Public administration and governance program at the

Public administration and governance program at the University of Haripur – A way forward for effective governance

Dr. Muhammad Mumtaz

An educated society is a precursor for a development of any country. A society cannot flourish without effective education system. A quality educational system prepares a nation to face new issues with innovative solutions and help to build a society as per the need of the day. The world societal systems evolved over the time and still in the process of transformation. The emergence of new challenges demands novel responses and proactive ideas to face them effectively.

In 21st century, enormous efforts have been initiated to improve the way of living and promote better social, economic, environmental, and political systems. In the recent decades, it is passionately worked hard to build knowledge economy around the world.  Knowledge economy demands high level skillful and innovative minds that have the abilities to adapt quickly with the changing conditions. Universities have a great role to play for establishing knowledge economy and better governance systems by preparing the young generations.

Best education institutions around the world consider their responsibilities to equip their generations with sophistical mechanisms and tools, problem solving techniques with practical skills, and strategic thinking to face the upcoming issues, and promote sustainable governance systems. Effective governance improves the quality of life for present and future generations without placing an unfair burden on coming generations. An improved governance system is key for the welfare of a nation and is considered an important indicator to place the name of the country in the list of the most successful nations. Therefore, many educational institutions around the world are imparting education how to improve governance systems and how to solve existing issues for ensuring knowledge economy and maintaining sustainable development in the world.

Like many other countries, Pakistan is also continuous facing multifold governance challenges. Pakistan is one of few countries who have weak governance systems in the region due to rampant corruption, red-tapism, weak institutional capabilities, lack of professionalism, and political instability among others. Many initiatives have taken to address the governance challengesin Pakistan. However, this is a high time to further intensify efforts to improve governance setup in the country. As indicated above that Universities have an important role to meet the societal challenges of the current time. It is therefore Pakistani Universities have to come forward and play their due role and set a platform for right drive for effective governance in building the nation.

The University of Haripur has launched a new program in Public Administration and Governance at graduate level considering the demand and significance of governance professionals in the country. It is an inter-disciplinary degree encompassing several academic disciplines. The program aims to strengthen the skills and knowledge base of students and prepare them for successful careers through rigorous academic training and real life simulations. Only a few Universities in Pakistan are offering such programs at graduate and post-graduate levels. Last year, we introduced this program considering the importance of this degree and its likely contributions in Pakistani governance system and beyond. The program is designed through comprehensive discussions and vast consultations with major administrative schools at national and international levels.

I am a political scientist. My expertise in the area, my international exposure of visiting over 35 countries, and my academic affiliations with top public policy and administrative  schools around the world motivated me to  introduce a program in the area which Pakistan needs the most. I believe the program will produce better administrative professionals who will contribute in bureaucracy and governmental institutions to overcoming the existing governance issues in Pakistan. I also believe that this program will emerge as one of the best programs in the area not only in Pakistan but it will be ranked in well-established such programs at regional and international level in time to come.

We are in line to establish our collaboration with some leading administrative and public policy schools of the world such as Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil, Cardiff Business School, England, and Baiden School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware, USA.  Our students will be provided opportunities to spend time as exchange students to these intentional institutions to understand the governance structures in these countries and grip over the innovative governance strategies and later apply in Pakistani case in their professional career. From the platform of this program, an international project of German Academic Exchange Service, Germany is being initiated in collaboration with six universities from different Muslim countries to explore the governance mechanisms in these countries and establish a framework for effective governance system in these countries.

This all was not possible without the promising role of honorable Vice Challenger Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani, the University of Haripur. He is always supportive to introduce innovative ideas and backing the programs and projects that have positive impacts on the society. He personally motivated, guided, and encouraged the introduction of this program like many other programs in the University.  I must have to mention that the University is growing under the headship of Prof. Gilani and the initiatives taken in his leadership today will have long lasting impacts. I am quite sure the University will be found in the best institutions of Pakistan in the years to come. It is our collective responsibility to work with commitment and enthusiasm by following our Quaid’s principles-faith, unity, and discipline so as to address the existing challenges and place Pakistan in the list of most successful nations of the world.

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