Campus Career Portal Launched for Pakistani Universities

Posted on July 8, 2008
Filed Under >Aisha Sarwari, Economy & Development, Education, Society
19 Comments
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Aisha Sarwari

In an exciting new technology launch at Marriott Islamabad on July 1st, ICT R&D Fund sponsored the Campus Career Portals initiative, with 6 leading university rectors and other EVPs of leading Industry present at the launch. The aim was to officially begin the roll out of giving away costly technology to Universities completely free of cost across 85 HEC accredited campuses in 18 months.

Camps Career Portal

In the photo above R-L: Dr. Amir Muhammed, Rector FAST-NU; Mr. QM Shaheed, Head of HR PTC; Dr. Dilawar Ali Khan, Dean and DG, NUST Business School; Monis Rahman, CEO ROZEE.PK; Dr. Qasim Sheikh, Chief Executive ICT R&D Fund; Dr. Zahoor Hassan, Vice Chancellor, LUMS; Mr. Leon Menezes, Director HR, Shell.

Although this is attempted in Pakistan for the first time, the product is similar in vision to Monster.com’s MonsterTrack commonly utilized by students to find internship and job placement in US universities, with the difference being that this technology has customization options to reflect the brand and theme of each university.

Although a vital step towards development, the scenario of education in Pakistan is dire, and underscores the need to take a look at matrix as they stand today.

To say that Pakistan has failed as a nation because of its poverty, would mean to disregard the significant leaps the nation has taken since pre-partition times when literacy rates were only about 5%.(2)

It has however ranked poorly in its failure to prioritize the importance of education in fueling economic development. Experts claim that knowledge gaps are primarily responsible for income gaps between the developing world and the wealthy one.(3) Yet, Pakistan spends 11 times more on defense than it does on knowledge (4) and spends only 1.8% of GDP on funding education.(5) The result of misappropriated education funds has led Pakistan to have not only the lowest primary and secondary enrollment in South Asia but also, the lowest female literacy and the highest dropout rate in the region.(6)

There is however one effective strategy that researchers say will bring Pakistan back on the economic map, and that is a redirection of donor funds toward higher education.

The Internet Era

For this, Internet is the only solution to achieve any such high ending dreams because it is the only medium that can process massive amounts of data as well as allow customization by linking higher education institutes with industry in user-friendly way. According to the World Bank, without a technological boost on higher education, the developing world cannot even expect survival,(7) especially given the competitive world food and fuel crisis.

This is by no means an exaggeration. On the contrary, according to our Education Policy,

“a population of 2.5 million will need to be provided higher education by 2010.”

Even with a big leap of imagination, how can our 80 odd educational institutions meet this formidable challenge, when currently they can only churn out 120,000 graduates a year (8) We have magical expectations from these higher education institutions to perform at 16X more than their current capacity while, as it stands now, there is no sufficient data on these 120,000 graduates that come out each year.

Campus Career Portal

In a unique partnership between Industry, Academia and Government, a first-of-its-kind web-based technology has been developed to create a Campus Career Portal. This initiative is the result of over five man-years of investment and is now available free of cost to qualifying universities.

Although the portal cannot directly solve all education-related loopholes, it can however very effectively empower universities to achieve economy of scale that lowers the cost of higher education for the common man, through effective and revenue-generating linkage between industry and academia. The use of technology consequently enables better placement of jobs for graduates as well as a greater ability to showcase faculty talents to sponsoring industry members.

The Campus Career Portal Initiative gives participating universities a powerful platform to engage the corporate sector for the benefit of its students, faculty and alumni. The portal is a web based productivity solution that allows student CV management and distribution, effective job matching between students and industry, alumni tracking and facilitating industry-faculty linkages for research activities.

In a recent publication called Rethinking Education in Pakistan; Mr. Shahid Siddiqui outlines 6 key challenges that need solutions in our quest for qualitatively putting Pakistan on the track of economic development though higher education.

