An exclusive interview of Engr. Z A Nizami, Chancellor of Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET).
Mr Z A Nizami, the present Chancellor of SSUET, migrated toKarachiin 1951 after completing his civil engineering fromAligarh Muslim University,India. He has also acquired post graduate courses in engineering fromLondon,HollandandGermany. Later on, he joined the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) and retired after serving more than eight years as the Director General of the institution.
What is your vision of promoting quality education in Pakistan?
In my opinion, education is the first step towards the development of a country. We, atSirSyedUniversitybelieve in quality than quantity. There were only two engineering colleges in the country at the time ofIndependencein 1947. Due to the rigorous efforts of the Government, a reasonable improvement was made over the years but it still lacked a break-through in quality education. It was as an outcome of all these factors that a final move was made which resulted in the establishment of Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology,Karachion 8th October, 1993. Furthermore, SSUET has been awarded ‘A’ category university by the Higher Education Commission, standard of education and most modern laboratories. Moreover, political activities are strictly banned in our university which is why the university enjoys worldwide recognition and its degrees are accepted globally.
Can you tell us something about SSUET?
Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) has a high career planning division for the following responsibilities;
a) Counseling and Guidance of students as a continuous process.
b) Career planning of students.
c) Providing placement services.
d) Building of moral character.
All these responsibilities are being fulfilled by the committee. The Vice Chancellor and faculty are totally involved in the progress, achievements and objectives of the Career Planning and Placement tasks.
SSUET has contributed significantly in producing qualified and skilled labor in engineering and technological fields. Up till now, 6673 students have graduated from our university out of which 775 were females. 4000 students are employed, 652 have gone for higher studies and 743 are running their own businesses. Recently, one SSUET graduate has become a pilot in the Pakistan International Airline (PIA).
What is your opinion about the scope of engineering studies in Pakistan?
The field of engineering is escalating inPakistanand with the inception of new industries engineers are getting employment quite easily. SSUET graduates are highly qualified engineers possessing good knowledge of the technology being practiced in the industry. Moreover, SSUET has a very strict criterion for the admission. It is based on academic background, written test and interview. This makes the admission procedure purely on merit basis and is held in a transparent manner.
Can you briefly describe the relations of Sir Syed University with Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association of Pakistan?
SirSyedUniversityhas been sponsored by Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association of Pakistan (AMUOBA), which is based on the mission propagated by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and hisAligarhspirit. Furthermore, the land which SSUET is presently using as its campus is also donated by AMUOBA.
Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology cherishes the heritage of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and of the Aligarh Movement. At a critical juncture of history, he came up with more education as the centerpiece of a framework of hope and action for the Muslims of the area. A monument to Sir Syed’s approach making mission was the well-known Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental Collage atAligarhthat later become the famousMuslimUniversity. The driving force behind these institutes was the well-known Aligarh Movement brought forth by Sir Syed’s relentless work along with the efforts of his associates and immediate followers.
Why is the university named after Sir Syed Ahmed Khan?
Well, I personally admire the endeavors of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in the field of education. He was the pioneer of the modern education system and advocated the necessity and advantages of English language which enabled the students to have access to modern scientific, technological literature and research. Moreover, he refused to change the name ofAligarhMuslimUniversity. He said that any other institution established on same principles can be named after his name. Hence, the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology was named after this renowned educationist. Moreover, I was inspired to establish a university reminiscent of myAligarheducation.
Presently, SSUET is offering Bachelors program in 5 fields and Masters program in 2 fields, namely Computer and Electronic engineering. Are you planning to expand the Masters program to other departments as well?
We are basically focusing on the Bachelors and Masters Program in five engineering departments which are computer, electronic, civil, bio-medical and computer science. We have planned to expand these areas and have advertised all over the world for a highly qualified faculty. In addition, SSUET is the first university to introduce bio-medical engineering department inPakistan. This area particularly deals with hospital equipments. The success of this department is clear in the 100% employment ratio of our alumni. 15 of our alumni of bio-medical engineering are employed inSaudi Arabia.
Did you receive any kind of assistance to build this huge complex?
We received 12 blocks of land from AMUOBA out of which 4 were constructed by philanthropy/ donation? As I mentioned earlier, SSUET is recognized by more than 80 universities of US and therefore computer equipment of more than Rs. 80 million was donated. Recently, Mr. Bashir A Malik sent Rs. 1 crore for the construction of an auditorium which we named after him. We are also in collaboration with major IT firms in US who assisted us in maintaining laboratories for the students.
What are the achievements of SSUET?
Within a short span, the University has achieved a commendable position. It is now the member of “International Association of Universities” and “Association of Commonwealth Universities”. Another worth mentioning fact is that Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology is being represented on the “Governing Board” of “International Association of Universities” through its Vice Chancellor who is one of the members of this board. The board has forty members representing different parts of the world and advises UNESCO on higher education.
SirSyedUniversityhas access to almost 80 universities of US which make it possible for our students to get admissions there very easily. We also consult with these universities for designing the course outline of our BE and MS programs every year. This practice of our university has increased its eminence all over the world.