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Three-day international student convention & expo from 17- 19 April, 2019 brought students and their mentors across the country in Lahore to discuss the common theme of ‘Securing our future.’ This second edition of the convention followed the paradigm of its first youth gathering held in Islamabad under the umbrella of Interuniversity Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities (IUCPSS).

Overall 12 highly focused workshops towards enhancing students’ academic skills; 17 sessions guided by experts from diversified fields dedicated to identifying problems Pakistani youth facing and their possible solutions. A couple of dozen inter-university student competitions in academic and extracurricular activities were part of the highly organized schedule. Importantly, an elegant expo bringing all higher education institutes of the country showcasing their educational and research activities under one roof beside a first-ever youth literary festival in the country further added value to this gathering.

There is no question about the role of youth and particularly their proper guidance to make them highly useful global citizen. Bringing them together on a common platform beside exchange of ideas generate opportunities for collaborative work and understanding about contemporary educational opportunities in the country and abroad. This convention has particular importance as it received important commitments from the two honorable guests having a significant impact on the future of education in the country. Professor Atta ur Rehman addressing the inaugural session of the conference advised the youth to be dedicated, confident, optimistic, tolerant and manifest integrity with determination to serve. He also spelled his vision and current government efforts in academia with a statement.

“What I would like to see is the shift of direction of our country, strategic change in directions from a natural resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy through investment in education, science and technology, and innovation. Of course, investment in social sciences, you must not neglect social science; it has to be a balanced approach.” The Minister of Higher Education in Punjab, a keen observer, committed his future reformative efforts in universities with resolve to improve higher education by concluding his talk, “Unless we give them proper autonomy and proper finance, they would not be able to improve the universities.” Both the leaders alluded to improving standards of education aligning with contemporary priorities.

International Student Convention and Expo consisted of several sessions, workshops, competitions, a model United Nations session, particularly taking into consideration sustainable development and peace across the globe inculcated in student minds how to be competitive and interactive with other nations around the world. The conference received accolade across the country including dignitaries’ messages, commendation, and international recognition. Mr. Vlastimil Samek, Acting Director of United Nation Information Center in Islamabad, Pakistan, praised the model United Nation organized by students.

Mr. Neil Buhne United Nations Resident Coordinator in Islamabad appreciated Inter-University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences efforts in motivating Pakistani youth through such conventions – an opportunity for their mutual interactions. “As a founding Chairperson of the IUCPSS, I feel joyous to witness efforts of this organization in bringing change among the youth through motivational efforts that we initially envisioned on the establishment of this consortium in the year 2012 at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur. Long live Pakistani youth and organizations like IUCPSS investing in the future intellectual assets of the country.” Prof Dr Muhammad Mukhtar.