Karachi, Pakistan (Hybrid) | October 11-13, 2021

Plenary Session on Next Generation Higher Education: Prospects and Challenges for the Smart Communities in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Era


M. Yasin Akhtar Raja, Prof.,
UNC Charlotte, USA
raja (AT) uncc.edu

S. M. Hassan Zaidi, Prof.,
NUST-SEECS, Islamabad, Pakistan
drzaidi (AT) seecs.edu.pk

Muhammad Tufail, Prof.,
mtufail (AT) neduet.edu.pk


The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all industries and sectors across the globe, and the higher education is no exception. The education systems around the world has been severely impacted and the uncertainty casts shadows on the future of education. This has prompted the education stakeholders to leverage unconventional and alternative education modes of delivery based on the available information and communication technologies (ICTs). This resulted in some constructive and positive changes as well as concerns on ensuring quality of remote education provided, existence of weak educational infrastructure, and inequality in accessing the internet. There is no doubt that education is undergoing unprecedented difficulties and challenges during the pandemic era, however, the current crisis can be turned into an opportunity by building a more robust and resilient education system. In order to collectively envision this transformation, this session has been arranged, where, its theme is consistent with the vision of HONET and the continuing major goals of HONET series of conferences and symposia. During pandemic, the role of digital technology is multilevel and profound, where institutions, public service- and healthcare-providers all have relied on the high-speed and high reliability connectivity enabled by global communications networks and information service providers.
While the high-fidelity and high-speed network services are the backbone, but without the contents-development, management and suitable delivery, the whole-system would not function to achieve the goals and objectives. Therefore, it comes to mutual support and cooperation among the institutions of higher learning & training and the schools at all levels.
For such services developments, sharing and adoption, a dedicated- and committed task-force is needed to connect, service and maintain the standards and credibility. Using this symposium platform, the participants having wide-ranging experiences can share their expertise and wisdom to propose recommendations for the transformation of academic knowledge into viable products and production processes.

Major Objectives:

While the University Plus project has acquired its momentum as a Movement and has a lot more to offer, the foremost aims are the mitigation of the gaps between the formal education and the workplace/job-market needs.
• Impact of COVID-19 on educational continuity and proposed strategies to reshape, evolve, and transform higher education after the pandemic
• How to fill the existing gaps between the quality, access and the existing university education paradigms.
• Universities efforts in creating, adapting and harmonizing curricula for remote learning
• Focus to train the technical and support staff at the institutions to maintain access and work-quality in the university education delivery and assessment.
• Preparing the University graduates for National and International job markets.
• Initiative and strategic reforms to make education systems more resilient to crises such as COVID-19 pandemic.
• Capitalizing on the role of technology such as ICT, Cyber-security, and AI to undertake new measures for benchmarking the quality of education and tackling the current digital divide. Eventually, sharing the experiences with the secondary to primary education systems.
• Develop frameworks for coordination and cooperation to initiate effective and operative partnerships between public and private institutions.

Envisioned Program :

Workshop/Session (2.5 - 3 hours)
A) Presentations
      Keynote (*)
      Invited Speaker (1)
      Invited Speaker (2)
      Contributed Talks/Presentations
      - Skillset Deployment and Training
      - Online Courses and Tutorials
      - Mentorship and Leadership Development
      - Automation for precision and safety
      - Quality assurance using AI/machine/deep learning
      - Use of cyber security for secrecy of exams
B) Panel Discussions
      - Experts from Academe
      - Industry
      - Government Functionaries

Papers Submissions:

Papers that present original work, validated by experimentation, simulation, or analysis, testbeds, field-trials, or real deployments are welcome. All papers should be submitted at the HONET main website using the link below.

Submit your paper.

Contact Info:

27-E, First Floor, Ali Plaza, Blue Area Islamabad
Phone: +92 (51) 220.1520
Email: Universityplus702 (AT) gmail.com
Email: ammar (AT) brain.net.pk

Moderator: Ms. Nelam Pari
Affiliation: Digital Pakistan
Postal Address: 27 E Ali Plaza Fazal-e Haq Road Blue area, Islamabad
Email: info (AT) universityplus.pk
Phone: +(92)347.5883090