Is Your University Teaching You Anything Of Actual Value?
One can hardly find any university in Pakistan which does not have state-of-the-art equipment in the laboratory or offices. Students pay high fees to universities for the knowledge they seek to gain.
Apart from degree courses, what programs do our universities have for developing skills in reading, writing, research and communication for students? It is our dilemma that the majority of the graduating youth does not know even how to write an effective CV. They also do not know how to prepare for an interview. These skills are equally important, no less than0 the technical knowledge is.
Students educated by a university are required to be good at reading, writing, research and communication skills. Reading is a composite “cognitive process” of interpreting characters in order to build or extract meaning (reading comprehension). Further, it is the means of language property, communication and of sharing information and ideas. Writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotions with signs and symbols.
However, students adept at reading and writing have to be very good at doing research too. The purpose of research is to bridge the ambiguities and gaps identified by the reader.
These skills play an instrumental role in personal life as well as the professional working environment. Lack of these skills in the students leads them to the diminishing attribute of reading required books in the class, writing necessary content to gain knowledge, conducting research for understanding problems and communicate every particular thing in examinations and other academic activities in the class, department and university.
It is also, unfortunately, a fact of life that most students have problems with reading. There always seems to be too much reading to do and never enough time in which to do it. Reading materials such as books, journals, magazines newspapers etc. are the most inexpensive source of knowledge and entertainment. If one does not build their reading skill, they remain deprived of the charm, satisfaction, enhanced concentration, imparted knowledge, brain exercise, reduced stress, enhanced analytical thinking, and improved vocabulary that this activity brings.
On the other hand, writing well is an art that everybody should master in order to be successful. Writing well means conveying thoughts, ideas, and facts in a simple and clear way. The art of writing is not something that is taught seriously. But to learn it is essential in order to excel at both academic and professional levels. Writing skills benefit students in improving communication skills, help students review and remember recently learned material, help educators to assess student learning, encourage creativity and exploration and are essential for self-understanding. Students apply writing skills in notes, briefs, reports, summaries, reviews, essays, research papers, letters and analysis.
Research is the systematic investigation and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. It attempts to answer intellectual and practical questions through application of systematic methods. Students need to be taught to conduct applied research in order to make them able to understand the real-world problems.
Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another. When we think about how we communicate, the subject becomes a lot more complex. There are various categories of communication and more than one may occur at any time. Effective communication skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life.
Many jobs require strong communication skills and people with good communication skills usually enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family. Effective communication is a key interpersonal skill and learning how we can improve our communication has many benefits. Communication is a two-way process, so improving communication for university students involves both how they send and receive messages.
Students have to master these four skills right from first year of their degree at university.
And for this, universities must come forward to reduce the risk of the student remaining unskilled academically and commercially. Universities that initiate student skill development will benefit in many ways including increase of enrollment, producing competitive professionals, improved rankings nationally and internationally, building market reputation and developing a relationship with society around them.