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Human Interest Stories

Japan-Pakistan academic ties strengthened under bilateral technical cooperation

PhotoMr. Nouman received his final certificate from Katsuyoshi Sudo, Head of JICA Tohoku Center

Project on "In Country Training and Provision of Equipment for Baluchistan University of Information Technology Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS)", started in Quetta province of Pakistan with Technical Cooperation of Japan International Cooperation (JICA) in 2014. Though the university is offering various engineering, IT and management sciences related programmes, the project focused exclusively on the promotion of engineering education in BUITEMS. The rationale behind the focus was that BUITEMS is uniquely located in Quetta near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and many students from Afghanistan were studying engineering (Civil, Mining & Petroleum & Gas) at undergrad level in BUITEMS. Thus, it provided a unique opportunity to assist both Government of Pakistan and Afghanistan through assistance to BUITEMS for the development of human resource needed for the development of the mineral-rich region across Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The project had several interventions aiming at the facility development as well as career development of students. This article is intended to focus on the faculty development component of the project that enabled BUITEMS faculty members to undertake Master's Degree Program at Akita University, which is a leading university in Japan and known for its International Resource Science contributions in Japan. BUITEMS was also provided with equipment so that its faculty could impart quality education to students by utilizing their knowledge and experiences gained through education in Akita and by utilizing the equipment necessary for implementing the contemporary engineering education in focused disciplines.

Mr. Nouman Zobby, a lecturer at BUITEMS, has recently completed his Master's degree programme from Akita University under the project and returned to Pakistan with specialized knowledge and experiences in the field of Petroleum & Gas engineering and a renewed commitment to contribute to the development of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr Nouman's hard work and dedication to his studies has also encouraged Akita university to expand its international collaborations with Pakistan for engaging with those prospective practitioners who are capable of "flourishing systematically and globally for explication, investigation and development of the resource generation mechanism', as was learned from Akita University's Professors.

Mr Nouman's research was on Ranikot Formation located in the lower Indus Basin in Pakistan. His thesis titled as "Integrated petro physical characteristics of shales for evaluation of the micro-and meso-pores structure of the Ranikot formation." He also intends to continue and expand his research scope while teaching and supervising student's dissertation work in BUITEMS.

"Without JICA's support, I will never see outside of my hometown", it was stated by the engagingly positive and energetic Mr Nouman. He also added in his post study follow-up conversation with JICA "Although I did not know anything about Akita before, I found the University a great learning resource and city very interesting throughout my study. I sometimes went to nearby coffee shops and had great time with locals. When I first arrived in Japan, I had difficulty to communicate with people because of the language barrier. But people in Akita were so kind and helped me a lot. And gradually, I picked up Japanese". Mr Nouman is also eager to share his experiences from Japan with his students at BUITEMS by using not only the technical knowledge he acquired but also the teaching style that he learnt particularly the importance of field research at Akita University.

We shall be waiting eagerly to see the impact that Mr. Nouman will make on the quality education improvement in BUITEMS and for a better academic tomorrow to the prospective students of BUITEMS in the years to come in his own time and with his own efforts.

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