Visit to UK by SMIU students and faculty

chief-british-council


Message from Mr. Peter Upton, Country Chief British Council Pakistan

The Future Leaders programme is a great initiative that has provided students at Sindh Madressatul Islam University with the prospect to explore academic opportunities in the U.K. Not only have they been able to visit some leading institutions, but have had the opportunity to learn more about the British Culture.
Our partnership with SMI University and the Vice Chancellor Muhammad Ali Shaikh has been instrumental in achieving landmark results.

SMI University is a historical institute that has helped Pakistan create future leaders. The Future Leaders Programme in 2015 led to 9 students getting the opportunity to travel to the U.K for the very first time in their life, their stories are shared in the "9 Students, 9 Stories" article in SMIU Times.
We look forward to working with this great institution and forming long lasting relationships.


ms-nishat-riaz


Message from Ms. Nishat Riaz, Director of Education British Council Pakistan

British Council Pakistan has been working to increase knowledge exchange between Higher Education Institutes in the United Kingdom and Pakistan over the past six decades. It has made significant progress in improving higher education capacity in Pakistan.
It gives me immense satisfaction to witness how the efforts of British Council Pakistan impact the life of bright individuals such as the students from Sindh Madressatul Islam University. We recognise the energetic and brilliant students of this prestigious institution and hope to continue to strengthen our partnership and achieve our common objectives.

Educational travelogue of UK

vc-ma-shaikh


By Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh
Vice Chancellor,
Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Karachi

The educational systems in South Asia, including Pakistan, have their roots in United Kingdom. The first three universities in the subcontinent, the Universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, established in 1857, were modeled on the University of London of mid nineteenth century. Similarly, the first university in present day Pakistan, University of the Punjab, established in 1882, was also a replica of British universities of yore.


The first modern Muslim educational institution in the subcontinent was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan's Mohammadan Anglo Oriental (MAO) College at Aligarh, which was established as a school in 1875, upgraded to college in 1877 and elevated as Muslim University Aligarh in 1920. For that institution also the inspiration came from the residential educational institutions of UK.

dr-ma-shaikh-ms-barbara-wickham-signing

Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh and Ms Barbara Wickham signing Lettor of Intent at SMIU.


In fact Sir Syed spent about seventeen months in UK to study the working of these institutions, while his son studied at University of Cambridge on a scholarship. When he returned back to India, he duplicated the UK model of residential colleges with certain modifications. Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU), which was established as a school in 1885, elevated to college by Quaid-e-Azam in 1943 and university in 2012, was modeled on MAO.
The prime most strength of UK's institutions has been the degree of maturity that they have attained due to their long history. Its two universities, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, are amongst the oldest universities in the world. TheOxford University was formally chartered in year 1248, though it is believed to have started working in some way around year 1096. That way it would be completing its first millennium this century. The University of Cambridge started working in year 1209 and was granted charter of university in year 1231.



mr-robin-davies

Mr. Robin Davies, Director British Council, at SMIU, during selection process of students for UK visit.


In addition to their rich past, the UK universities have been able to successfully evolve with passage of time. Today, UK has two out of the five best universities in the world as per Times Higher Education World University Ranking released recently. On the other hand, the greatest strength of SMIU from the very beginning has been its producing leaders in every walk of life. It proudly educated Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who studied for the longest period of his academic life here from 1887 to 1892. Throughout course of its history spread over 130 years, SMIU has produced leaders with independent thinking who have shined and lightened the world around them in their respective fields.
It was in this background that we decided to expose the present generation of our talented students with leadership qualities to international environment of teaching and learning. The idea was discussed with the British Council with obvious inclination to undertake such first visit to UK, which agreed to partner the program. The result was British Council and SMIU's joint Future Leaders Program.


vc-quest


The first question to be addressed was the criteria for selection of students. After thorough discussions, a threepronged evaluation process was designed. The first condition of eligibility was having minimum 3.0 GPA on the scale of 4.0 in their examination because only an academically competent person could be a good leader.
The next step was an essay competition where eligible students were to write an essay in English of about 1000 words within two hours on one of the five topics relating to social issues in Pakistan. About two hundred eligible students opted for the test. Their scripts were immediately copied and sent to three different judges: the British Council; faculty of SMIU and Mr. Robin Davies, Director British Council, at SMIU, during selection process of students for UK visit. 19 Dr Bernadette L. Dean, formerly Principal of Kinnaird College Lahore.
On the basis of their marks obtained in essay competition, eighteen students were shortlisted for the next round of competition: their public speaking skills. It was a sort of declamation contest where the students were given five minutes each to speak on one of the five topics in the auditorium of the institution in front of 300 plus audience. Here a panel of three judges headed by director British Council Mr. Robin Davies served as jury.

smiu-visit1


Finally on the basis of their overall performance in all the three stages, nine students were declared as principal candidates, while rests were declare as alternate candidates in case some of the principal candidates were unable to go. The selected group of students comprised of five female students: Mahgul Nadir, Gul Afroz, Misbah Haroon, Zahira Jahan and Mahnoor Pervaiz; and four male students: Muhammad Arsalan, Jawad Hassan Ahsab Habib and Shahroze Hassan. The faculty members to accompany them were also selected with genderbalance: Dr. Shaista Naz, Nosheen Hussain, Dr. Aurangzeb and registrar Gulzar Mughal.
This thirteen-member group, accompanied by some staff members of British Council, landed at Heathrow airport of London on Friday, 5th June 2015. For most of the students it was not only their first trip abroad, but first air travel as well. As I was already staying in London regarding an international event known as Going Global, the group joined me in the hotel.
Our first destination in London was Lincoln's Inn, where Quaid-e-Azam had studied law after his education at SMI. Jinnahbhoy, as he was known then, was not a matriculate when he had arrived in London. Fortunately for him, in those days the admission in Lincoln's inn was also granted on the basis of a sort of entrance examination commonly known as 'Little Go.' He opted for this test and because of his intellect as well as sound educational foundation laid at SMI he was able to qualify it. Being Jinnah's another alma mater, SMIU students and faculty was naturally enthused in visiting it.
Next day we embarked upon our journey from London to Dundee, a city in Scotland by coach. Located in the north of UK, Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on the earth with its green mountains, beautiful valleys and gleaming lakes. Entire journey was like travelling in a scenery book. It was almost evening when we reached Dundee. Nevertheless, we decided to take a round of the picturesque city, which was known as city of 'jute, jam and journalism."

smiu-visit2


Next day we visited University of Dundee, described by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney as a university "having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the 20 ground," where vice president Wendy Alexander greeted us. This university was established in 1881, four years before SMIU. While I along with my senior colleagues talked about future collaborations between the two universities, our students were escorted by their counterparts and the faculty of the host university to various sections of the university including the students' union office, library and computer centers.



There, we also participated in a roundtable discussion at the Center for Enhancement of Academic skills, Learning, Teaching and Employability (CASTLE) on innovations in learning methodology. The delegation then held a discussion with Ms. Trudy Cunningham, environment and sustainability officer of the host university on strategies towards building environmentally sustainable campuses. The last session of the day was held with elected members of Dundee Council notably Ms. Lesly Brennan and other members of expatriate Pakistani community on systems of local governance.
Our next destination was Bradford in England, where we were invited by the University of Bradford. Till recently, PTI chief Imram Khan served as the chancellor of this university. Bradford has a sizeable expatriate Pakistani community and is know in slang as 'Bradistan.' We were greeted by Professor Donna Lee, dean faculty of social sciences and her team where we explored avenues of collaborations between the two universities.
Here again the students embarked on their tour of the university with Ms. Shelley Hurst. During the tour the students learnt it was the only university in the UK where student's accommodation operated on solar energy and was known as "The Green." Another faculty member, Ms. Sue Baker introduced our students to the basic values of the host university. Their last session was with Prof. Farhad Analoui on the theme of 'management and team work' where students discussed the difference between a 'team' and a 'group'.

