During my early years in Pakistan I was fortunate indeed to meet many of its finest scientists, engineers, and citizens. Most said that they had benefited greatly from tertiary education overseas. Indeed, one consistent theme that came up in conversation was how this benefit could be extended to, often less fortunate, students here in Pakistan without the considerable expense of studying overseas.
As a result, I explored the possibility of an institution based on the British university system but which could be established in Islamabad. After lengthy negotiations with the University of London and the Pakistan Ministry of Education the concept was approved in principle. All that remained was to actually realize the dream. The early 1990s were not the easiest of years to be trying to do this but, with considerable moral support from a lot of fine people, the University College of Islamabad was finally established in May 1992.
Its ethos, then it is now, was to provide affordable world-class tertiary education to the country’s most able students right here in Pakistan. Nothing worthwhile is ever easily achieved, and our motto of Carpe Diem – Seize the Day symbolized the attitude necessary to overcome life’s challenges. And that is exactly what UCI has done under the magnificent determination and dynamic guidance of Dr. Alliende and her colleagues.
It therefore gives me the greatest of pleasure, and indeed satisfaction, to be able to say that UCI remains la crème de la crème of independent tertiary education in Pakistan. As a student at UCI you, too, will be able ‘seize the day’ and go on to make a fine life and contribution to what is a great country.