The Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) is therefore planned to be established in collaboration with several Austrian institutions and double degrees will be awarded to ensure excellence.
The Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) concept is novel in its content and holistic in approach. The project concept is based on the slogan of “Skilling Pakistan” to create both a high quality technical education infrastructure at tertiary level and also a high technology industry. With this twofold objectivity, the project is considered a step forward in this era of knowledge-based economy.
The concept is based on raising the standard of technical education in Pakistan to levels that are exactly equivalent to those found only in the most advanced industrial economies, in a step change. Simultaneously the concept links employment with education by using the high-quality manpower produced by such projects to induce, not only an inward flow of technology investment into Pakistan but also the generation of local high technology industry. The technology park integrated into Pak-Austria Institute/University is an inseparable part of the holistic concept.
With this in mind a four member delegation comprising H. E. Mr. Mushtaq Ghani, Provincial Minister of Higher Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman (former Federal Minister of Science & technology), Secretary, Higher Education Department, KPK, and Prof. Nasser Ali Khan (Vice Chancellor, University of Haripur) visited various Technical Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachochschule) in Vienna, St. Poulten, Linz, Graz and Innsbruck. The unique concept of an educational institution in Pakistan which will closely collaborate with several institutions in Austria and award multiple foreign degrees was discussed in depth. Meetings were also held with the head of ASIA-UNINET as well as senior officials of the Ministry of Education of Austria who were very enthusiastic about this exciting new concept of multi - lateral cooperation. The following institutions have agreed to assist set up this program.
1. University of Applied Sciences Vienna: Clinical Engineering
2. University of Applied Sciences SANKT POELTEN: Digital Media Technology
3. University of Applied Sciences Innsbruck: Environment and Energy
4. University of Applied Sciences GRAZ (Joanneum)
a) Software Engineering,
b) Electronics/Computer Engineering (some blend of Mechatronics).
It is particularly notable that in addition to above universities, a consortium of 17 foreign Universities will also cooperate in this initiative. The innovative program will allow the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) to give degrees from many Austrian universities, depending on which department in the PAF-IAST is linked to which Institution in Austria. The project is expected to cost about Rs 8.2 billion spread over 7 years. This is a historic and visionary initiative as it is probably the first time that an institution will be established in Pakistan with many foreign universities giving degrees to students who study in it.
The Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) will have modern up-to-date teaching and practical laboratories with equipment specified by the foreign partners.
The program is not just a program of higher education. It is closely inter-linked to a simultaneous plan for the development of technology-driven enterprises. The concept can only be realized holistically if the educational infrastructure created by the university has a corresponding and closely parallel growth in high-technology industry. To meet this objective, the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST) will have an adjacent Technology Park. These projects will be largely implemented in collaboration with Austrian partner scientists and could lead to joint patenting and industrial production.
About 200 PhD level faculty members will be trained in Austria for periods of up to 6 years during phase 1, 2 and 3 under HRD program. Persons holding M.S/M.Phil or equivalent qualifications will be sent to Technical Universities in Austria for 4 years to obtain a PhD degree in the relevant discipline. Those that already hold a PhD degree will be sent for 2 years for training in the Foreign Institution.
It is planned to send 25 PhD faculty members initially (05 faculty from each discipline) selected from 05 departments which are planned to be started in first phase of the project.