Prof. Dr. MarnixDressen-Wagne from France visits UO
Dr. Syed A. Waheed
Director of External Linkages
Prof. Dr. MarnixDressen-Wagne is the third international guest professor who visited University of Okara on the invitation of Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Dr. Muhammad ZakriaZakar. He delivered various lectures, conducted workshops and seminars on different topics during his stay from March 2-16, 2019. More than 2000 students, faculty members, administrative personnel from all of the departments of the university participated in the activities arranged by Director of External Linkages with the assistance of heads/inchages of the departments. Many other students and faculty members informally interacted with the visiting professor and discussed various matters of academic, professional and research interests.
Prof. Dr. MarnixDressen-Wagne is professor of sociology at Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (UVSQ) France and recently he is supervising a research project on comparative study of coach cleaners working in Pakistan Railways and French Railway system. The project named PERIDOT is run with mutual support of Higher Education Commission and Government of France. Under this project Pakistani and French researchers get opportunities to interact for joint research activities.
In an inaugural session with faculty of UO Prof. Marnix spoke on Evaluation of French Universities with special focus on UVSQ. The faculty asked questions on education system in France and got an insight into our own education system in this perspective. Prof. Dr. Muhammad ZakriaZakar talked about internationalization of higher education and significance of connecting UO with other top-ranked universities of the world. The Director of External Linkages Dr. Syed A. Waheed introduced UO to the guest professor and presented a short history of Okara city. The topics about which Prof. Marnix talked at different departments of the university include Interviewing and Construction of Questionnaire, Gender and Hierarchical Relations,Hierarchical and Ethnic Relations, Natural and social sciences: Commonalities and differences, French school versus German school of social sciences and Labor Laws in Western Countries. He also delivered a lecture in the neighboring campus of University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. The students enthusiastically attended the lectures, workshops and seminars and actively took part in debates with Prof. Marnix after each of the sessions. The students of all of the departments welcomed him with smiling face and presented bouquet to the guest professor. This event also provided students an opportunity to understand French culture and importance of interacting with the persons from other cultures.
Professor Marnix loved to travel by train because of his area of interest. He met different people while traveling between Lahore and Okara in Jafer Express and Tezgam. Prof. Dr. Muhammad ZakriaZakar presented souvenir and certificate of appreciation to him and greatly valued his lectures and interactive sessions at UO.
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach & Mr. Julian Waleciak
Visit of Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach (Germany) at University of Okara on 27 & 28 February 2019
Dr. Syed A. Waheed (Director of External Linkages)
The vice chancellor of University of Okara Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zkaria Zakar has invited four foreign faculty members during the last 5 months. Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach visited University of Okara on 27th and 28th of February 2019. He is interim professor of social work at University of Applied Sciences Muenster, Germany. Dr. Kurtenbach along with Mr. Abdul Rauf, Research Associate at Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG), Bielefeld University Germany shared findings of their research titled “Street code and risky violence in risky neighborhood: A cross-cultural comparison of youth violence in Germany, Pakistan and South Africa”. It was a joint research project of the researchers who belonged to Bielefeld University, Germany; Quaid-i-Azam University Pakistan and Cape Town University, South Africa. The researchers from these universities include Prof. Dr. Wilehlm Heithmeyer, Dr. Steffen Zdun, Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach, Dr. Simon Howell, Abdul Rauf and Dr. Muhammad Zaman.
A seminar on this project was held at the University of Okara on 27th of October 2019. More than 200 people including students, employees from the administration and faculty members from all academic departments attended the seminar. Dr. Syed A. Waheed, Director of External Linkages presented a brief introduction to the University of Okara. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakria Zakar welcomed guest professor and his colleague at the University. Prof. Zakria spoke that youth violence is a significant issue not only in developing countries but also in advanced countries like Germany and that such issues should be addressed through research and designing policies accordingly. Dr. Senastian Kurthenbach presented the results of their research project. He presented the codes of street and violence and how these codes vary in Germany, Pakistan and South Africa in the perspective and context of the culture in each country. The participants discussed the ways to improve conditions of the youth to make them productive part of the country and gave recommendations for the policy makers for the betterment of the youth through controlling violence. Both the participants answered questions of the attendees of the seminar. The students and faculty members informally talked with the guest professor about different academic affairs in Germany and Pakistan at the end of seminar.
The attendees of the seminar took keen interest in lecture and discussion with guest professor and learnt how youth violence prevailed in different cultures. On the next day, the guest professor also had a formal interaction with the media persons from different newspapers and TV channels next day. The journalist asked the questions on youth violence in Pakistani perspective and its specific situation in other countries of the world particularly Germany and South Africa.
Visits of Foreign Faculty
Dr. Syed A. Waheed
Director of External Linkages
The Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakria Zakar aims to “building alliances and collaborative partnerships with businesses, government, and other research institutions at national and international level”. In order to establish relations with the international scholarly community, the vice chancellor has initiated a series of cultural dialogue and sharing of scientific knowledge and research findings by the professors from foreign universities. In this regard, the vice chancellor so far has invited the following guest speakers from abroad:
- Peter-Josef Boeck (Germany ) October – November 2018
- Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kurtenbach (University of Applied Sciences, Muenster, Germany) February 27-28, 2019
- Dr. Marnix DRESSEN-VAGNE (University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), France) March 2-16, 2019
- Dr. Norman Reid (Glasgow) March 27-28, 2019
The purpose of visits of professors and academician from other countries is to
- understand and respect cultural differences (there is no good and bad culture)
- embrace international exposure
- interact with people from other cultures
- understand the dignity of and respect for the human being
- understand higher education in the perspective of internationalization
- respect gender differences and nondiscriminatory behavior
- develop critical thinking
- promote inter-cultural harmony
- develop professional skills and socialization
- understand the challenges of objectivity in research
- develop scientific thinking
- connect people to other cultures
- familiarize with research cultures of other universities
Please give your feedback and suggestions to improve scholarly, professional and research activities of the Directorate of External Linkages regarding the visits of foreign faculty and other related affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org . The feedback and suggestions can also be submitted in writing to the office of Director of External Linkages.