smiu-visit3


From Bradford we went to another historic city of England, Nottingham. Here we were to visit two universities in two days. The first university was the Nottingham Trent University (NTU) where we were welcomed by the university's Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Nigel Healey and his team. The pro vice chancellor told us that the university was established in 1841 and traced its history and services in the field of education. This was followed by presentations by the heads of various faculties (schools) regarding their respective academic units. They included Prof Christopher Crabot, Dr. Andy Clapham, Dr. Heather Powell, Dr Julia Davies and Prof. Murray Pratt. Here also the students went for a tour of the campus.
The schedule for next day included a visit to the University of Nottingham (UON), where Ms Helen Foster and Ms Jessica Davison from the International Office welcomed us. In the presentations that followed we were informed that the university was established in 1881 and was among top twenty universities in UK. It had its campuses in China and Malaysia also as well as provides many scholarships to international students. The university had the distinction of having Albert Einstein as a guest speaker in past. Here again the students got an opportunity to attend workshops and lectures as well as interact with their counterparts.
The last campus to be visited by our delegation was that of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England's eastern town of Norwich. We were welcomed by the university's Vice-Chancellor, Prof. David J Richardson and his team, which included Karen Blackney, Prof. Richard Harvey and Dr. Daniel J. Rycroft amongst others. The vice chancellor introduced us to the university, highlighting its role in promotion of quality education. While students went for their exploratory pursuits, both the SMIU and UEA teams headed by their respective vice chancellors discussed the avenues of collaboration between the universities.
It is pertinent to mention here that during our parleys with the senior management of our host universities, we discussed many proposals relating to academic collaboration. The proposals included semester-long exchange of undergraduate students, spilt PhD programs for faculty and students, dual degree programs at undergraduate and graduate level where students may study for half of their study time at either of the partner universities as to qualify for award of degree by both the universities, joint research programs by the faculties and short training programs in various disciplines.
From Norwich, I travelled back immediately to Karachi as I had to sign agreements with the visiting representatives of seven Chinese universities. My students and faculty members stayed for two more days in Norwich and London as to enjoy their weekend and absorb what they had learnt in various universities during their visit to UK.


students-stories

Visit to a dreamland

mahgul-nadir


Mahgul Nadir
Computer Science Department

It was early morning of 5th June 2015, and I was on the way to the airport with my family. I was excited and had many things bubbling up in my mind. I was not really nervous but more curious to explore United Kingdom. This trip was like my dream coming true. I am a person who loves to try and risk new things in life. Therefore, finally getting out of my usual surroundings of four walls, I had a chance to see the world from a different perspective, which I always wanted to do. This trip was like a life-changer for me, as now I see myself a different person.
After an eight-hour flight we finally reached at Heathrow airport, London. Being there in an atmosphere and witnessing all of my surroundings was beyond my expectations. The chilly weather at the airport was the first thing I loved about the country. We headed out towards our hotel where we were given time to rest. Passing by those buildings, houses and the streets was another attraction. After half an hour break we left the hotel to visit the Lincoln's Inn, where the Father of our nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah studied law. Being there and seeing all those old buildings was a remarkable experience. The weather was breezy and we were not expecting it to be that cold, but over everything was amazing, listening Quaid-e-Azam's story in the Lincoln's Inn park by our Vice Chancellor. It took me back to his time like I was actually a part of it all. No doubt Quaid's struggle towards his dreams and passion is inspirational. After that we visited Trafalgar Square which was really lively, people were enjoying and having fun. In addition, there were a number of commemorative statues and sculptures at the square. To round off the day we had dinner in Al-Arez restaurant, at Edgeware road.

west-anglia

At University of West Anglia.


Our next stop was Dundee, Scotland. This was the very next day after arriving in the UK. It was a long drive which took 8 hours to reach there, but was worthy of it on our way to Scotland. Roadside scenarios were amazing, and I couldn't get my eyes off of the beautiful scenery that Scotland had - it was all green and there was so much freshness in the air. And at that time I wished I could have many eyes to see it all at once. Dundee itself is a very beautiful city. One fun fact about Dundee which I observed is that you'll see more sheep there than humans. The Apex hotel was right in front of Dundee's Tay River. The Apex is where we stayed during our time in Dundee.
University of Dundee was the spot from where our actual visit started. I was amazed with everything there! The very first thing I noticed was that this university did not have any sort of boundary and there were many buildings all together as the part of the university which was really amazing. It was like a minicity. University of Dundee is also on my wish list. If luckily got a chance to study in the UK, university of Dundee would be my first priority. During the visit of this Mahgul Nadir Computer Science Department At University of West Anglia. Visit to a dreamland My Story 24 university I came to know that knowledge isn't about how much GPA you get, it's more about how you implement that knowledge in your practical life. There are many best parts about that university, but my favorite is their Computer Science building. This is where we met Dr. Karen Petrie and Mr. Andy Cobley, who briefed us about which teaching techniques they use. I was astonished to see that they had only one lecture room in the entire building because most of the concentration was focused on practical approaches therefore they had quite a number of labs. Another thing which got my attention is the way they use different approaches to keep their environment eco-friendly, which is not only bound to university alone, but they also apply and contribute to their state.
After that visit I was dreaming and aiming really high, and now looking forward to the next visit which was the University of Bradford. The Bradford city is also referred as Bradistan because one will find too many Pakistanis there, so being in Bradford reminded me of my own home town. It was the first thing which was so much appealing to me about this city. University of Bradford had its own uniqueness. They also had many approaches towards eco-friendly environment. They had Bright Building, which is the cutting edge of sustainable construction. They have grown plants like the hemp crop which absorbs carbon dioxide gas as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing the oxygen. We also had an interactive session in Re: Center building which was conducted by Mr. Farhad.

smiu-publication

Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, VC SMIU presenting SMIU's publication to the VC of the University of West Anglia.


Now we were on our way to Nottingham, where we were scheduled to visit two universities- Nottingham Trent and University of Nottingham. In Nottingham Trent university we had the lively time, may be that's because of Mr. Mirza Mujic, the international advisor at Nottingham Trent University. They have three campuses; City Site, Clifton Campus and Brakenhurst. We visited the City Site Campus. What got my attention in this University was that they had proper tramps within the campus and as it was in the center of the city so shops and markets were also located in university. And they had an impressive media building with a TV studio and radio stations, which also strikes on the air waves. They have Fly FM, which is the official student radio station of Nottingham Trent University, broadcasting to all three campuses. The fact which had me amazed about this university is that they totally focus on their students grooming and skills. They provide them every possible means to be successful in their practical life. For example, they have employability cells, two courts for the law students to actually go and practice their skills, a forensic lab where students pursuing criminology go and test their abilities.

smiu-meeting


Our next visit was to the second last university - the University of Nottingham, which was quite massive. We visited this university in the bus because it was too large. This university has many campuses even in Malaysia and China that's why they call this Global University. Its main campus is University Park Campus, which is the oldest one and very beautiful, having old traditional building with a clock tower. Their global campuses i.e. China and Malaysia also have made the replica of University Park Campus. This campus also has a huge lake. If you want to take a walk around that lake it would take you two hours. They have two modes of study: Teaching and Research. Students study in one of the following according to their area of interest and the field they have chosen. But they mostly focus on the research area. University Park Campus also has a Queen's Medical Center, which is the part of Nottingham University Hospitals and it is home to the University of Nottingham's Medical School, where they keep their medical students to study and practice.
Nottingham is a medium size city and we spent our two days in Nottingham, where we had real fun. We went to Nottingham castle, the main tourist attraction in Nottingham, and the place really beautiful due to its architecture and rich cultural history. Being there, you'll feel the sense of peace and calmness around you. The walk on the grassy land with its historic trees and benches made me feel like I was part of this all. The museum has an extensive collection of historical items including lots of interesting military things. They also have a shop to buy souvenirs of Nottingham Castle. My favorite thing about the castle is the view of the city from the hill. After the exciting visit of Castel, we went for the movie, which was the great treat by our Vice Chancellor. We had a real time experience of watching a movie at IMAX.

smiuvisit-students


Now it was the time to say bye to Nottingham and we were ready to visit the last university in Norwich, approximately 123 miles from Nottingham. It was University of East Anglia. The things which got most of my attention about UEA was that they had the longest teaching wall which was the street kind of thing where all the academic blocks lay together forming a chain. This university also had the art gallery and museum called Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The thing which freaked me out about that museum was that it was the headquarters in a movie Avenger: age of Ultron. Another interesting thing was that they have student service office which is always available to facilitate students and help them wherever they need, just because of that fact UEA have been among the top five universities in students' satisfaction.
But that wasn't the last thing we did in UK. Our last stop was London where we visited Southbank center, a place so lively where one can find all the fun. It was right in front of the River Thames and London eye.
Finally, the trip came to an end and it was the time to leave this beautiful country and go back to our home town with the knowledge, experience and exposure we gained and now it's time to share it with our natives.


