“If Pakistan were to meet them [SDG 2030 goals], it would be a country transformed, a place where no child suffers from hunger, every boy and girl is taught by well-qualified teachers, and all people have access to high-quality healthcare. At AKU, we are working to make that vision a reality, as an educator of leaders, a source of research that generates solutions to critical challenges and a provider of life-saving healthcare.”
– Firoz Rasul, President, AKU
KARACHI (November 20, 2016): Attired in green and white gowns and wearing bright smiles on their faces, as many as 1,382 students were awarded degrees at 29th convocation of the Aga Khan University held at university’s campus, here on Saturday.
The ceremony began with the academic procession led by the chief guest, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the deans and faculty members of various schools, followed by the graduates of all disciplines.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, saw 176 nurses graduate, 163 with undergraduate and 13 with graduate degrees. After this convocation, the School has almost 4,000 diploma and degree graduates in Pakistan.
The Medical College awarded one PhD in the health sciences, 34 Master, 95 undergraduate degrees and 19 advanced diplomas (16 in human development, 3 in health professions education).
The medical college also awarded 10 diplomas in dental hygiene, which is the first batch of its kind in Pakistan.
In education, one PhD and 37 Master of Education degrees were conferred and 10 Master of Arts in Muslim Cultures to students from the University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.
During the welcome speech, the AKU president congratulated the graduating students and told them that AKU has invested trust in them and will be celebrating their success with them. So far, as many as 13,500 doctors have graduated from AKU, he added.
Rasul also announced that they are planning to start offering degrees in arts and social sciences at the varsity.
Firoz Rasul, President, AKU in his welcome address spoke about how we, as human beings, seek a higher purpose, a challenge that brings meaning to our lives, and that leaves a mark on the lives of others. He mentioned that one great challenge is the Sustainable Development Goals that 193 countries, including Pakistan, have committed to by 2030.
“If Pakistan were to meet them, it would be a country transformed a place where no child suffers from hunger, every boy and girl is taught by well-qualified teachers, and all people have access to high-quality healthcare. At AKU, we are working to make that vision a reality, as an educator of leaders, a source of research that generates solutions to critical challenges and a provider of life-saving healthcare,” Firoz Rasul stated.
He further said that how students can use the knowledge and skills they have developed at AKU to make an extraordinary difference, to work on behalf of a great cause, to seek to do what has never been done is an experience as thrilling and inspiring as any you will ever know.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in his keynote speech, while praising the AKU’s plans to invest in a new Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) in Karachi, spoke of the social contribution that a liberal arts education can make. The CM also spoke of the “unyielding power” of their education to impact humanity and urged graduates to use their skills to address the many issues in Pakistani society. He also informed that the Sindh government is very seriously working for improving the health department of the province. “From the Rs80 billion allocated budget for health, more than Rs50 billion [have been allocated] for development expenditure,” he said, adding that the government will be hiring 6,000 new doctors in the coming weeks.
The valedictorian for AKU class of 2016, Shiraz Hussain, spoke about the five years he spent at the campus. Calling AKU the ‘Harvard of East’, Hussain reminisced how his mother cried when he received the acceptance letter from the university. “This place has transformed us [graduating doctors] from teenage irresponsible students to responsible doctors,” he said, adding that it is a bittersweet feeling that the same hall, which welcomed the young doctors five years ago, is now being used to bid them farewell.
Aziza Jaffer Ali received the 2016 Best Graduate Award from the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She was also presented with the Nursing Practice Award given to the student whose clinical and community practice reflects a client-centered approach, distinctive critical thinking, problem solving abilities and ethical decision making. The Medical College’s 2016 Best Graduate Award was presented to Dr Saneeha Shahid for the highest aggregate score in the certifying examinations through the five-year MBBS degree programme.
Discover, Explore and Learn more via:
- Business Recorder | 1,382 students awarded degrees at AKU convocation
- The Express Tribune | Stepping into reality: Aga Khan University bids farewell to 383 proud graduates
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali