Pakistani IT education project wins recognition

 Rs37.6 million Pakistani education project that aims for introduction of a new method of teaching software engineering to undergraduate students based on open software has been recognised and acknowledged by the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI).

The ‘Integration of Open Source Software Projects in IT Education’ is an innovative software engineering project that is gradually achieving its objectives by training and allowing students to learn good programming practices and by getting feedback from professionals through open source. It is also sequentially helping the software industry by providing them with a workforce that has worked on industrial strength projects.

The project is funded by the National ICT R&D Fund, Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, and is executed by a team of researchers at the Software Engineering Research Centre (SERC) at the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU), Lahore.

SERC has implemented an innovative strategy to enhance student participation and learning in developing open source software. This could ideally be achieved by involving students in realistic projects. SERC has turned to open source software to allow students, in collaboration with companies such as Openbravo ERP and OrangeHRM, to get hands-on experience on projects used in the industry.

The project has also found a mention in the newsletter of GUNI, which states: “If successful, this model has the potential to revolutionise software engineering education by addressing the fundamental issue of exposing students to real-life projects and help the software industry without adding any extra overhead on the faculty.”

GUNI is composed of Unesco Chairs in Higher Education, research centres, universities, networks and other institutions committed to innovation in higher education. More than 100 institutions from around the world are GUNI members and are working towards the reinforcement of higher education by application of the decisions of the World Conference on Higher Education. GUNI supports several activities such as Higher Education in the World, International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education and Universities and Social Commitment Observatory.

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