A dream comes true

muhammad-arsalan-riaz

By Muhammad Arsalan Riaz
Department of Computer Science

Our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: If anyone travels in search of knowledge, God will bless him to travel on a road leading to the Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and (even) the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave (no monetary inheritance), they leave only knowledge, and he who takes, it takes an abundant portion. - Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1631.
This Hadith has always remained great source of inspiration for me. My journey for education started at SMI University when I got admission over here.
I had plans to go and explore the world and to complete my master's degree from a reputed university of the world. I had plans to travel around the world and see the beauty of nature, meet new people, learn from their culture and what's not known to me. But this all seemed like a dream, as such a dream can't be materialized without financial support, and for a person like me, who belongs to a middle class family, it was difficult to go abroad and fulfill the dream. But after my selection for the Future Leadership Program in UK, I felt like dreams are coming true.
Now another kind of feeling of excitement and joy started that how the things are going to happen. It was 5th of June, 2015, the day was full of excitement and enthusiasm to reach new heights of learning and exploring a part of world, which was completely different from ours and we only used to quote the examples of that land.
When we reached at Heathrow Airport, London, the cold but fresh breeze welcomed us. We were taken to a hotel, from where we left for Lincoln's Inn, because we were in UK for very few days and didn't want to waste even an hour.
Although, being a Computer Science student, Lincoln's Inn was not an interesting place for me, but its affiliation with founder of Pakistan Quaid –e- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah made it most important.
Standing in front of the main building of the Lincoln's Inn, I felt honour that our great leader, Father of our Nation studied here and walked on this ground. Quaid –e- Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had received his education in Law from Lincoln's Inn. His portrait was displayed in the Lincoln's Inn, which was a proof that he was still remembered and honored as a part of the institution and was a great source of inspiration for students of Lincoln's Inn.

heathrow-airport

DrAt Heathrow Airport, London.


The next day we had to leave for Scotland in early hours to visit the University of Dundee, which was about eight hours drive from London.
By road journey from London to Dundee was worth enjoying, as on the way to Dundee the beauty of nature inspired us all and really made us feel what Almighty Allah has created this beauty and how they have preserved for human beings.
We were warmly welcomed by the staff of International Office, especially Mr. Farhad Ali Asif, at the university. The university in itself was so beautiful. It was a complete By Muhammad Arsalan Riaz Department of Computer Science At Heathrow Airport, London. A dream comes true My Story 27 institute which takes care of every facility one can imagine to have in his institution.
There were 560 International students, belonging to 54 countries, and 80 faculty members from around 80 different countries, at the Dundee University. Beside other facilities, the university ensures peace of mind for the students so that they can think differently and creatively. I observed that this was the main reason for the International students, who chose this university for their study. We visited different departments of the university.
Our next destination was University of Bradford. As we had already learned so much from the University of Dundee, hence our expectations to visit of the next university were high. The most amazing and unique thing, which I observed and liked in the University of Bradford was that they believe in self reliance. They want to be independent in each and every facility for the students from energy consumption to student's accommodation and from the meal supply to all educational materials.

lincoln-inn

At Lincoln's Inn.


The university produces almost 50 % of energy through different means and even contributes it to the national grid. We met with Pakistani students here, who warmly welcomed us. They too like us were amazed how SMIU, a public sector university, has arranged such a great study tour of UK for its students.
The most inspiring building that attracted me was The Green. It was basically meant for student's accommodation and producing its own energy through solar panels. The accommodation charges for the international students were very cheap and affordable.
Another important part of the university was its facilities being provided to the students including study skill support, welfare support, Visa and immigration advices, social life and campus life support. In short, the administration covers all matters related to students and resolves them on priority basis.

After University of Bradford we left for Nottingham to visit two more universities there. Robin Hood is probably the first thing that can come in your mind when you think about Nottingham.
The first university we visited at Nottingham was the Nottingham Trent University. There were 12000 undergraduate students, 60 sports teams and more than 90 students' societies and unions. The unions offer each and every facility to the students. It is ranked in the top 10 universities of UK and top 3rd university in placement of jobs in UK. Its three big campuses offer much to attract the students from all over the world.

dundee-scotland

At University of Dundee, Scotland.


The most inspiring thing for me in the university was its focus on employability At Lincoln's Inn. 28 and internationalization. Another interesting fact was that the famous chemist John Boots had established his first pharmacy store in the library of the university.
We were on two day visit of the Nottingham city, so we didn't want to waste our time; hence we visited very impressive places in Nottingham. Among these the Nottingham Castle was one of the most beautiful and attractive place for tourists. Then we watched a movie in the world class cinema IMAX in the City Centre and then had a delightful dinner with our worthy vice chancellor, who was always there to guide and lead us in such a way that he made a deep place in our hearts.
Very next day, we went to another Nottingham University. Both the universities have similarity in their names but they were completely different from each other in many ways. Miss Jessica Davison welcomed us there and took us for the visit of the campus by bus as it has a biggest campus, in all the universities of the UK.
This university has world class reputation with expert and experienced faculty hired from all over the world. The most attracting factor of this university for me was its personal attention to the students, who were divided in small groups. This was the reason that the university has lowest dropout rate in the UK.
Another important factor and distinction of this university was its visiting faculty. Albert Einstein, a great scientist was among them. It made us to feel proud to be present in such a historic university.
The days were passing out quickly so we moved to visit the last scheduled university and that was University of East Anglia, located in Norwich. Our delegation visited its different sections in the form of groups to explore departments of our concerned fields of study. During this we had a meaningful interaction with the students and faculty. Everyone was welcoming us wholeheartedly. They won our hearts by their hospitality.
The most interesting place of the university was its Sainsbury Museum of Visual Arts. It was also used as Avengers headquarters in the movie. The paintings and sculptures placed inside it were masterpieces of art worth billions of pounds.
We stayed for 10 days in UK with full excitement. We returned back to Pakistan on 14th June, 2015 with evergreen memories.
What I have learned from this tour was that we are never less than the students of other countries. The only difference among them and us is that we are running behind marks and good GPA, but they are more focused on their objectives, they want to achieve in their lives. We have lack of awareness and motivation.
I learned that we should have patience and say sorry if we have committed any mistake, it must be accepted open heartedly. I had also learned that we should say thanks to a person who did well for me as an acknowledgement.
I shall try to communicate my experience and observation, gained from the tour, to my fellows, as they could benefit from it. I know it would be slow process to implement. If I will not be able to have all these facilities in my university life here, I hope my sisters and brothers, who will come over here after us, will enjoy all these facilities.
It would be like a tree that we are going to plant here in our university, which will flourish and make a great name in the world like Quaid- e -Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and many others, who were associated with this sacred Institution.


Landing at a new land

gul-afroz

By Gul Afroz
Department of Media Studies

The heart pounding as the moment was truly unnerving, when the third name announced, was of my sister. Listening to that I felt alleviation and as the second name was called I had a touch of smash in light of the fact that it wasn't mine, yet as the first name announced, my heart quit thumping for some time. I staggered on the ground when the moderator said: "First position goes to Gul Afroz." My face got commendation and in a minute my mind made a trip back to the past, where my mom had said: "you'll do it," and here I was, selected for visit of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor of Sindh Madressatul Islam University, in collaboration with the British Council Pakistan had arranged this educational trip to UK for 9 students and 4 faculty members, making it the best travel of my life.
We visited five universities in UK including University of Dundee, University of Bradford, Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham and University of East Angelia. It is rightly said by St. Augustine that "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." And after travelling to UK I realized how limited my realm was before.
Subsequently, coming to London, we firstly went to Lincoln's Inn and our university's Vice Chancellor Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh and the concerned staff of Lincoln's Inn briefed the delegation about its significance and history.
Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh said Quaide -Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah chose to study Law over here, instead of business. The Quaid had required a couple of exclusions amid confirmations at Lincoln's Inn. One of them was exception of giving section test in Latin language as he had not learnt it prior. It truly upgraded my experience. After it, we went to the University of Dundee, Scotland.
During the visit, I found the University of Dundee a most important due to its amazing instructive approach and making a natural solid environment. Dundee itself was an excellent spot and the University of Dundee kept up the excellence of its property.

smiu-delegation-at-nottingham

Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh and other members of SMIU delegation at Nottingham Trent University, UK.


We visited it on June 8, 2015, where Mr. Fahad Asif, Senior International Officer at the Dundee University, briefed us about its history. Afterward, two graduate understudies of the university demonstrated their grounds. At first, we went to Dr. Paul, who briefed us about the Center of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral, Law and Strategy, which was established as a research center of physical science in 1809, where the Radar framework was developed during the World War II.
I was most inspired by the establishment of different creative containers in the university. One of them was "Large Belly Bins," which was capable to store rubbish for seven times, when contrasted with any typical receptacles, and as they are 80 percent topped off they will naturally send an email to the proprietor in regards to their rate of utilization.
Another exceptionally great yet innovative canister was Recycle and Reward Bins. Understudies, who put the empty jugs or can into it, the receptacle consequently gives them a few pennies or pounds as for the amount of pool they have given. They were extremely possessive regarding cleanliness, which ought to be actualized in our university and all around our reality

vice-chancellor-of-nottingham-trent

Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh and other members of SMIU delegation at Nottingham Trent University, UK.


