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2,373 students awarded degrees at 11th Convocation of LCWU

* CM vows to open funds for the institution if it gets into the list of world’s top 500 universities
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LAHORE: As many as 2,373 graduates of BS, MS/MPhil, Pharm-D and PhD of the batches of 2012 and 2013 were awarded degrees at the 11th Convocation of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Monday.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion, and was accompanied by Governor Muhammad Sarwar and LCWU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor. Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad, lawmakers, faculty members, students and their parents were also present on occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Shahbaz said that he would open funds for the LCWU if it gains academic rankings of the world universities, conducted by researchers at the Centre for World-Class Universities annually.
“I will open funds for your university if you become part of the world’s top 500 universities,” Shahbaz announced while addressing the participants of the convocation. 
He said that the younger generation was a precious asset and the hope of a bright future of the country. He said that Pakistani women were talented and playing an important role in medical, engineering, education, health and other sectors of national development. He said that the nation was proud of its daughters. He made an appeal to the women to join the practical field after getting their degrees instead of sitting in their homes, so that they could play an active role for national progress and development. 
He said that the destiny of the nation could be changed and Pakistan could regain its lost status in the comity of nations through honesty, hard work and determination. He said that universities should be the centre of education and research, but unfortunately, no university of the country was among the top 500 universities of the world. He said that vice chancellors, education authorities and experts should bring the standard of education and research in Pakistani universities at par with international universities. He assured that the Punjab government was ready to provide all funds for this purpose.
While addressing the ceremony, Governor Sarwar said that the future of Pakistan was safe in the hands of the youth who were making progress in various fields of life. 
He pointed out that the LCWU was striving to promote quality education among young girls and its role in grooming young ladies speaks of its commitment towards women empowerment.
Sarwar praised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for increasing the budgetary allocation for the education sector. He said that the higher education opens up unlimited vistas and possibilities of success and growth for graduates if they opted for a career. “You are privileged to have an opportunity to study and it is your responsibility to think about the underprivileged, who don’t have access to education at all,” he said.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor informed Governor Sarwar and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that the LCWU was pursuing its path to be amongst the top ranking universities globally through its Vision 2020 and a landmark five-year strategic plan. She asked parents to encourage and fully support their daughters to take up careers and become economically empowered.
The vice chancellor also pointed out that underprivileged students were receiving specified and need-based scholarships at the LCWU without discrimination. “We are making higher education accessible to students from all walks of life,” she said. “The LCWU is a leading teaching and research university and a hub of academic excellence, producing highly skilled, professionally empowered and well-groomed women to make a positive difference in the socio-economic development of Pakistan,” she said.
On the occasion, as many as 273 graduates were awarded rolls of honour and 90 position holders received gold medals. Tabinda Gohar and Sidra Aziz received the VC Gold Medal in academic and co-curricular achievements. The university also conferred awards on 10 alumni who have made significant contribution to the national development.

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