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Careers and Conferences

The London Chapter
By Sameen Ahmed Khan


The Conference created an intellectual platform for an assessment of educational programmes in Developing countries with a focus on Muslim contexts.


Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU–ISMC) hosted a two-day Conference on Higher Education in Developing Countries: With a Focus on Muslim Contexts, during, 24–25 February 2005 at the Congress Centre in London, UK. The Conference brought together, students, educators, scholars and decision-makers from around the world. It created an intellectual platform for an assessment of present educational programmes and the future of higher education in developing countries, and more specifically within Muslim contexts. The Conference has a very informative website, not only in English, but also in Arabic, Persian and Urdu (http://www.aku.edu/ismc/samples/urdu/).


The Conference focused on the following main theses: (i) Vision, purpose and aims of higher education in developing countries; and (ii) Reforms and innovation in higher education–success and lessons learned. The following were the sub-themes of the conference: (a) Academic Issues: Teaching and Learning; (b) Academic Issues: Research; (c) Governance and Management; (d) Human and Material Resources; (e) Higher Education, the Global Context and Developing Countries; and (f) Quality Assurance. The Conference had Keynote Addresses and Closing Remarks by internationally known experts, with several Concurrent Sessions, on each day.


Established in 1983, Aga Khan University is a private international university, with teaching and research programmes in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan, Syria and UK. In 2002, the University established the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations in London. The goal of the Institute is to strengthen research and teaching on the heritage of Muslim societies in all its historic diversity. The Institute seeks to create opportunities for interaction among academics, traditionally trained scholars and other professionals so as to deepen understanding of pressing issues affecting Muslim societies.


(The writer can be reached at rohelakhan@yahoo.com)