A. Monitoring and planning of graduate data to measure returns

B. Competent faculty hires based on competitive industry-weighed salaries

C. Accountability in the institution to see academic projects through

D. Funding of Research by sponsoring companies

E. Relevant curriculum to fill vacancies in the job market without discrepancies between what is taught in coursework and what is required by companies

F. Absorption of young population boom into a demand-driven market

The portal was developed by a core team of senior Pakistan-based Software Architects at Pakistan’s #1 Jobsite, ROZEE.PK. The framework of this software has evolved through close collaboration and partnership with leading academic institutions, particularly, LUMS, NUST, FAST, IBA and UCP among others. While focusing on seamless integration with existing university workflows and ease of use, the Campus Career Portal puts the university at the center of all activities and solves all issues outlined above by serving all stakeholders involved as described below.

Placement Office

The Campus Career Portal puts the university placement office at the center of all activities. Whether it is approving student CVs, liaising with hiring managers, allowing job postings for students and alumni or facilitating communication between different parties, the Placement Office is always in control. The Campus Career Portal’s rich features let the placement office do more to source student jobs in less time.

Students

Students are groomed for the professional world from day one. As they increase exposure to diverse internships and career opportunities, they are in a better position to choose their careers as opposed to being chosen by select few employers. Students can benefit from tools based on industry standards to create professional CVs using the Campus Career Portal’s online Resume Wizard. Through increased professional exposure, they are enabled to become more sought after by employers and eligible for the higher end of starting salaries.

Employers

In addition to helping existing network of employers through the Campus Career Portal, Universities have the option to add on 15,000 leading domestic and overseas employers to the placement list. The portal’s search facility allows employers to surgically find candidates who have the right qualifications while simultaneously maximizing career options for students. Efficient matching is made possible by enabling employers to quickly view key candidate information in the form of a graduate synopsis, without having to go through the entire CV. Graduate profile books can now be dynamically generated for employers in electronic format for distribution through a CD or email at the click of a button.

Alumni

Alumni are one of a university’s most potent and underutilized assets. The Campus Career Portal uniquely facilitates alumni interaction and community building. The portal’s alumni corner allows experienced professionals to return to university online and leverage its employer network to find opportunities throughout their careers. Alumni can upload their existing CV in any format without the hassle of filling out detailed CV builder forms to enter an employer searchable database. Or they can respond to alumni job opportunities, or opt for a comprehensive report generation feature coupled with the portal’s database that helps the placement office maintain a record of key alumni information including employment history, job designations and contact details. The Portal also keeps alumni informed on events and on-campus activities through the online university newsletter facility.

Using a powerful social networking interface, students, faculty and alumni can communicate with each other. This allows the university to benefit from alumni’s professional network, influence and acumen. According to a Monster.com survey, 87% of senior recruitment occurs within professional networks. Tapping into the alumni network can create a power resource resulting in partnerships and hires of a sizable monitory value.

Faculty

The campus portal is dedicated to stimulate creative research interests of scholars. User-friendly faculty profiles, research interests and papers are searchable by industry sponsors, allowing mutually rewarding academia-industry linkages through the university’s platform. Aside from potentially adding depth to university’s research standing, the Campus Career Portal can also bring faculty in closer proximity to emerging human capital requirements and industry trends.

How it started

When Monis Rahman, returned to Pakistan 5 years ago, he launched ROZEE.PK, Pakistan’s #1 Jobsite to help his US, UK and Canada targeted dot-coms source IT experts. The 2nd most visited website, ROZEE.PK has now matured to become the choice destination for leading Telecom, Banking, FMCG and Media giants from Mobilink, UBL, Pakistan Tobacco, and United Nations among 15,000 others.

The criticism he faced though, from employers and academia alike was that he should invest and replicate the same success in academia. Hiring organizations from Motorola to Pakistan Cement constantly asked ROZEE.PK to help them with the challenge of direct university linkage. Companies such as these primarily model their recruitment though investment in fresh graduates and then imbibing training for them. Others such as Tethyan Copper want to access geologists in from Baluchistan University only, International Refugee Committee for example would like direct access to local doctors in the Muzzafarabad area for their relief camps. There is no better way to solve the local requirement problem without the partnership of all Pakistani universities.