I was truly happy to see that University of Dundee is all that much concerned viewing their each and everything as they upgraded their webpage, so that it impeccably fits the telephone screen of individuals on the grounds that if the web page doesn't fit well, Google positions down the page. Presently, this is the amount of a college ought to be worried about their notoriety. Had this as well as had a Students Union or understudy body called DUSA (Dundee University Understudies' Association) which meets expectations for the understudies.
They had more than 120 social orders. Now this is the real fascination for any understudy as I would like to think on the grounds that the more understudies have rights the more they get included into the college in light of the fact that such things expand the skyline of adapting not the educated community but rather extracurricular exercises which are none the less imperative for any understudy. Regarding religious matter, I generally lean toward a sound situation, where individuals of diverse religion share their way of life, their convictions and a helpful contentions happen.

faculty-members-of-smiu

SMIU VC Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh and other faculty members of SMIU attending presentation by Pro Vice Chancellor of NTU.


Dundee University was more inclined to accomplish this element and they had religious social orders, where each understudy was permitted to go. There were numerous things which pulled me towards this college. The real appeal was their welldisposed environment for global understudies.
After it we headed towards Bradford, where we visited University of Bradford. Here we played Broken Square amusement proposed by Professor Farhad Analoui to illuminate us about the significance of cooperation. The amusement was however befuddling at first as the individuals were not permitted to converse with one another and it had a few limitations yet then again the diversion was impeccably intended to check the collaboration ability of understudies of any gathering.
Unfortunately, we fizzled up the diversion yet we learnt the significance of cooperation, so I don't generally think of it as losing, rather I see it as an ordeal which taught me something commendable. After the session, we had a presentation outlined again by Professor Farhad Analoui on Managing People and Organization, which I must say was exceptionally learned despite the fact that the presentation was additionally intriguing for business understudies, however Professor kept it so broad that everybody's advantage was created.

smiu-students-interacting

SMIU students interacting with UK students.


Nottingham is an exceptionally delightful serene spot as was the Trent University of Nottingham. Vast grounds, diverse offices, understudy social orders, they had everything. Yes, they had some hypothesis; however had functional side of everything. For instance, they had a fake yet real searching court for Law understudies, they had a fake wrongdoing scene venue, where they would spread blood and weeds and distinctive sort of signs for the understudies of Crime Studies to get and explain the conundrum. Presently, this is something I have never found in any university.
The adventure proceeded with and the following day we went to the University of Nottingham, which was spread over an extensive range. It was truly colossal, and I must say they were extremely environment cherishing individuals, as they had such a great amount of greenery all over to give their understudies hygienic environment.
Nottingham's principle grounds, University Park, is arranged on the edges of the City of Nottingham, with various littler grounds and a showing clinic (Queen's Medical Center), found somewhere else in Nottinghamshire. Outside the United Kingdom, Nottingham has grounds in Malaysia and Ningbo, China. Nottingham is sorted out into five constituent resources, inside which, there are more than 50 offices, establishments and exploration focuses.
Nottingham has around 44,000 understudies and 9,000 staff and had an aggregate salary of £520 million in 2012/13, of which £100 million was from exploration allows and contracts which was truly noteworthy.
Going by these four universities, I was tired because of the extreme calendar, however I was more excited as each one of these colleges, were noteworthy and each university had something uncommon between them, which was essentially their fascination and all the time I was envisioning my university, which additionally had some genuine great attractions.
The last college we went to was University of East Angelia, where the TV Studio was great, having most developed cameras. When I was perched on the love seat of that studio and lights were all over, I set out to past where I was in the TV studio of my university, which had nearly the same offices.
Our university has truly old grounds, which give it a verifiable touch, which I truly like though this university had most cutting edge structural engineering. Another fascination of UEA was its Students Union, which has more than 200 game clubs and social orders running from a football club and cheerleading society to the understudy daily paper concrete.
The UEA Students Union works with various administrations, on the college grounds. Joined with both "The Street" and "The Square" is a standout amongst the most famous Union venues. The "Union Pub and Bar" experienced expansion and repair costing £1.2 million in 2002.
When we were finished with all the five colleges and our adventure was going to end, we had an extra day in London which we spent in a celebration.


Opportunity always knocks the door of believer

smiu-syed-shahroze


By Syed Shahroze
Department of Computer Sciences

I always had a dream to explore the world, to travel and to learn. They say opportunity knocks the door of the believer, and getting a chance to visit the United Kingdom was way beyond my imagination. I worked really hard to earn this once in a lifetime chance because I knew if I missed it, I would surely regret it for the rest of my life. At last by the grace of Allah Almighty and some of my untiring efforts I successfully made it to the final list of students with flying colors.

university-of-dundee

At University of Dundee.


The key behind this success was a quote that I always recalled at times like these, which said, "It's not always about winning, it's about how hard you want to win."
Landing at the Heathrow airport in London was as if it was all part of a dream. I couldn't believe I was actually in London and was unable to hide my enthusiasm. It was sunny day when we landed, with a touch of cool breeze, making it a beautiful weather. The first thing we were told to do was to take some rest, although I didn't want to. I was feeling so out of this world that made me want to roam the streets of London and explore each part of it, never wanting this tour to end.
Our first visit was to the Lincoln's Inn which is a law school where our Father of Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah received his education as a Barrister. This was the first time I was acknowledged to the fact that Jinnah left a business firm to learn law totally against his father's will. As our Vice Chancellor briefed us thoroughly about what he did and what great passion he had to serve the people that he chose to be a lawyer since most of the renowned leaders in the history who brought change to this world happened to be lawyers.
I was really amused by this visit, which added a lot to my knowledge and love for the founder of our country. The second visit on our schedule was of the University of Dundee the next day and I was so much excited to meet new personalities and explore that I was unable to sleep the whole night. University of Dundee was really a complete educational institute one has to admit. We had a long ride from London to Dundee, Scotland but it was really worth it. We had a very warm welcome by Mr. Fahad Ali Asif who guided us through different departments of the university as we went on.
The most appealing approaches used in Dundee University, which I found a must to have in our public sector universities also, were that they were focusing not only on providing quality education to the students but doing something more than that. They were thinking beyond the limits and out of the box. The amusing approach they had and the work they were doing in keeping their environment eco-friendly was magnificent - recycling things and investing heavily on these types of things, which help in keeping the environment really eco-friendly. One more, great feature I liked about this university was that they believed in student empowerment. From the management of the various societies to the part-time employment in university everything was done by the students as they liked it. The wise words of Mr. Fahd Ali Asif sum up it all as he said: "You have to make mistakes, because if you're not making mistakes, it means you're not creative enough and you might get thrown out."

visit-by-smiu


Our next stop was Bradford. I wasn't tired at all by all the campus-seeing we had done back at Dundee, but only one thing kept knocking my mind that if the start is so good what would the next institute hold for us. This increased my curiosity of visiting the Bradford University. We were really having a great time with some halts for lunch and refreshments on the way. As students, it was really a great privilege for us to be able to spend some leisure and quality time of our lives with the most influential and inspiring personalities like our Vice Chancellor Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh.
Bradford University was quite pleasing and one thing which I found to be common in both the universities was their approach towards making the campus environment-friendly for the people. They were growing some delicious and colorful fruits and vegetables that were even off season and even had their own ecological gardens and green houses. Students' accommodation, named as The Green really impressed me, which even had solar panels to produce its own electrical energy.
Apart from the university, Bradford city was very similar to Karachi, densely populated with a great range of Halal food available. We met a lot of Pakistanis there too.
Our next checkpoint was Nottingham city. We had a stay of two days in Nottingham therefore had enough time to explore and to have much needed fun as well after having visited Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University. At first I thought both universities had a link between them as their names resembled, but it wasn't so. The first university on our schedule was Nottingham Trent University, where we had a warm welcome by Mirza Mujic, serving as the international officer. He guided us through the university visiting different buildings one by one. The best part of Nottingham Trent was its Mass Communication department, which is said to be very strong and is listed among the top Media Departments of different universities of UK. The most amusing fact about this university was that the great chemist John Boots lent his first pharmacy store to the universities library which is since then named as Boots Library. Nottingham turned out to be a fun place for us along with educational exposure. We visited the Castle there, which is of tourists' attraction in Nottingham and watched a movie at IMAX Cinema followed by delicious dinner.

