LAHORE - 23rd convocation of the University of Central Punjab was held at Expo Center, Lahore in a graceful ceremony. Governor Punjab Ch. Muhammad Sarwar graced the occasion with his presence as chief guest. Prof Sohail Afzal, Executive Director, Punjab Group of Colleges, along with many distinguished guests from private and corporate sector were also present on the occasion.

943 young graduates of 3 faculties received their degrees in the 1st phase of the convocation whereas 1054 graduates will receive their degrees tomorrow. Roll of Honor was awarded to Muhammad Bilal Ejaz, D. Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Certificates of Merit were given to Muhammad Hasnan Tahir Khan, MBA, Faculty of Management Studies and Ali Shehran BSCS, Faculty of Information Technology. 316 position holders were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals.

At the 23rd convocation of the University of Central Punjab, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar congratulated the graduates on their academic performance. In his address, he stated that he is yet to come across an institution where female students are excelling in their studies more than the male students. The governor showed his confidence in these young female graduates and stated that they would take up higher offices and would perform better than their male counterparts. He further emphasized on the role of teachers & parents towards the educational excellence of the students. “Respecting your parents will help you all during this life & the hereafter”, addressed the governor. The governor lauded Mian Amer Mahmood and labelled him as a role model for the youth. 

Earlier, in his welcome address, Dr Nassar Ikram, Pro Rector UCP, thanked the Governor Punjab, Patron of UCP, to have graced the occasion despite having his multifarious commitment. He said that UCP, since its inception in 2002, has achieved tremendous success in academics, research, sports, and the social work. 

During this year, UCP successfully launched 04 new academic programmes including BS Data Science, BS Business Analytics, BS Real Estate Management, and M.Phil. International Relations programmes. It has inducted 125 new faculty members before the commencement of Fall 2021. Moreover, 30 new PhDs were hired making the total number of PhDs as 153. Teaching Excellence Certification Program for over 400 faculty members was also conducted to ensure their compliance to the teaching standards. UCP’s Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) is now closely linked with industry and playing its due role in the national innovation system of Pakistan and increasing its competitiveness for producing cutting edge and impactful research. During the year 2020-21, 639 papers were published by UCP faculty members and students, out of which, 336 research papers were published in impact factor journals. I am pleased to report that 6 faculty members of UCP have obtained the cumulative impact factor of more than 100 in one year.

UCP has invested approx. 100 million as research funding for this year which is 4 percent of the total operational budget. Moreover, we were able to win a research grant of worth 4.5 million from HEC’s National Research Program for Universities (NRPU). This is first time that a Principle Investigator from UCP has achieved this grant.

Keeping in view the growing demand from HEC and international funding agencies, UCP Ethical Review Committee (ERC) was also established in 2021, where a group of highly professional individuals have been formally appointed to scrutinize, review and approve the proposed research studies in the context of maintaining the appropriate protocols of ethical standards as per national/international rules & regulations. Also, our Business Takhleeq incubator has now got the membership of Community of International Science Industry Parks – a Chinese Initiative with over 150 members worldwide.

The importance of Industry Academia needs no emphasis. In order to increase its outreach efforts to the industry, UCP has established Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) across all the Faculties. A new Centre for Professional Excellence has been established to conduct high quality professional development short courses for local industry and to further strengthen university industry linkages through conferences, seminars, symposiums and workshops on latest technology, innovation and industry focused issues. Each year 72% of our students receive scholarships and discounts in order to have access to quality education and to pursue their career goals.

Our international outlook is improving and today we are in the top 500 universities in Asia as per the QS Ranking and also in top 500 in UI GM rankings which has been improved by 115 positions this year placing UCP amongst top 15 Universities in Pakistan.

Furthering its vision in becoming an international university, UCP has had induction of foreign students in different programs. A total of 7 Sri Lankan students have secured admissions across 3 undergraduate programs namely Pharm-D, BS Accounting & Finance & BBA. UCP recently became a member of University Alliance of Silk Road (UASR), a China Based Initiative with over 150 Universities world-wide as its members.