ISLAMABAD- The USAID-funded Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) held a three-day capacity-building training workshop for department heads from 15 partner universities across the country.
The interactive workshop saw an ideal mix of 48 male and female department heads and chairpersons. The objective of the training was to instill the skills that department heads need to be able to distinctly achieve long-term sustainable improvement in faculty and student success, following a strong visionary approach .
The workshop was the first in a series of training sessions integrated into HESSA’s three focus areas to improve the employability of graduates, namely leadership, governance and management; Curriculum, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and support services throughout the student life cycle.
The training will enable the presidents of higher education institutions (HEIs) to collectively design a strategic plan for transformation that provides a vision for their respective departments, defines the roles of external stakeholders, including advisory boards, and clarifies the need for continuous self-assessment. to assess improvements. Participants will eventually be fully capable of transmitting their learning outcomes to other department heads to improve student success through the development of informed, strategic and integrated plans.
The training sessions were led by guest instructors from the United States, Dr. Michael Barber, HESSA Principal Investigator based at the University of Utah, Dr. Delores Robinson from the University of Alabama and Dr. Sajjad Ahmed of the University of Nevada.
Divided into three phases – in-person meetings, virtual Department Head Forums and three in-person regional workshops, the training will come to fruition in January 2023. During this eight-month period, participants will continue to engage in the development of strategic evaluation plans.
The closing session of the workshop included a question-and-answer session focusing on the role of department heads in driving the organizational development of HEIs. The panel included Dr. Saima Hamid, Vice-Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Dr. Sarwar Mansoor, Vice-Chancellor, UET Lahore, General Khalid Asghar, Rector, National University of Technology, Islamabad, and Dr. Muhammad Fateh Mari, Vice Chancellor, Sindh University of Agriculture, Tando Jam.
After the conclusion of the first phase of the training, the participating presidents will work in synergy through a forum where they will share their respective experiences, working simultaneously on the development of plans.
HESSA will provide relevant materials to facilitate learning activities for the successful implementation of these plans. They will also serve as a base network for future training expansion.
The training concluded with the presentation of certificates by the vice-chancellors of four HEIs to the participants.