smiu-student-visit


Next day we had a visit to Nottingham 34 University, which is really a widely spread campus and had its tour on a bus since it was too big to walk. We had an introduction session of the university during which we came to know about some great facts of the university which really appealed me and brought this university into my wish list for future studies. Some of the facts were that if we could join or connect all the corridors of the university it would turn out to be equivalent to a marathon run! The second best fact according to me was that the great scientist who put forward the equation of energy, Albert Einstein, once gave a guest lecture here and the board he used for the lecture is still preserved in the university. This was something which I found really epic and I was awestruck by the fascinating facts. With this visit, we all were wrapped up and ready to tighten our seat belts for our last stop, Norwich. It was surely the most beautiful sight I had seen so far, after Dundee. We had our stay at a hotel. Next day, we had our early morning breakfast and started traveling towards the University of East Anglia. It was a big campus covering an area of whopping 368 acres. Some amazing facts about the university were that the museum of visual arts was the building, which was casted as a house in the movie Avengers. The museum was really something worth exploring. To our great surprise we were told that the worth of all the paintings, sculptures and art work present in the museum was more valuable than the whole university's cost itself! It was astonishing. Having a tour of the university we had lunch followed by interviews of some students to share their experiences and thoughts conducted by the British Council.

smiu-students-talk


The end of tour came near. We waved a warm goodbye to our Vice Chancellor as he was leaving the United Kingdom two days ahead of us. We travelled back to London that day. Now it was time for some hiking and shopping and exploring what London had got for us. We did shopping, visited the Royal Festival and the Europe's largest art gallery and museum, the Southbank Centre situated near river Thames. It was really a sight worth visiting having historical edifices like Big Ben in front of your eyes and feeling the cool breeze of London making you shiver in your shoes.


I was eager to see Lincoln's Inn!

zahira-abdul-rauf


By Zahira Abdul Rauf
Department of Computer Science

In my early teens I had developed an interest in reading about the cultural aspects of different countries. My grandfather has had the stacks of newspapers and books related to relationship between countries in terms of history, culture, geography, architectures etc. I sat in solitude in the weekends and was so enthralled by those books that I was utterly oblivious of my surroundings. But what spurred an instantaneous interest in me to learn about the relationship between UKPakistan and mostly assimilate the culture and academia of United Kingdom was of two reasons. One: we had the common history of decades, two: after I read the transcript of the speech of Foreign Secretary William Hague about UKPakistan relations at the 60th Anniversary of the Pakistan Society in Lincoln's Inn. Knowing both the countries intended to emphasis on nurturing the bilateral relationships was like a sigh of relief by people of both nations. When I was selected to be part of this study tour to United Kingdom collaborated by Sindh Madressatul Islam University and British Council Pakistan, my knowledge-thirsty part couldn't help but fastened the imaginary seat belts for the ride. I was in a haze while packing, and couldn't control the grin on my face, thinking I would be going to visit this culturally and naturally rich country.

university-of-bradford

SMIU's delegation led by Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, VC SMIU at University of Bradford.


Our journey to United Kingdom started on 5th of June. When I first set foot on the soil of England my first instinct was to visit Lincoln's Inn, Quaide- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's alma mater. I couldn't hide the excitement when our Vice Chancellor stated that we would be leaving for a tour to the Lincoln's Inn. It was striking when we reached at the Newman's Row Street and had the first glimpse of this mesmerizing placid enclave of some 11 acre in the central London. I could observe people of different ages strolling on the pathways and capturing this long historic place in the eyes of their minds and their cameras. Our Vice Chancellor Dr. Muhammad Ali Sheikh gave us a brief overview of the life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the historical building of Lincoln's Inn. We interacted with British people and it didn't take long for me to realize that these people are very ceremonious and scrupulously polite. They didn't frown and discard us knowing we were Muslims and belong to Pakistan.



vc-gift


London's Inns of Court are oases of calm amid the hustle and bustle of the city's heartland. Beside teaching and guidance, the Inns proffer a social network and an imperturbable environment for members to work. As one saunter through four Inns one would discern the history that has shaped the Inns today. There are baronial oil paintings, the austere expressions of past grandees, judges, heads of state and prime ministers gazing out at you from the wood paneling. The Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court. For many centuries it has played a very important role for preparing students for call to the Bar. It is a diverse organization and By Zahira Abdul Rauf Department of Computer Science SMIU's delegation led by Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, VC SMIU at University of Bradford. I was eager to see Lincoln's Inn! My Story 36 educational institution, a professional body, a custodian of historic buildings, a banqueting venue and a tourist attraction. And the very righteous thing I found is that they follow equality and diversity policy very strictly. It is known that Inns are the sole institutions that hold the power to call a person to the Bar. Students would have to join the Inn before going for their Bar Professional Training Course. If we compare four Inns, the annual student intake in Lincoln's Inn is 1,000 which are higher than other 3 which are 300, 600 and 300 respectively. I would also like to mention the old members of Inns. In Lincoln's Inn there are well respected names such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah as mentioned before; the founder of Pakistan and John Donne; an English poet. In Inner Temple: Mahatma Gandhi; leader of Indian Independence Movement. In Middle Temple: Charles Dickens; an English writer, William Makepeace Thackeray; an English novelist. In Gray's Inn we had names like Thomas Cromwell; an English lawyer. Not to forget our great leader's portrait hangs in the Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn.


smiu-stu


The next day we were traveling towards Scotland. Being a firm lover of nature, I couldn't help but praise the beauty bestowed on this earth by Almighty for the human eye to admire and acknowledge. The immaculate hills overlooking the pastures below, cattle grazing on grass and pasturage, the abode of Scottish people stood high on the mountains; immense stones edifice from another century with drum towers and tiled conical roof glowing warm against a cerulean blue sky. I drank all this beauty in an enchanted solitude.
A breeze stirred the air and the few scattered clouds moved rolling across the darkening sky. Leaves danced on the breeze, swirling around in a daze of gold, red and brown. It was as if I was living in a fairytale.
The moment had come to utilize the time for real purpose of our tour, which was to visit the academic institutions and learn and then implement the advancements of the areas that we were so conspicuously lacking. Whichever university we visited of UK either be Dundee of Scotland, Bradford University, Nottingham-Trent, Nottingham or East Anglia in Norwich, the foremost thing came to mind was they are very eco friendly, as they allocate recycle bins in every nook and cranny of their university, they installed solar panels to generate energy which is consumed by the university. Not to forget they were equipped with latest technologies. They give high preference to the Fine Arts, which is indubitably given trivial importance by general population of Pakistan. Predominantly, the teacherstudent interaction is very professional and friendly. Students are not spoon-fed unlike Pakistan and most importantly they totally believe in practical rather than theoretical study, which help Interaction with the faculty. their students in their professional life.


vc-registar

Dr Muhammad Ali Sheikh, VC SMIU talking during a meeting.


Students do not have to fret over the accommodations. They also provide student counseling to their home-sick students.
One of the prestigious student's counselors in Bradford University stated that they help their students to cope with their loneliness by trying to indulge the students in such a way to make them adapt to the changes, learn the cultural differences of their inmates and be prejudice-free of dissimilarities. She concluded with the statement that when students share their dorm rooms with their peers belonging to another nationality it makes them be more open, tolerant knowing both although belonging to different nationalities, facing the same turmoil of home-sickness, which in turn gradually help them to confide in each other without being judgmental. It gave me an incentive and I pondered over her statement for a while and realized if we also provided such facility to students where quite a number of us facing problems of disturbance in our lives such as disrupt in the city, fear of snatchers, it would have helped us cope it better way than letting it get an lasting impact on our lives.


smiu-stud


Each University has their Student Association and unlike many universities of Pakistan it is quite a big deal there. There are 70+ clubs belonging to sports only which irrefutably prove that they give predilection to the health of their students. It is mandatory for the students to take part in sports clubs. Besides, there are other 100+ clubs, and the members annually hold grand events in the premises of their universities or outside depending on the budget. I got a chance to interact and put some questions to the very active member of DUSA. I asked her: "What is the main agenda of any student association?" To my question, she smilingly quirked an eyebrow and replied: "The main reason of all Students' Association like DUSA is to make students interact with each other. Interacting with other students, especially with their friends sharing same interests, makes it easy for them to develop good communication skills and one can't deny the importance of communication skills in professional life." Students Associations either be DUSA, UoB, NTSU or UEASU almost all of them provide employability factor in the lives of their members if one is willing to pursue it. We hopefully make our students realize the importance of Student Association and make it more than just a passing time and persistently persuade them to consider taking part into extracurricular activities as it is internationally given preference in the transcripts of the students, she told.
Our journey ended on the 14th of June with a new determination in our hearts, a determination to make my university competent and upgraded on the level of all the international universities. I would like to conclude my journey by stating the most obvious that is along the path of learning, comparing and exposure I have also got great friends of lifetime, I got to learn my teachers as person and most importantly respect for our Vice Chancellor increased tremendously.


