Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is Pakistan’s largest open university. At a “Regional Directors Conference” held in Abbottabad, Dr Shahid Siddiqui, Vice-Chancellor of AIOU, revealed that the university will offer Rs. 15 million from its annual budget to provide scholarships to deserving students. The scholarships aim to accommodate students from less developed areas of the country according to Dr. Shahid.
Details about Scholarship
AIOU is divided between 44 different regions and each region is responsible for the educational activities of the students from its territorial region. Students from all regions are eligible to take advantage of the scholarship fund, but students from remote regions and weak financial backgrounds will be preferred. Students from flood or earthquake affected regions will be given scholarships on a priority basis. AIOU’s scholarship program is definitely an appreciable step.
Strengthening of Local Campuses
During the Regional Directors Conference, the Vice Chancellor also revealed a plan to strengthen local campuses to improve the quality of education offered by the university. The university revealed that 1.3 million students are currently enrolled under different remote higher education programs. Dr. Shahid also announced that regional offices will be provided with additional support in terms of financial, technical and human resource departments so that students take advantage of a better experience when enrolling themselves and get extensive support during their courses through these offices.
A training course on “Management, Accounts and Information Technology” was also conducted at the conference for capacity building. Other officials present at the conference discussed the prevailing academic situation in their regions and departments. Recommendations for improving the educational system were also provided by different officials. The event was also attended by the regional directors from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.