Higher Education Commission has been working with Microsoft for well over 10 years. The strategic engagement, which encompasses all public and private sector universities in Pakistan, allows for the students to get access to genuine, state-of-the-art software tools, completely free, including training and skill-building opportunities to nurture their skill set and prepare them for the next step in their lives.
Imagine Cup, which is Microsoft’s premier technology competition, is also part of this engagement, wherein students from universities all around the country participate massively every year – they build solutions and FYPs using their choice of tech and Microsoft offers them the platform where they can compete against other students and get a chance to win and represent Pakistan on the global stage.
To enable Remote Learning in these difficult times, Microsoft is continuously working with HEC & Universities to enable them on cloud platforms – Office 365, Teams & Azure. Universities in Pakistan have been actively using MS Teams to deliver online classes – the platform-agnostic tool that allows students to join a class using any device. Teams works well with Moodle, which most Universities use as their Learning Management System.
Jibran Jamshad, Country Education Lead, Microsoft Corporation stated that “In this age of digital transformation, access to technology has radically changed the working dynamics for industries; Education is the prime beneficiary of these advancements and our strategic alignment with Higher Education Commission aims to make technology accessible to the students in the most effective manner possible. Working together with HEC, Microsoft has transformed the education system of Pakistan and today we can be proud of the many success stories of Universities where effective technology implementations are paving the way towards an accessible, dynamic, and modern education system.”
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman Higher Education Commission, expressed his views, “We at HEC are keen to extend our cooperation with Microsoft, both to enhance the technological capacity of educational institutions, and to address the challenges posed by the pandemic and the emerging post-pandemic situation. Microsoft has been a key partner in the transformation of the Pakistani education system through state-of-the-art IT solutions. During these challenging times, Microsoft has doubled its efforts through immediate support for remote learning platforms like Teams and Azure. We count on Microsoft’s continued support and innovative solutions to benefit students, faculty members, and educational administrators, and enable Pakistan to compete with international education standards.”
Microsoft has been working with Universities across the country to enable them on using their cloud platform to build key workloads involving Cyber Security, High-Performance Computing for Research, video streaming services, as an alternative site for their disaster recovery and backup strategy or simply as a platform to host their web services. Multiple universities in Pakistan have been consistently using Microsoft’s platform over the last couple of years, with new Universities coming into the fold every day.
This year, the Education Transformation Agreement also includes the Microsoft Imagine Academy program, which enables certain Universities to allow their students to certify their skillsets using Microsoft certifications. Students from participating universities would be able to use the Imagine Academy to prepare for MOS (Microsoft Office Specialization) or MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) which includes certification courses on current tech trends such as Cloud Fundamentals covering Azure, Dynamics & Office 365, using the material provided through the platform to prepare for these certifications.