Microsoft Pakistan and HEC recently commemorated the three-year achievements of their Education Alliance Agreement. The alliance was made in 2010 and since then 73 public sector universities have seen various Microsoft programs being implemented on their campuses.The Education Alliance Agreement continues to empower teachers, expand curricula, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of institutional governance and gives students aricher educational experience.
The Education Alliance Agreement guides HEC’s vision of broadening access to education, enabling student-centric learning, enhancing education with powerful software tools and improving the efficiency of education systems. Under the agreement, Microsoft Pakistanprovides some of its more core services to help HEC achieve its target of growth and prosperity. The alliance includes programs such as:
Microsoft Faculty Connection:
Faculty Connectionis a community portal to support technical faculty who are using Microsofttechnology in their curriculum. Through the FacultyConnection site, Microsoft provides the teachers with academic resources andconnects them to their peers from all across the country. Faculty Connection codes have been distributed in more than 60 public universities acrossPakistan, a total of 514 codes have been distributed among the faculty of 60 universities.
Microsoft Student Partners:
Microsoft Student Partner is an annual award which recognizes competent students from a widerange of technical majors amongst which the most common are Computer Science, Computer Software Engineering IS/MIS, and/ or other related disciplines. This award is to bring such studentsinto the lime light that have demonstrated strong technical knowledge of Microsoft developertechnologies, and are willing to share that knowledge with fellow students through campusgroups, forums, clubs, online communities and various technical activities.
MSDN Academic Alliance:
MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) AcademicAlliance offers the simplest way to provide the latestMicrosoft software to labs, classrooms, and PCsused by students studying science and technology.It provides access to all the latest Microsoftdeveloper tools, servers, and platforms in a single,comprehensive package which simplifies licensing,deployment and staying current with softwareupdates. The ElectronicLicense Management Service Portal is a part of the MSDN Subscriptionwhich is provided to all 73 public sector universities in Pakistan and provides licensed software to thegeneral student population.
Microsoft Students to Business:
Microsoft Student to Business program connects Microsoft partners with universities to providestudents with real-world experience and create the skills and competencies needed to fuelinnovation, broaden the recruitment process, and boost the employability of future generations. Several sessions have been conducted under the premise of Student to Business. The main focusof these training sessions is to introduce students to the skills needed to grow in their respectiveindustries.In total, there have been 15 sessions conducted on Student to Business, having an audience reachof more than 650 students in these sessions.
Imagine Cup and DreamSpark:
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. Alleligible students are invited to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of ourcompetitions and challenges.Over the past ten years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries haveparticipated in the Imagine Cup. Pakistan left its mark on the competition as well, boasting morethan 30,000 student registrations in Imagine Cup over the past three years, with more than 400projects submitted during this time frame.
DreamSpark is a Microsoft Program that supports technical education by providing access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes so that students can chase their dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology – or just get a head start on their career.DreamSpark gives educators the resources to ensure their classrooms always have the latest technologies to challenges, motivate, and keep students engaged in new ways.
Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, chairman, Higher Education Commission said, “Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become the cornerstone of development in any sector of society, whether in applied or natural sciences, social and health sciences, arts and humanities, agriculture and engineering. One of the key pillars of knowledge economy is ICTs.The HEC – Microsoft Education Alliance Agreement is a longterm partnership providing licensed, updated and state-of-the-artsoftware, tools and services to all higher education institutions.HEC’s vision to serve as an engine of socio-economic development isthus best served, amongst others, through such partnerships, and willhelp our youth face future challenges and find appropriate solutionsthrough the use of ICTs.”
Amir Rao, country manager, Microsoft Pakistan reiterated the company’s commitment to promoting education in the country by saying:“Microsoft works together with HEC to help local universities gainbetter access to technology, develop teaching skills, provide students with tools to enhance their learningand equip the administration with tools to implement and manage change.The education alliance framework was developed through careful planning and choosing the best program agreements out of themany offered by Microsoft.This partnership is what allows public institutions like HEC to truly realize the transformational value of theirinvestment, and industry-leading partnership is what Microsoft brings to the table. No one is as committedto serving the needs of the education space as we are. Together with HEC, we have a vision to create aprosperous Pakistan by honing the skills of today’s enthusiastic youth and imparting to them necessary skillswhich will help them face the future challenges with a broader mind set.”
The Education Alliance is another example of Microsoft Pakistan playing a significant part in leading the IT innovations across different areas of government, health and education sectors.The company’s commitment towards mobilizing resourcesaround the world to create opportunities in the communities where they do business and to strengthen their ties with partners acrossthe globe has always been its priority. By making genuine Microsoft software and training programs more accessible, the HEC-Microsoft partnership is helping several students reap its benefits and will continue to do so in the future.