NED: A University on the March
A Pakistan Link Report
Above: Dr. Sahibzada Rafeeqi, Dean of the NED University, addresses the former NED students. Right: Members of NEDAASC with Dr. Rafeeqi
On Saturday, March 29, 2008, the NED Alumni Association of Southern California hosted the NED University Dean of Civil Engineering, Dr. Sahibzada Rafeeqi at the Orange residence of Ahmed and Perveen Ali.
The get-together testified to a universal truth – engineers are true achievers yet they are humble, down-to-earth individuals. Unlike social scientists, their strivings are governed by well-meaning endeavors and resultant successes. Most of the attendees, who have done exceedingly well in the United States, talked modestly about their achievements and appeared visibly fired by the desire to repay NED and Pakistan for all their post-NED successes.
The NEDAASC President, Ahmed Ali, spoke of the “world class education at NED” which has greatly contributed to the alumni’s multifarious successes. He affirmed that it is the alumni’s responsibility that “NED maintains its high standards” and enumerated several NEDAASC initiatives to fulfill this resolve.
Dr. Farhat Siddiqi et al stated that “everyone who is here feels the bond” with the NED University and each one of the attendees was keen to pay back to the alma mater for all that he has learnt and later achieved.
Dr. Sahibzada Rafeeqi, Dean of the University, complimented the former NED students for making the university known “throughout the globe” by dint of their zest and hard work. He recalled that NED was renamed as a university in 1977. “Renaming does not mean anything unless the institution has a strong research base.” It was in the year 1988 that spadework for launching a Research and Development program was undertaken. “A dream in my lifetime is being achieved. I have seen my students shine and they have excelled in their pursuits to bring a good name to NED,” the Dean recalled. “During the Musharraf regime the Higher Education Commission did many laudable things,” Dr Rafeeqi exuberantly stated.
The present faculty has a strength of 363, a figure that is to double by 2010. There are 47 PhDs. As for the students on the university’s rolls the number aggregates 5613. The university has started a PhD program and four researchers have already received their PhDs. Five more are in the pipeline. He proudly claimed that the NED University is “moving slowly towards the cultural change we needed. Aap aaen aur aakar dekhaen kah aap NED kae liyae kiya karsaktae haen, aur phir kuch karaen,” he told the former NED students.
Dr Rafeeqi was happy to see the former students realize that they owe the alma mater a great deal. “It is my dream to see institutes like Stanford, MIT, and Cornell emerge in Pakistan,” the Dean observed. All indications at the get-together were that The NED University is on the march that is sure to gain an added momentum with the support of its talented and accomplished alumni.