AIOU sign MoU with NextGen-U, NHSD

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Islamabad, Dec. 03 (DNA). Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Canadian organization, NextGen-U, and a Pakistan-based non-governmental organization Network for Human and Social Development (NHSD) for offering jointly certificate courses focused on public health in Pakistan.

The MoU signing ceremony was held here at the main campus of the university the other day. Prof. Dr. Zia Ul-Qayyum, Vice Chancellor, AIOU presided over the session. On this occasion Prof. Dr. Zafar Ilyas, Dean Faculty of Sciences, AIOU welcomed the participants while Dr. Hajra Ahmad, Chairperson Department of Environmental Design, Health and Nutrition Sciences highlighted the aims and objectives of collaboration between the three organizations. Sohail Nazir Rana, Registrar AIOU, Dr. Fozia Moghees Executive Director, NHSD, and Prof. Dr. Erica Frank founder and Executive Director of NextGen-U signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. Senior faculty members and administrative officers of AIOU were present of this occasion. Prof. Dr. Erica Frank and Miriam Chickering joined the ceremony online. The function was arranged by Department of Environmental Design, Health and Nutrition Sciences AIOU.

Prof. Dr. Zia Ul-Qayyum while speaking on this occasion said that AIOU has been mandated with the responsibility of mass education in Pakistan. He said that his university is joining hands with national and international organizations for promotion of education and changing lifestyle of poor strata of the country by educating them. Prof Zia further said that promotion of Public health education is the dire need of the day. He hoped that the joint venture of the three collaborating organizations would play a key role in this regard. He urged upon the partner organizations to work for converting these certificate level courses into degree programs in the domain of Public Health. Prof. Zia Ul-Qayyum viewed that this collaboration would help Pakistani students to get international standard education without visiting aboard. He further informed that AIOU is working on collaborations with various international organizations based in America, United Kingdom, Gulf countries, etc.

The Vice Chancellor briefed the partners organization about the services of AIOU which the university provides across the country. He said that AIOU has a rich and extensive network of regional services in the areas of Pakistan where there are no educational facilities or there are very few educational facilities.

Dr. Hajra informed the participants that six certificate level courses on Community Oriented Primary Care, Epidemiology in Health, Ethics in Public Health and Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health, Environmental Health, and Climate Change and Health have been produced and approved by the statutory bodies of the AIOU and admissions in these courses would be offered in the upcoming semester i.e., Spring 2021.