Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) play leading role in teaching and learning while focussing on knowledge, innovations and technologies for the socio-economic progress of the society and the country. Since 1947, our universities have reasonably helped the nation in achieving sustainable growth by producing knowledgeable and skilled manpower to meet the perceived targets of industrial and societal development. However, in the given context, there is a dire need for soul searching and formulation of strategies with implementable plans to achieve the much desired effects of our education system and the HEIs.

The idea of National University of Technology (NUTECH) was born in early 2015 based on the interactions with national industry in the context of Pakistan’s economic growth and consequent realization that the non-availability of well-trained high quality human resource (HR) in the applied sciences, engineering, technologies and technical skills fields and dependence on imported technologies is seriously retarding our industrial growth. Discussions started about the ordinary quality of education in the realm of applied knowledge and skills culminating in a model university to educate Pakistan’s youth as future industry leaders of character through well integrated eight levels of education for technologies creation, development, implementation and promotion through innovations and in the process stitch together a coherent science, engineering, technology and skills framework for the industry and the country.

Lieutenant General Khalid Asghar, the then Engineer in Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces and founder Rector of NUTECH, in consultation with COAS, MoST, HEC, PEC, NTC and NAVTTC took up the challenge of creating totally a different University with the futuristic approach of creation, development, implementation, promotion of emerging technologies and professional skills to enhance national economic self-reliance.  He and his 3 Men Army of Brigadier Aftab Qureshi, Colonel Tariq Mahmood and Javed took NUTECH to heart and changed it into “My-NUTECH” in just three years.

Nutech is envisioned to be a world-class technology driven Research University, committed to best serve society and industry through purposeful education, research and innovation. Its mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, engineering, technologies and other areas of scholarship so as to grow knowledge economy and develop leaders, professionals and skilled workforce embodied with the spirit of discovery, innovation, entrepreneurship, social responsibilities and ethical practices to best serve the society and industry. Based on its vision and mission, NUTECH has adopted the motto as. “REHBERE TARRAQQI o KAMAL”; for being a University for Industry; Where Heads, Hearts and Hands shall combine.

NUTECH academic system has been designed and built around achievement of following strategic objectives:

  • Nation building through world class higher education & professional skills development in diverse applied sciences, engineering and technology streams.
  • Produce technologically sound and professionally capable human resource (HR) in contemporary and emerging Hi-tech fields to support national socio-economic development.
  • Revolutionizing sciences driven engineering and technology education as an “attractive career stream” with increased and diversified employability, capitalizing on national, regional and international opportunities to meet future challenges.
  • Developing creative HR in applied sciences, engineering, technology and professional skills to promote knowledge and skills based environment for economic reconstruction of Pakistan.
  • Patent based applied research in emerging technologies through triple helix (Academia – Industry – Business) and offer cost effective technology driven solutions for national, regional and international industry.
  • Promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship and enterprise development for socio-economic uplift.
  • Sharing ideas, resources and strengths with industry and society to develop Pakistan.
  • Bridging gaps between applied scientists, engineers, technologists and skilled workforce for synergizing industrial productivity and creating platforms for global research collaborations in sciences, engineering, technologies and technical skills.
  • Striving to provide a strategic platform to bridge the gap between industry, academia and employers, hence, enabling the Pakistani youth to attain sustainable employment opportunities.
  • Specifically develop the capacity of Pakistani Youth in vocational and technical fields in order to maximize their hands-on practical skills and knowledge.
  • Delivering high quality technical and professional education at different levels of sophistication to prepare the youth for future industrial applications.

A Tough Start

As an idea and futuristic concept of integrating all 8 levels of education under one umbrella was rather a difficulty proposition. It raised a heated debate in first NUTECH BoG meeting held in May 2018. After hectic discussions, the BoG agreed with University vision, mission and objectives and approved its statutes, structure, programs, budget and allied administrative aspects. By Sep 2108, the design specific, state of the art academic and administrative blocks of NUTECH campus had come up in record time of 18 months; a campus gifted by Army to the Nation to pursue the aforementioned vision and objectives in contributing towards Pakistan’s economic self-reliance. With undefeatable preparations by Team NUTECH, the HEC approved five Bachelor of Science programs in Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Computer Engineering and Computer Sciences commenced in fall 2018.  Alongside UG programs, the University also commenced eight skills certifications in IT, IoT, Cyber Security, Robotics, Motion Graphics, Industrial Stitching, Tourism and Hospitality management in NUTECH

Institute of Vocational and Technical Skills (NIVATS) with the approval of NAVTTC. As more academics joined, the University focus on academics and research programs in applied sciences, engineering, technologies, and allied skills to create, develop, implement and commercialize technologies started to shape though with multifarious challenges in terms of design of its UG and Skills programs curricula as per the needs of PEC and NAVTTC without significantly comprising our quest for alignment with MIT, Georgia Tech, Caltech, TUM and TAI Finland. Despite these challenges, NUTECH has been able to adopt all 8 levels of education system in line with our National Qualification Framework (NQF) with mainly 4 Tiers of NUTECH Education System as shown. 


