Pakistan gravely lacks an adequately trained and skilled workforce in the production sector. This has been a major factor contributing to our low exports and poor economic growth. The situation has seen an only marginal improvement in recent years. While our National Education Policy recognizes the importance of technical education at the tertiary level for providing technical skills towards the fulfillment of industry requirements, much remains to be done to enable Pakistan to realize its true potential. The secret to developing a strong knowledge economy lies in the ability of nations to be able to manufacture and export high technology goods. For this, we must have top class engineering universities that can produce students that can meet the new challenges posed by the 4th industrial revolution with the accompanying emerging and disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, next-generation genomics, industrial biotechnology, energy storage systems, 3D printing, new materials, and others.
Being one of the pioneer members of the project team, I must say that inception of Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology is like a dream come true. I take immense pride in being appointed as the first Rector of the Institute.
Today, knowledge along with skill is the key difference between developed and underdeveloped economies. Pakistan lacks in adequately trained and skilled work force in production sector, keeping it behind others. To become a developed economy, it is imperative for the nation to invest in and leverage its engineering sector. The existing engineering and technology curricula do not adequately cater to the needs of our industry mainly due to the lack of practical skills of graduates. Being cognizant of the fact, PAF-IAST is all set to change this rut through a conscious effort by tying practical skills and industry engagement to its Bachelor and Master degree programs.
A purpose-built campus, with state-of-the-art facilities for interactive learning through smart classrooms and advanced laboratory equipment has been established at Mang, Haripur.
Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology is located in a rapidly changing and fiercely competitive global environment, Pakistan has to make bold strategic choices in order to achieve sustainable growth in the manufacturing sector.
To contribute to the development of sound industrial economy in Pakistan
To strive and achieve the goals of effective higher education in engineering, science, and technology
To pave the way through success and to promote the hi-tech industries in Pakistan
To establish an integrated Technology Park comprising Business Incubation Center
To engage world-class faculty, highly qualified and well-versed in applied research
PAF IAST is nestled in natural mountains that flank its campus from all sides, offering one even the ravishing view of snow-capped peaks of Nathiagali and natural winding trails. To its north-west is Tarbela Lake, a journey of only a few kilometers from the campus. Set in the middle of the campus is a natural lake, fed by the springs of surrounding mountains. The campus is just a 3-kilometer drive from the Hazara Motorway. The ideal setting equally conducive to academic activity and aesthetic sensibilities of the human eye is a serene island of its own kind, far from the chaos, congestion and cacophony of metropolitan culture. The major cities like Islamabad, Abbottabad, are just an hour’s drive, while small towns like Wah, Hasanabadal, Taxila and Swabi can be reached in just half an hour.
A Vision for the National Skills Strategy, 2008-12” seeks to achieve three main objectives in the context of defining technical education at the policy level:
These objectives are consistent with the policy of the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards poverty alleviation through skill training and human resource development. Underpinning these prime objectives is our prime focus on meeting workforce demands in key growth sectors such as industry, IT, information and communication technologies, medical technologies, electrical and mechanical as well as mineral resource development, extractive metallurgy, and construction fields.