Islamabad - Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) strictly following transparency, merit and rules and regulations in its working will lay greater emphasis on research, curriculum and faculty development.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui stated this while addressing deans and the faculty members of the university here on Tuesday. Highlighting his priorities for the development of the AIOU, he said he would be working on a comprehensive and well thought out strategy to develop the university on modern lines and provide best possible educational facilities to the students. This cherished task, he said, will be implemented in consultation with academic and administrative staff in a team spirit. He thanked the deans, faculty members and other staff for the support they extended to him earlier in their welcome speeches.

While underlining the importance of research work, Dr Siddiqui said it should be relevant and meaningful to meet the present days’ requirements. The existing research cell in the university will be further strengthened and at least three research journals will be brought out by 2015. Cash prizes and letters of appreciation will be given to researchers as an encouragement to their good work. He wished for the AIOU to work as model in research activities for other educational institutions.

Updating curriculum will be another important challenge that the university is to face in the coming days, he said and added, “The curriculum will be modified in a manner to meet contemporary needs as per international requirements.”

In order to upgrade the university’s standard, greater focus will also be laid on faculty development through various means, including holding of workshops, seminars and exhibitions on regular basis. The AIOU’s existing library will be further developed through digital and computerised network to facilitate the students. Efforts will also be made to promote paper-less culture, bringing all basic students’ related services like admissions and examination through online system.

Most of the correspondence between the university and the students will be made through emails, he added. Dr Shahid Siddiqui who took over the charge as new vice chancellor last week assured his university’s colleagues that all decisions relating to the development and employees’ welfare will taken on merit and there will be no discrimination in this connection. Accountability, discipline, teamwork and transparency will be the basic criteria for the running the university’s affairs.

Responding to demands regarding officers’ promotion, Siddiqui announced that the selection board will meet by the end of next month to undertake this task. He hoped that the officers and the staff will perform their duties with honesty and dedication, strictly following rules and regulations. Earlier, four deans Prof Ali Asghar Chishti, Prof Dr Nowshad Khan, Prof Dr Rashid A Naeem and Prof Dr Tanvirul Zaman in their welcome address assured their support to the new vice chancellor and lauded his vision and priorities for the development of the university.