An unforgettable visit

ahsan-habib


By Ahsan Habib
Business Administration department

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page". Saint Augustine
I have always heard this quote from friends and family members but was unaware of its actual meaning till I got the opportunity of visiting UK. Since my childhood I really wanted to travel and see the world. It is said that some dreams are meant to come true and my dream came true when I was selected along with other students of SMIU for visiting the UK and observing the modern education system of universities.
Our journey began from 5th June 2015. When we arrived at London, there was a very pleasant weather, and I felt that the trip will be joyful.

university-of-nottingham

At University of Nottingham.


Our first visit was of Lincoln's Inn. I had first time read about Lincoln's Inn and its association with Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in a book on him written by our vice chancellor Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh. I must say that I felt much honoured by visiting second Alma Mater of our great leader after Sindh Madressatul Islam University. The Vice Chancellor, who accompanied the delegation, had briefed us a lot on history of Lincoln's Inn during the journey.
I was quite impressed by the UK's policy to protect their heritage especially the educational heritage. We were told that the Lincoln's Inn was established in the year 1422, and even at that time there was an organized and disciplined body of lawyers. Being one of the four Inns of Court, the Lincoln's Inn had been playing an important role in preparing students for Call to the Bar and for their professional competence as barristers.
I found the library an exquisite in terms of its book collection, which were more than 150,000. Among the rare collection of manuscripts were Hale Manuscripts written by Sir Matthew Hale, Chief Justice of the King's Bench and The Printed Catalogue by Joseph Hunter, published in 1838. Besides, there was outstanding collection of English legal treatises and early civil and continental law and parliamentary debates from 1801, in the library.
After the visit I concluded that Lincolns Inn, being located in a central area and having historical and academic significance, was an excellent place to get professional training of law. Our second visit was of Dundee University, where, believe me, I fell in love with the university and the city. The Dundee University had a progressive and dynamic outlook. We visited Carnage Building, where radar was invented during the era of war.
I personally admired the school of Accounting and Finance due to its curriculum and the courses being offered by the university at undergrad and post grad level. The faculty at the school comprised of well qualified professionals, who had also corporate experience of several years.

nottingham-visit-vc


The Students' Council of the university was also very By Ahsan Habib Business Administration department At University of Nottingham. An unforgettable visit My Story 39 active helping the students resolve their personal as well as those problems faced at the university.
CASTLE and Center of Sustainable Development were among some of the best features of Dundee University.
The meeting with Lesley Bren and Fouzia Butt was also very productive in terms of learning about local government structure of Scottish government.
After Dundee, our next visit was of Bradford University. I was amazed when we were informed that the university is the most energy efficient in the UK and in the world as well. Being self-sufficient in energy, the university contributes in the national grid also. It was nice to know that Bradford University was the first one to offer a degree program in the subject of Peace Studies.
The university believes in religious equality, which can best be experienced by the spacious prayer area devoted for Muslims. The Muslim counselors and faith advisors are also very active in the campus. The university while offering support to build strong grip on English language also facilitates the students to learn other languages. It was nice to see the commitment of teachers towards the students through personal tuition service, which they provide to them free of cost and for un- limited hours.

university-of-nottingham

At University of Nottingham.


The best part of the visit was the lecture and the activity, which was quite interesting and revealed upon us to understand the importance of teamwork. Our next destination was Nottingham City to visit two universities. We first went to Nottingham Trent University, which is ranked amongst UK's greenest universities having more than 28,000 students with an investment of more than £350 million to create an inspiring learning environment.
Its Pro- Vice Chancellor briefed our delegation about the university. He focused on three major aspects for its competitive edge, which were employability, internationalization and research.
I was quite inspired by the Business School, which has been established recently, with state of the art facilities and entrepreneurial cells to train youth for the challenges in the corporate world. We also visited TV and Radio studios there and witnessed professionalism of the students who were hosting shows independently.
We also got the chance to visit its Sports Center, where students were playing more than 60 sports including traditional kabaddi.
The meeting with the International Office staff too was very productive in terms of learning. We gained real insight of current researches being conducted by the university. A meeting with the International Students was also meaningful. The concerned persons briefed us about scholarship options and informed that the university offers 50 percent scholarships to International Students.

smiu-students-visit


Our next visit was of Nottingham University, which is described as a Global University by Times Good University Guide. It has two campuses, one in China and second in Malaysia.
The university has a history of 900 years of providing research-based education. We visited the University Park Campus, which is spread in around 300 acres of land.
Ms. Jessica Davison, International Office Coordinator, briefed us about the university. During the interaction, she gave us detailed information about the International Students willing to seek admission in the university. We were also briefed about the international campuses situated in China and Malaysia, where tuition fee is almost 2/3rd less than the main campus. She also guided us about the scholarship options for getting admission in the university.

smiustudents

SMIU students attending a lecture program.


She was kind enough to give us a driving tour of the university campus, where different facilities were available for students. Later, we headed towards Norwich to visit last university scheduled in our tour. We visited the Registry Building, where Dough, staff member and one Akif, a student from Pakistan, greeted us. They informed us about the educational structure and facilities available in the campus. Akif told us about the activities of Students Societies. He also shared knowhow about the scholarship options available for the international students.
W also visited Career Central Centre, where we saw the students groomed for their job interviews and development of skills needed for success in the corporate world.
The university library was pretty amazing. Its book collection, innovative techniques and learning environment were very much impressive. Later, we visited the longest Teaching Wall established in the year 1960. We also paid the visit to Sainsbury, a Center for visual arts, which was very astounding in its arts collection, which was valued of 5 billion pounds.
Then we went to the Business School and saw sports facilities available in the campus. We also got the chance to visit TV and Radio studios in the campus, where we were briefed about the different programmes currently being broadcast from the station.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the UK that gave me confidence and liberty to shape my career strategy the best way. During this whole tour I got knowledge related to my future options for further study in some of the best universities of the world. I truly enjoyed UK's culture and company of the people I met during the trip.


Travel to another continent

misbah-mahmood



By Misbah Mahmood
Department of Computer Science

"Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in." Shannon L. Alder
Our visit to UK made me realize one thing that how much bigger the world is yet so small at the same time. The panorama from which I have seen this ball like figure had changed drastically. A confused person who dared to dream yet in her deranged heart knew that it was berserk to even think about such things like going to another continent in her kind of world. I have always firmly believed that this world was not a wish-granting factory. You get only what you work for; and my hard work and dedication got me here, and I'm and will strive for more and everyone else should too.

group-photo-smiu


We arrived at Heathrow Airport in London on June 5, 2015 Saturday afternoon. Same day in the evening, we went to Lincoln's Inn, one of the four Inns of the Court, self-regulating associations of barristers in England and Wales, with our VC Dr. Mohammad Ali Shaikh. We were very delighted to find our connection to Lincoln's Inn through Father of Nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah who studied Law here in Lincoln's Inn for 2 and half a year. Our VC also shed some light on the background story as to how Quaid-e-Azam managed to live and study without any funding from his father, as his father wanted him to study Business Administration. After our visit to Central London we left for Dundee Scotland which was 8 hours' drive and pretty hectic too but we were at the peak of excitement and nothing was going to dim it down.

Our Sunday was spent in Dundee, a very beautiful and exquisite place to see, where we went to St. Andrew's Cathedral, the chief residence of the bishops, and later archbishops, of St Andrews. They were Scotland's leading churchmen. We had a halt at boat house, Loch Leven Castle and our day came to an end by delicious dinner in the Indian restaurant in front of our hotel beside beautiful lake.
Till now it was just sightseeing, as most exciting part of our trip - Future Leadership Program organized by Sindh Madresstul Islam University in collaboration with British Council Pakistan for providing us the practical exposure to the modern world, started from June 10. Our first visit was of Dundee University of Scotland where we met some of their faculty members, students and presidents of Students' Union. Dean of Center of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) told that this building was Tessla's Laboratory and first ever Radar was invented in this lab during World War II. We had a tour of Library which was called Castle with one of the librarian Hellen Olives. Before leaving we had a small talk with Senior International Officer of Dundee University Fahad Ali Asif who instructed us that if we want to achieve something we have to be curious, courageous enough to ask question and most of all learn by making mistakes.