But, investing in such an elaborately designed technology did not make business sense because the cost of its creation could not be passed on to Universities. Thankfully, a government grant for the design phase of the portal enabled ROZEE.PK to roll out these portals starting with the top Pakistani Universities. Eventually these portals will be implemented by about 85 qualifying HEC accredited Universities.

The grant to create the design is from the ICT R&D fund. This is an independent Government body under the Ministry of IT is chartered to transform Pakistan’s economy into a knowledge-based economy by promoting efficient, sustainable and effective ICT initiatives through synergic development of industrial and academic resources.

The Magic of Technology

As Arthur C. Clarke said,

“any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,”

the internal structure of the Campus Career Portal has secure data protection and privacy. ROZEE.PK makes the technology investments in software, hardware and maintenance so universities don’t have to. The expert IT team knows what it takes to run complex applications and keep them running. As a hosted service, the only technology investment needed by participating universities is a web browser!

It is estimated that the running costs of enterprise applications often exceed the initial investment for purchasing them. By provisioning a large number of portals through shared infrastructure, the cost is fully absorbed to benefit of partnering academic institutions.

The Way Forward

Without all stakeholders participation the Campus Portal initiative will remain a dream. Internet has given Pakistan a second chance to regain lost ground in the economic game by becoming a great equalizing force and bringing the massive talent in Pakistan to a global level.

References:

1. www.harvard.edu
2. Ghafoor & Khan Report, 1912
3. Knowledge for Development Report By World Bank, 1998-1999
4. Federal Budget, 2008
5. Human Development Center Report 2006
6. Ibid
7. World Bank, Higher Education in Developing Countries, 2000

ATP’s Other Posts on Higher Education in Pakistan

1. Pakistani University Rankings
2. Pakistani Universities and Their Web Presence

Related Posts with Thumbnails

19 responses to “Campus Career Portal Launched for Pakistani Universities”

  1. There were queries about the United Nations partnership with ROZEE.PK …FYI…

    http://jobs.un.org.pk/

    Also HEC portal launched with ROZEE.PK. Official ceremony on Feb 12th 2009 at HEC auditorium

    http://hec.gov.pk/

  2. Iqbal Khan says:

    ROZEE.PK’s Career Portal Initiative is not a “job board” as the BrightSpyre folks here keep mentioning. Job boards are unimaginative and Rozee understands that it’s not about simply building websites; it’s about building solutions that add value with technology as a medium. The Campus Career Portal Initiative is complete solution for campus placement offices to help connect their students and alumni with ROZEE.PK’s 15,000 employers.

    It’s comical to think that ROZEE.PK would copy anything from BrightSpyre, which frankly is a disaster. Just interact with the two companies and you’ll instantly realize the difference.

  3. ? ? ? ? says:

    aisha you mentioned about the challenges faced by top employers like Mobilink and UN? btw what are the projects you are working with UN?

    because most of the career portals for UN are powered by BRIGHTSPYRE.COM like, UNDP, UNFPA,UNV, UNHABIT – and you can even see the newspaper advertisements on dawn, the news for BrightSpyre career portals. BrightSpyre are serving prestigious agencies of UN since 2002.

    I think one should be very specific in giving information to the end users and avoid tactics of using big names as their clients.

    For references of BrightSpyre powered career sites, please see the links

    UNDP
    http://undp.brightspyre.com/undpindex.php?

    UNFPA
    http://unfpa.brightspyre.com/unfpaindex.php?

    UNV
    http://unv.brightspyre.com/unvindex.php?

    UNHABITAT
    http://unhabitat.brightspyre.com/unhabitat.php?

    Thanks !!

  4. Mustafa says:

    Oh Its Rozee!

    If you want to see rozee’s future products just logon to BrightSpyre.com because rozee always follow BrightSpyre because they are very much inspire from BrightSpyre.

    Now I am waiting to see resume writing service with the tag line ‘First time in Pakistan’

    kindly log on to blog.brightspyre.com and see the dates when BrightSpyre launched first University job board and then see where rozee stand after saying first time in pakistan.

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