty awards were given
to AIR University and HITEC for their out-of-the-box designs.
General Obaid Bin Zakria, Commandant NUST College of Electrical and
Mechanical Engineering added, "Today's event is a chance for Pakistani
teams to test their vehicles and ensure they are well-prepared for tough
competition at the Shell Eco-marathon in Malaysia this year. The
students have already displayed a great deal of drive and creativity in
transforming innovative ideas into reality, and we hope they continue to
display the same enthusiasm as they represent Pakistan and their
Pakistan was the first country from the
subcontinent to represent teams at the Shell Eco-marathon in Berlin
2009, followed by 20 teams in the 2010 Kuala Lumpur competition, the
highest number in Asia. In 2012, for the first time, two Pakistani teams
were top performers; a team from NED came in fourth position in the
Ethanol Prototype category, while a team from NUST came in eighth in the
Urban Concept gasoline category. In 2013, 13 teams from Pakistan will
participate in the Kuala Lumpur event.**
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Electricity outages hit HSSC students hard
Rawalpindi: Unscheduled electricity loadshedding is creating lots of problems for the students
of Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) as they are unable to
focus on their ongoing final examinations, which began on Saturday.
in almost all examination centres remained powered off due to power
outages, as helpless students gave papers in suffocating conditions amid
The students have urged the concerned
authorities to at least announce a schedule for loadshedding and try not
to disconnect electricity during examination timings so that they could
concentrate on attempting their papers.
The students said that it has become very difficult for them
to concentrate on their papers because of unscheduled power outages.
"Due to electricity loadshedding, it also becomes very hard for us to
solve papers in the examination hall as well," they added.
requested the education department to use alternative sources during
electricity loadshedding during paper timings in the examination halls.
Ahmed, a student said, "In our locality we are facing worst form of
loadshedding and there is no schedule, which is badly affecting my
studies, as it becomes very difficult for me to concentrate on preparing
Junaid Ali, another student, said that if it
is not possible for education department to use alternative resources to
provide electricity in examination halls during loadshedding then they
should at least request the concerned authorities not to cut power
supply during paper timings.
Majority of markets and roads
wore a deserted look due to hot weather as mercury touched 41 Degree
Celsius on Saturday. The citizens expressed grave concerns about the
persistent and unscheduled power outages, which are increasing, as the
weather is getting hotter and hotter with each passing day.
Meteorological Department (Director) Dr. Muhammad Hanif said that temperature would further rise in Punjab, Sindh including twin
cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in coming days.
other hand the residents of Afshan Colony, Dhoke Banaras, Morgah, Kotha
Kalan and Dhoke Chaudirian spent sleepless night on Friday as
electricity disappeared around 9:00 p.m. and came back till early
morning. Similarly, majority of feeders in city and cantonment areas
tripped due to overload and people faced 12 to 14 hours loadshedding.
The officials in Iesco kept their telephones off the hook to avoid
receiving calls while the electricity continued to be cut off after
every ten or fifteen minutes.
The Ministry of Water and
Power said that power shortfall has climbed to over 5,500 MW, causing an
increase in timings of loadshedding. The present supply of electricity
stood at 9,465 MW while demand has surged to 15,000 MW, resulting worst
kind of loadshedding, the Ministry of Water and Power sources said. The news
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IT genius who envisions mess-free traffic
A Pakistani student has developed a multi-purpose computer
software keeping in view the growing traffic problems, especially being
faced in big cities, which if efficiently used could help resolve this
major urban issue. The software was also appreciated at an international
Muhammad Abdullah Abid, a Class-IX student at PakTurk School, Lahore,
has developed the software "Rush Hour Controller" that can change
traffic signals according to the number of vehicles on the road after
collecting data through a normal webcam.
Recognising his talent, the school administration sent Abdullah to
Ankara, Turky, to participate in a global information and communications
technology competition where 176 projects from 48 countries, including
US, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Nigeria, Albania and Brazil
The school has announced Abdullah stood second in the category of
software development and besides the runner-up prize he was awarded $300
by the contest organisers.
The software uses a webcam (or any security cam) to take pictures of
roads around a traffic signal continuously. It calculates the number of
cars on all four roads at a crossing and gives more green light time to
the track that is more crowded. If a road is empty, the programme gives
less time to green light and more to the red one. It also caters to
pedestrians' needs and sends signal to drivers, if a road is blocked.
The software developer says the programme can also be effectively
used in parking areas. If a parking area is empty it sends SMS to the
registered drivers while it has an FM radio option too to send necessary
audio messages to drivers. The programme also sends SMS and radio
messages to police, if it detects something suspicious or unusual.
Commenting on the student's success, Education PakTurk director Kamil
Ture said technology was a symbol of development that could help
individuals and societies meet their needs more easily. He said
technologically advanced societies had higher levels of living and
culture. Like many innovations, he said, technological innovations
should also be first conveyed to educational institutions. "We should
encourage Pakistani students to become technology savvy so that they
could build the future according to their dreams," Mr Ture said.
It may be mentioned the Intel National Science Fair's 10 finalists
have represented Pakistan at the six-day Intel International Science
& Engineering Fair 2013 that began from May 12 in Phoenix, Arizona,
US. However, they could not grab any position in the event. Dawn
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