smiu-st


Our next stop was Bradford where we were invited by University of Bradford on June 11. Their International Student Welfare Officer, Sue Baker, By Misbah Mahmood Department of Computer Science Travel to another continent My Story 42 the most polite lady, briefed us on University of Bradford. There too we came across with some Pakistani students studying Masters in different fields. UoB is very convenient for south Asian students in my opinion because of its multicultural environment. The students have chance to work and study alongside 130 different nationalities, which help them to easily cope with change in their life and living in changed lifestyle and country, as they can readily find someone of their own culture. One of the amazing thing about UoB is that there's a building for students' accommodation inside the city campus called The Green, a model of most sustainable development of its kind in the world, making the best use of natural resources like solar power and rainwater and costing very little to heat and light. We must have such kind of eco-friendly buildings in our country.
The next visit was of Nottingham Trent University, which is one of the largest universities in UK. We were told that since 2009, the 100 percent of the university's electricity is being generated by renewable sources, which is quite astonishing. Beside the well established Art and Design School in UK, the NTU has one of the strongest Media Departments where TV station and FM radio are run by students. In NTU we meet two Pakistani students, one them got his result of Masters and job that day. Since we had two day stay in Nottingham, we got time to move around the city and have some fun at Nottingham Castle which is one of the tourist attractions of Nottingham. We also went to the IMAX cinema.

smiu-students-interview


Next morning we were invited by The University of Nottingham. The coolest thing about this university: Alert! All batman fans, yes! Batman's house Wayne Manor, which is Wollaton Hall, is at the walking distance from the university. We also heard this good news that one of the Pakistani students Abida Usman availed the fully funded Vice Chancellor's scholarship provided by UoN. Like other Universities we have been to, the UoN has its own library for every campus that are open 24/7 – really a good thing for those who like to study at night.
Our last stop was Norwich hence last visit to the University of East Anglia. I was so tired by now that I didn't want to leave my bed. But when I came to know that we will be celebrating cultural day my weariness all vanished in thin air. Most of us wore Ajrak clothing,

viisit-lit


two of us wore Balochi traditional dress and since I'm a Gujrati and hadn't my traditional dress of Ghagra Cholli so I decided to wear an Abaya. After having appetizing dinner in the company of our VC we had a walk to our hotel. It was one of the amazing feeling strolling streets of UK in your cultural dress - one of the most memorable things of this journey.
These Universities along with having 43 the main objective of maintaining quality education support the students in their career by getting them employment in finest international companies, for which they have special teams that help student in preparing for job interview, making resume, career guidance, providing entrepreneurships to those wanting to start their own business etc. They even provide paid part time-jobs inside their campus where students can work and study at the same time. Most of these Universities have separate electronic libraries with full time access to every student. In every building they also have this cool thing in their library like study pods where students can study in groups and make noise too. They also had students' Union offering excellent social and sporting facilities to students and staff consisting of different societies besides over 200 sports societies.

studentssmiu


During the visit to all the Universities, I realized one thing that they not only help students study in good environment and making their students more productive and competitive, they also provide world's best education more focused on their grooming in every sphere of life. No matter what problem you are facing as a student, you are thought to quest solution on your own. Students here are totally independent unlike our education system where everything is spoon-fed. The students here don't rely on their teachers however the teachers have distinctive approach that they own their learners and their efforts, even if the results of the work of these students are not up to the mark of their expectations.


smiustudent


On last day of this unforgettable expedition we went back to London, and now was the time to roam around the city and of course shopping, the thing in which we all waste money. We went to London eye, River Thames, South Bank, visited Royal Festival Hall, biggest Arts Gallery in UK, where we had a fortuitous visit of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Auditorium's special box seats. It was like a blink of an eye and trip came to its gable end.
On Sunday we were all ready with bags packed to bid London, UK Aurevior. This tour not only helped me to see things in different horizons but also helped believing in myself. One more thing before I end this report: It doesn't matter where you study; it's about how much hard you can work and how long you are willing to fight this uphill battle. Wherever you try to give your level best, you'll find yourself flying darn! Even claiming the whole sky as your own, Aim high, shoot for the moon and even if you miss you'll land among stars; never underestimate your power, believe you can and you will!


Merit makes UK study tour possible

jawad-hassan-soomro


By Jawad Hassan Soomro
Department of Computer Science

I still remember the day when it was announced that SMIU and British Council are arranging UK visit under Future Leadership Programme and I had decided to take part in competition. The selection criterion was based on three phases - Essay Writing, Public Speech and the Interview, and the entire process took place in a transparent way on merit basis. All phases were supervised by not only SMIU management strictly but also the British Council. The essays were checked by SMIU professors and British Councilappointed IELTS Teachers while the Public Speech Competition jury consisted of SMIU Vice Chancellor, teachers and Director of British Council.

smiu-visit


As the program was funded by SMIU in collaboration with British Council, everyone was astonished when they heard that a public university has arranged UK visit for its students. We departed for London on 5th of June. SMIU heads of departments and other officials came to the airport to see us off. The SMIU delegation visiting U.K consisted of 9 students and 4 teachers. It was my first air travel and travel to abroad as well and for that it was memorable for me.
The London had a very pleasant weather will cool winds although it was summer season, as called by native people. As compared to it, the temperature in Pakistan ranged 45 to 50 degrees centigrade very hot winds.


vc-smiu


Our First visit in London was Lincoln's Inn, the Alma meter of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Lincoln is one the four Inn's of the court. Its exact date of origin is not known but from the records found in institute, it is assumed that it dates back to 14th century. It is the house of great lawyers which are supposed to be pioneer in their fields and one of them is great leader of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Mr. Jinnah was not to London to study Law, as his father sent him to study economics but he did not take interest in it, as he wanted to serve humanity. He chose Law as profession and appeared in entrance exam at Lincoln's Inn although his qualification was low than other competing students. He however was so much talented that he passed the exam and got enrolled.


smiu-visit-tour


After Visiting Lincoln's Inn we went on a visit to Central London to see Trafalgar Square, which is a tourist attraction, No visit to London would be complete without seeing this place. It is crowded with tourists all the day and night. You will see people excited to take pictures with Lion Statues. We visited Edgar road for dinner, you will find lots of Halal food shops and restaurants offering different dishes from Lebanese to Pakistani food.
One of the amazing things I found in London was "blue plaque", which is used to witness the houses of great scholars, writers, scientists and politicians. Blue plaque makes visitors remember their hard work and legacy. It was also pleasure to know that blue plaque was also installed at residency of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in London.


smiu-students-reasch


We departed for Dundee City next morning, and as we moved to Scotland the weather turned more pleasant. I was amazed by the greenery and beautiful view on the way to Scotland. Beautiful hills, canals, green fields and farms and cottages built in old architectural design will give you everlasting joy. When we reached Scotland, I realized why William Wordsworth became poet of nature. Nobody can escape the charming beauty of Scotland.
The visit to university of Dundee is one of the memorable experiences in my life. We were warmly By Jawad Hassan Soomro Department of Computer Science Merit makes UK study tour possible My Story 45 welcomed by staff of University of Dundee and students' union and later were briefed on university. This university has a very large list of accomplishments - one of it was invention of Radar Systems. The university is also a pioneer in making policies for natural resources such as water and energy resource. It makes policies regarding water problems around the globe for better future of humanity. The university focuses on education which will benefit students when they enter the market, which includes complete emphasis on practical approach rather than theoretical and career advising and entrepreneurship centre. The lab facilities of computer science were impressive. The lab was available for students 24/7 for research and they had special room equipped with cameras and microphone to study human interaction.
It was interesting for me when I saw chaplaincy centre and asked about. I was told that it is for religious activities and discussions and it has offices of scholars belonging to different religions. They also have a building designated for mosque where prayers are offered. We were told that Islamic society was most active in university and had been awarded last year.
University of Dundee has also state of the art library, having all facilities needed by students. They have rooms assigned for quiet study, group study, presentation-rooms and computers section for e-learning. The quantity of total books and research journals was in millions which included paper books and e-books. The mechanism to issue and submit book was also interesting, as they have automated system which does all task for issue and submission of book.
The last part of visit was talk with Lesley Brennan, member of city council of Scotland, and Fozia Butt, a philanthropist and politician. Their talk was very informative and we learnt many new things about U.K politics.
Our next visit was University of Bradford, which is one of the universities using green power like solar panels. It was such a big eco-friendly campus covered with greenery and plants. University of Bradford not only meets its power needs but also contributes in national power grid. It has eco-friendly accommodations called "The green" and also have beehives. Over a million online books in library, student cinema, Carlton prayer room for Muslims etc were the attractions in Bradford University. The session with Farhad Anaouli was also worth mentioning wherein we learnt new management skills and tips. Bradford is also called "Bradistan" by Pakistanis and after visiting Bradford I realized that it was named correctly as you will find lots of Pakistani people and stores.
After Bradford we left for Nottingham city to visit two great universities - Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham. Nottingham which is known for famous character Robin Hood is also very beautiful and very popular for its nightlife.


