Here is why I chose Habib University
Every student stepping out of high school faces a dilemma: which university should they choose for further studies? Recently, a major investment has been made to establish Habib University. This university is a progressive educational institution that has incorporated state-of-the-art facilities along with learned faculty members.
This university became my choice and here is why:
Many universities in Pakistan have faculty members from foreign countries but very few are committed to undergraduate research and service inside and outside the campus community. This holds true for Pakistani teachers as well.
A majority of the faculty members at Habib University are middle-aged or younger; this just reiterates the fact that these teachers will be able to bring out the best in their students, as they would be able to understand a student’s perspective in a better way and would be able to interact more effectively. Not only does the faculty have a notable presence in academia, unlike other universities, they specialise in what they teach. Nothing can be more attractive than this for a student; whether they aspire to become filmmakers, journalists, scientists, engineers, or religious anthropologists like myself, Habib University has faculty for everything. Their teachers are probably Habib University’s strongest asset at this point.
The liberal arts
Let me make one thing clear over here: liberal arts at Habib University is not a separate field of study but is a compulsory and integral part of the whole curriculum. I clarify this because I have been asked many times by my friends about the scope of liberal arts. Studying liberal arts, which comprise of sociology, history, philosophy – Western, Eastern and Islamic – and anthropology, is mandatory for every student, including those pursuing natural sciences.
This will enable the students to relate what they study with what they observe, something most students are unable to do when they graduate. Some will criticise this system because it is followed in the US, but tell me, what good has following an exclusively Pakistani system done to us?
If you haven’t visited the campus yet, then you’re missing out on a great aesthetic site. It is one of the most well-planned campuses in the city. Now, you might ask why, or how, you could visit the campus if you are not yet a student there? Well, it’s simple; it opens its door to anybody who wants to use the library or the auditorium, regardless of whether they are regular students or not.
Being wheelchair-bound, my biggest concern about going to the University of Karachi (which was the only university that offered the field of my interest, until I found out about Habib University) was that it isn’t wheelchair-friendly. Now, however, I am not worried because the Habib campus is very accommodating of differently-abled people.
Equal opportunity for everyone
A lot of people think that Habib University is an expensive, elitist institution; I won’t deny that it is expensive, but it surely isn’t elitist. It has many unprecedented scholarship and financial aid programs, very similar to those at Ivy League colleges. I hail from a middle-class family and Habib would have been too expensive for me had it not been for the financial aid they offered me, and although the amount I have to pay is a little higher than I can afford, the flexible payment schedule has diminished that worry.
Each case is reviewed each year based on the performance of the previous year, which makes future scholarship opportunities applicable during the entire time a student is enrolled there and is a great way to make sure the level of education standard is maintained by the student.
The Pakistani sensitivity
Each academic program at Habib University is Pakistan-sensitive, which in essence mean that it is designed keeping in view Pakistan’s needs. However, that does not take away the global outlook the students develop. The fact that each member of the faculty has, at some point in time, acquired training or education abroad enables students to view Pakistan from a global perspective as well.
Also, it is mandatory for every student studying at Habib University to take Urdu and one regional language of Pakistan as part of their course. This not only helps students understand the different cultures in Pakistan but also prepares them for employment in places where it is obligatory for them to know the native language.
One of the biggest concerns of students pursuing humanities and social sciences is research. To be good, you should have some research papers to your name and what could be more exciting than to engage in research with renowned academics?
Now, I know undergraduates seldom publish papers, but the opportunity would indeed facilitate postgraduate applications for students who wish to apply abroad.
The pioneer batch
Many of my friends did not apply to Habib University, saying that it has no alumni. For me, that is definitely a plus point. I will have the perk of being the first batch of this amazing university; not only will I be a pioneer, but also a senior for all four years! Can it get any better?
So if you are about to open the undergraduate chapter of your life and you aspire to become an electrical engineer, a computer scientist or want to study media, filmmaking and social sciences, I strongly suggest that give Habib University a shot. It is definitely worth your consideration.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.