During the CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference, Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of LUMS, received the prestigious Asia-Pacific Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). This recognition marked a significant milestone as he became the first recipient from a South Asian university to receive this esteemed award. Dr. Ahmad has honored for his outstanding contributions in promoting education and institutional advancement.
Acknowledging the achievement, Mr. Shahid Hussain, Rector of LUMS, highlighted the university’s remarkable growth and positive impact on global challenges despite its small size and location in a country without historical advantages of prosperity. LUMS emerged as a model institution, demonstrating how a young university can transcend boundaries and address complex interconnected issues.
Expressing his gratitude, Dr. Ahmad attributed LUMS’ success to its talented students, exceptional faculty, and dedicated staff. He considered the CASE Leadership Award as a testament to the entire LUMS community, which he proudly regarded as one of the best-kept secrets of the Global South.
Since joining LUMS in 2018, Dr. Ahmad has been committed to advancing quality higher education in the region through the university’s unique perspective of Learning without Borders. He strived to bridge academic, geographic, and socio-economic gaps, fostering a sense of unity and cooperation within LUMS’ governance and core academic work. Dr. Ahmad emphasized the importance of viewing challenges as opportunities for innovative thinking, learning, and collaboration to create a meaningful impact on students, communities, and the region.
Under Dr. Ahmad’s leadership, LUMS witnessed remarkable institutional advancements. By consolidating LUMS Alumni Relations, Marketing, Development, and Communications under the Office of Advancement, the university experienced a threefold increase in donations and new grants, and alumni contributions doubled.
Dr. Ahmad also championed a 50% scholarship for women enrolled in graduate programs at the Suleman Dawood School of Business, resulting in a 35% increase in women’s enrollment. Additionally, his efforts led to increased financial support for students from disadvantaged areas through LUMS’ National Outreach Program (NOP).
Today, LUMS promotes a transdisciplinary approach to research and teaching, encouraging collaboration across different fields. The university fosters faculty and student collaborations by facilitating cross-appointments across Schools and Centers.
LUMS has expanded its experiential learning opportunities, including the Baltistan Experience, a month-long program in Skardu that engaged hundreds of students. This summer, students from the Computer Science department will lead IT boot camps in high schools across Gilgit, further strengthening ties between LUMS and the local community.
Dr. Ahmad also initiated the LUMS Learning Institute, which supports faculty development, pedagogical partnerships with students, and the integration of educational technologies for enhanced learning and teaching. Throughout the pandemic, LUMS emerged as a leader in Pakistan, providing effective support for hybrid and online learning. The university’s newly created online platform, LUMSx, presents exciting prospects to expand access, relevance, and collaboration.
Dr. Ahmad’s unwavering commitment to LUMS and the advancement of quality higher education in the region has made a lasting impact. His instrumental role in supporting and advancing LUMS across all aspects of its work, outreach, and impact in the region and beyond has been widely recognized.
This award celebrates his dedication and signifies the exceptional progress achieved by the LUMS community in making a difference in the Global South. The award ceremony took place during the CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference, followed by Dr. Ahmad’s participation in the President’s Panel held in Melbourne.