students-of-smiu


Nottingham Trent University, established in 1848, has made three distinctions in three fields, 46 which are employability, internationalization and research. They have a centre named "The Hive" which is established for enterprise development. They also arrange yearly job fair and also have career advisory section. The University of Nottingham Trent also emphasizes on practical work as they have created fake court rooms for law graduate and fake crime scene for forensic studies. University of Nottingham Trent is also known for its centre for broadcast and journalism. They have three TV studios and online radio. One of the special things about the library called "Boots Library" is that it is built on the place where first ever Boots shop situated. It has 5 levels and two hundred thousand books.
thousand books. The next visit was University of Nottingham which is also focus of students because of its 900- year contribution in education. This university is also associated with Boots as the land was donated by Boots and one of the largest campuses in U.K. It is also member in Russell group of research-focused universities. It offers almost all degree programs except dentistry and arts. It has also international campuses in China and Malaysia.


study-in-smiu


Our next and last visit was University of East Anglia which situated in Norwich. University of East Anglia provides all modern facilities such as lecture theatre with capacity of 150 students and seminar classes for 60 students and 7-storey library with sections assigned for quiet study and group study, and noise line to report to librarian incase of some problem. They also have mobile app to notify students about free pc's and conference rooms. The prime attraction of University of East Anglia is the "Sainsbury Museum" for arts and it holds finest pieces of arts and sculptures worth more than entire cost of university itself, which is estimated at 4 billion pounds. One more special thing about this museum is that this place was used as avenger headquarters in Marvel's Avengers Movie.
The tour of universities came to an end and we left for London to spend our last day in U.K where we enjoyed visiting South Bank, Royal Festival, Opera House, London Eye and Big Ben, all of the monuments which I always dreamt to visit.
The Future Leadership program taught me various things about people of U.K, their places, culture, history and the relation of love and respect they have for Pakistanis, met and traveled with great personalities which made lasting effects on my life.


The world is formed by stories told..

mahnoor-pervaiz


Mahnoor Pervaiz
Business Administration Department

This is an account of a girl often questioned herself who she is? She once got overlooked by others but then she transformed it into praise. The individuals had been saying to her 'you can't do anything', and then the time came they said you are the one. Her astonishing life began at SMI University. It was turning point when Allah Almighty began gifting her with heaps of accomplishments.


university-of-west-anglia

At University of West Anglia.


She recalls the magnificent day when she got the peachy news of getting chosen and securing 1st position in the last legitimacy rundown of understudies for going to UK for Future Leaders Program organized by SMI University in collaboration with British Council. There were more than 200 understudies with creative composition, open talking rivalry and after the last meeting the feeling was like more than satisfying for her, as she cleared all these demanding levels with no trouble at all. From this day her lovely story starts. It's my story.
It was Friday, 5th of June, when I landed at London Heathrow Airport to go to the Future Leaders Program along with entire team. From here one of the lovely voyages of my life starts. Everything appears to me changed here. The day in London was lovely. I lifted my eyes to the sky; mists were gliding on sky and adding hues to my life. When I came to lodging, a colloquialism of David Bailey composed on a magazine got my sight:"In the event that you are sufficiently interested, London is an astounding spot."


smiu-visit-meeting

Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, VC SMIU presenting SMIU's publication to the VC of the University of West Anglia.


Perusing that I got more eager to investigate and begin my adventure in London. We left lodging to visit the primary spot Lincoln's Inn. By seeing London on path to Lincoln's Inn I have seen a lot of life. When we came to there, the construction modeling it had astounded me; it was same as I had read and found in papers. The Lincoln's Inn Society is one of the four Inns in the Court of London; it's one of the most seasoned and lawful rumored social orders that get ready understudies for the Bar. The most intriguing thing I found about Lincoln's Inn was that Father of Nation and First Governor General of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah used to study there. While moving around Lincoln's Inn, I was feeling the strides of Jinnah there, the entire scene was moving around my eyes how Jinnah used to come here and examine here. Consequently, the experience to visit Lincoln's Inn was truly commendable for me. After that we went by the Hall Of Fame, where my heart loaded with glad to see the representation of Jinnah with the title of "Part of Honor". Our team was going by our VC Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh, who amid the entire visit educated us about the historical backdrop of Lincoln's Inn and Quaid-e- Azam.


smiu-students-photo


The experience we had during the visit to Lincoln's Inn made me to believe Albert Einstein who says: "The main wellspring of information is experience." The group photo taken outside the Lincoln's Inn will always make me recollect the visit.
One more day, when I emerge in the morning, consider what a valuable benefit it is to visit an instructive organization, University of Dundee, which holds an awesome history inside. "A University ought to be a position of light of freedom, and of learning," I discovered these expressions of William P Leahy alive while going by University of Dundee. The entrancing thing I found about this college is they are doing best in Academic Sector, as well as are bailing understudies to discover their shrouded capacities and cleaning their aptitudes. I was listening to the speakers who were informing about what they do in Castle for understudies. I am summing up that all as, Castle is a spot where a lost personality can discover course, one can recognize his/ her shrouded abilities, understudy get help to go in the right business, one can turn into a decent essayist and a decent moderator. While seeing this situation I understood that they are building people, they are building characters, building innovative personalities dissimilar to the organizations in our country.


vc-talk


The University of Dundee gives full freedom and energy to its students; they have an effective and rising Students' Association DUSA where electives and part understudies are doing as much for their mates and additionally for mankind and environment.
This is not in pattern to give full freedom to understudies in Universities of Pakistan. As a result numerous innovative and able personalities are rusting here, and every understudy is occupied in race of GPA. From Miss Lesley's address, which I had gone through, I extricated that confidence, others' concern over your own particular and some novel qualities are key focuses for getting to be pioneers. Pioneers administer the world, so this address was worth going to. I recall my discussion with Fahad Ali Asif, the Senior International Officer of Dundee University, towards the end of day said to me: "Generally attempt to do something other than what's expected and new, be imaginative and distinguish your concealed aptitudes." These exceptional expressions of him will help me in proceeding with my life. With this lovely guidance, brilliant introduction, heaps of comprehension and with stunning climate the visit to Dundee University closes.


smiu-student-enjoyingmod


From Dundee to Bradford, another page of world was sitting tight for us. Here I got quality data and numerous tips which will help me to lead my scholarly life extremely well as a business understudy. Session about group Management by Professor Farhad Analoui was something that gave me so much motivation. Here I adapted such a variety of profitable things some of which are: In a team it is imperative to Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, VC SMIU presenting SMIU's publication to the VC of the University of West Anglia. 49 function as a group otherwise the team will never touch the sky of achievement; one ought to be uncommon in his/her qualities, and the last worth saying thing "Best change is moderate, maintainable through education.
The University of Bradford was the first to build up Peace Department. Keeping in mind moving around that office and realizing what this division is doing, I felt that each University in Pakistan ought to have one peace division. The name of division was given by understudies that were another astonishing thing which I came to know.
At that point we cleared out for Nottingham from Bradford. While traveling I understood that every city holds its own particular structural engineering and values in UK. Here we visited Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham. Both have great methodologies of instruction. Grounds were sufficiently wide brimming with offices for understudies. Libraries of all colleges I have been through in UK were completely equipped with technology and had a large number of books there. They have received some captivating components in their libraries like commotion spaces for group studies, quiet ranges, group sitting regions, while their book-issuing criteria was truly amazing. Their libraries were spot where understudy can sit and open their brain, can upgrade their abilities and can plan well. Jessica Davis a global Officer at University of Nottingham informed that they have number of Pakistani understudies and this college is very much prestigious for examination. Abida Osman, a young lady from Pakistan, had completely financed a grant and contemplating there that news inspired me to get the grant too.
Excursion to Norwich begins and we came to University of East Anglia, where wonderful grounds and global offices were viewing our direction. Aqib and another understudy of this college strolled with us and guided what sort of offices and training their college is giving. The grounds, Library and gallery I went by were up to the impressing. The environment there was adorable. The whole ground is planted and is wonderful. I asked Dough that for what good reason you individuals are so cognizant about environment, to which he answered: "We don't consider environment less essential than training." This one-line answer was sufficient for me to comprehend why they are fruitful.
The entire trek went astounding, and I got extraordinary experience and receive numerous great things. The visit to London eye, Thames waterway and South bank in London left colossal recollections. The connection and holding made with Vice Chancellor of SMIU, the faculty and understudies group will keep going forever. I am not the same Mahnoor now what I had been before going to UK Study Trip. I am now prepared to bring about some great changes throughout my life, in general public and most particularly in my University.