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Pakistani Professor Dr. Sohail Naqvi receives international recognition for reforming higher education

Reputed educationist Dr. Sohail Naqvi, rector of the University of Central Asia, received the “Best of Education” Award on July 12, 2022, from Almazbek Beishenaliev, minister of education and science of the Kyrgyz Republic, in recognition of his contributions to the creation, growth, and advancement of the university as well as its role in the reform of the country’s higher education system.

Professor Dr. Sohail Naqvi previously worked as the Lahore University of Management Sciences’ (LUMS) vice chancellor for five years prior to his August 2018 appointment to UCA, where he oversaw the transformation of this esteemed, predominately undergraduate institution into one of the top research universities in the nation.

In 2014, LUMS’s QS Asian University Ranking was in the 191-200 range; in 2018, it was ranked at position 103. During this time, LUMS saw a 30 percent growth in enrollment, with a drop in the student-to-teacher ratio and a marked improvement in admissions quality.

After the National Incubation Center in Lahore was established, he also oversaw the creation of the LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship, which has since emerged as the nation’s leading innovation centre. The university’s quality of instruction and research underwent a paradigm shift with the creation of a formalized quality assurance system across all disciplines, program accreditation, and strict application of the tenure track system of appointment.

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He spent eight years as the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) Executive Director before joining LUMS. He oversaw the implementation of a comprehensive higher education quality assurance system as well as the standardization of undergraduate and postgraduate programs with clear quality-related benchmarks, all of which contributed to the significant growth of research in Pakistan’s universities and the quadrupling of student enrollment.

Dr. Sohail Naqvi has a wealth of expertise in the fields of teaching, research, and entrepreneurship in both the US and Pakistan. He has also served as a higher education consultant for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He received the Sitar-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) from the government of Pakistan and the Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms), both with the rank of Chevalier, for his contributions to higher education.

At Purdue University in the United States, he received his BSc (with the highest honor), MSc, and PhD degrees (all in Electrical Engineering). Prior to moving back to Pakistan in 1995 to join the Faculty of Electronics at the GIK Institute of Technology, he held the positions of Assistant and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, USA.

In addition, Dr. Naqvi co-developed scatterometry as a metrology method and process sensor for the manufacture of microelectronic and optoelectronic components, earning him a number of patents.

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