“Entrenched in a variety of groves, vast green fields and a spacious flowing canal; and managed by a veteran Vice Chancellor, University of Okara is an exquisite center of higher education for the students hailing from the adjacent towns and villages”
Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck’s Visit to University of Okara
Opening new doors of knowledge and Pak-German friendship
Dr. Syed A. Waheed
University of Okara is a newly established university under Government of the Punjab and making a rapid progress to achieve academic excellence and world class standards of quality education and research. The Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakria Zakar aims to “building alliances and collaborative partnerships with businesses, government, and other research institutions at national and international level. This will help to ensure the ongoing relevance of academic programmers and the continued excellence of teaching. University of Okara is dedicated to the responsibility of creating a global knowledge disseminating hub transgressing national and International borders and territories thereby transforming every student into a responsible human by igniting innovation in their minds, finally altering them into excellent professionals.”
To promote international character of higher education, the Vice Chancellor has initiated a series of foreign professors’ visits to University of Okara so that university academic faculty and the students can embrace emerging trends and innovations in the scholarly domain of education through the interaction and dialogue with the eminent educationist from the world over. Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck’s visit to the University was the first step in this regard.
Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck from Bielefeld (Germany) – an economist and a versatile teacher who taught economics, business administration, accountancy, political science, business law, culture and German Language during his 40-years professional career in German colleges delivered valuable lectures, offered motivational talks, presented at seminars and conducted German language class at University of Okara. The students, faculty and administrative staff warmly welcomed the guest. It was his third visit to Pakistan.
Mr. Peter was the first foreigner who visited university of Okara and most of the students were pleased and surprised to see him in the university premises. He visited 8 departments under five faculties of the University and addressed to the faculty and a large number of students on various topics. The student and faculty learnt about academic culture, history, politics, language and education system of the Germany, studying and seeking scholarships opportunities for admissions to MS/PhD in German speaking Universities and their research culture, social rights of the citizen, living a healthy life and significance of sports. He motivated students with his inspirational talks and answered student’s questions. The Directorate of External Linkages (DEL) organized an “Orientation to the Basics of German Language” in which faculty, staff and students participated. Mr. Boeck gave orientation in an interesting and exciting way which motivated the participants of the course. The Registrar Dr. Muhammad Wajid, Mr. Boeck and Director of External Linkages Dr. Syed A. Waheed awarded certificates to the participants.
Mr. Peter’s key message was that we should be hungry for seeking learning and contribute to our society, country and the environment. There should be true emotions of patriotism necessary for continuous development of the country. Mr. Peter’s visit to the University was a beginning and it opened new doors of knowledge and curiosity among students and faculty. They learnt how to interact with foreigners and what were the values and traditions of the economically strong country like Germany. It was most uprising for Mr. Peter that almost all of the students of the university have seen a European for the first time in their lives. Apart from the formal talks, Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck was engaged in informal talks and conversations with the academic and non-academic staff and students of the university during his stay in the university.
After having a successful visit to Pakistan, Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck went back to Germany and a short interview about his visit titled “Menschen in Unserer Stadt- Peter-Josef Boeck, Diplom-Volkswirt” (People in our City - Peter-Josef Boeck, MPhil Economics) was published in a German newspaper “Westfalenblatt Bielefeld” on December 12, 2018. The translation of this is given here:
“It´s with articulate passion, that Peter-Josef Boeck reports on his journeys to Pakistan. ”The people (from Pakistan) are so hospitable. I could not walk 20 meters in the university campus unless I addressed a number of students in the premises.” In the last three years the retired vocational teacher spent all in all ten weeks in this South Asian country.
It all started at the end of 2015, when the Rhinelander from Cleve considered that his house had become too large for a single person. “I had to decide either to rent some of my rooms on usual terms or to try to become a caretaker for my tenants”,Mr. Boeck told the newspaper. Finally, he decided to accommodate foreign students at his home. “It was a pure luck, that his first house guest was a Professor of Sociology from Islamabad.” Since then Boeck has hosted seven students from Pakistan and was invited as the first European guest by the president (in Pakistan known as Vice Chancellor) of the new founded University of Okara.
The Economist travelled not only in this Asian country. But at the climax of the financial crisis, he visited Greece. “I prefer to make up my mind at the place of action itself.” That probably applies to many areas of life of the 69-year-old. Besides other subjects, the subjects taught by Boeck at Rudolf Rempel College in Bielefeld, at the Vocational College in Halle (Westfalia) and later on as part time teacher of young and adult refugees comprised of economics, German language studies and politics.”I do not know of any colleague, who taught such al lot of different subjects”, Boeck comments.
He was active as a founding member of the Green Party in local politics. In 1980 and 1983 he stood for the German federal parliament. Out of personal concern he founded the “Working Group MALPRACTISE IN OBSTETRICS” e.V., an organization of parents, whose children were handicapped by medical malpractice at birth. Since 1982 he was the speaker for four years.
Having a broad-minded approach to the world and a deep desire to engage in practical work for other people was a commitment of Mr. Boeck. ”I wanted to do something which gives meaning to life. Through the stay of the Pakistani students social and scientific contacts are established and deep friendships are emerged”, the dedicated Bielefeld citizen is pleased.” (I thank Mr. Peter-Josef Boeck and his friend Mr. Norbert for translation from German to English).