Despite tough start, the first academic success came in the form of Industrial and Creativity Activity Term (ICAT), a 4 weeks Term after fall semester in 2019. This one month gave students confidence in the university as they built working engineering and technologies models and projects. The second ICAT-2020 was even a bigger success as composite teams of freshman and sophomore students developed 71 projects in which more than 50 weeks related to the direct application in industry

Unfortunately, the ICAT 21 had to be suspended due to COVID 19 Pandemic environment. More than confidence in faculty and students, it brought the first major academic success for a university program and this success led to many more successes. The curriculum of UG programs was finalized which was truly world class. Academic processes started to come together. A successful Zero visit was completed in September 2019, whereas Interim visit has been concluded in Oct 21. In fall 21, NUTECH has launched a pioneer Cooperative Model based Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BET) in Civil Engineering Program after a rigorous approval process of its BoG, NTC and HEC. Its soft launching was by the NUTECH Chancellor and President of Islamic Republic Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi on 22nd February 21. This pilot program in cooperation with construction industry of Pakistan and many other industrial sectors in the future shall enhance quality of our technologists besides meeting the critical requirements of industrial HR and addressing the huge employability concerns of technologies implementers. NUTECH MS programs shall commence from fall 22 onwards.


A unique offering of the university is Out-of-Class Learning Experience (OCLE) based its experiential learning programs so as to groom the graduates into future industrial leaders having requisite professional skills. In learning communities, students deepen their understanding of the physical, life and social sciences in small interactive groups. This freshman (first) year experiential learning program is followed by a career accelerator program based career advisory system for employment and progression in the industry in the second (sophomore) year. The third (junior) and fourth (senior) years groom students to take part in research and engineering leadership and entrepreneurship. Equally important is the Industrial Learning Experience (ILE) program academic classes in the industry where faculty instructors first learn and then teach students the application of taught concepts in the context of industrial applications and industrial engagement during the first three years. Student’s classes are organized in industry where teachers/ faculty relate the classroom concepts of their curriculum with industrial processes, systems and products to students who are accordingly tested. This ensures that they are able to co-relate the theoretical knowledge of engineering with and industrial ecosystem throughout their university experience. It also helps in job placement. The summer session term of 8-weeks offer students of freshman (first) and sophomore (second) years the unique opportunity to undertake voluntary projects and earn score as part of Students Compliance Index (SCI). The junior (third) year is mandatory supervised internship for all students. Finally, ICAT is a fun and creative term where students dare to think big and materialize their dream projects.


In line with NUTECH vision and mission, its programs are geared towards converting students into well groomed, ethically correct and innovative leaders of industrial enterprises. Not an easy undertaking, yet the University has embarked upon its achievement through different Co-curricular, extracurricular activities including but not limited to sports, debates, leadership camps, community learning and services, technologies for communities and host of other modules. This all is embedded in NUTECH Quality Assurance System whose foundation is mainly academics, industry and character standards.


The faculty and students are steeped in the philosophy of NUTECH. This is to think beyond the university and work towards nation building.  With under 900 UG and 750 skills students and 175 faculty members with different qualifications from around the world in first 3 years of operations, NUTECH is determined to enable its faculty and pioneer students to participate in building self-reliance through the creation and implementation of technologies. From inviting business leaders to encouraging entrepreneurship, NUTECH is aware that it has to help its faculty and graduates to create new opportunities and jobs.


NUTECH is looking for partners in its pursuit of creating, implementing and promoting technologies.  It has created strong partnerships with national defence and private industries, Pakistan Railways, textile sector, different chambers and associations and hospitals to create defence, aviation and bio-medical applications.  It also has forged a strong relationship with STMU Islamabad to create a state of the art undergraduate biomedical engineering program in the country. Amongst international partners, NUTECH is actively engaged with University of Utah (UoU), USA, University of Rome Tor Vergata (UoRT), Italy and trying to get engaged with a number of Chinese and EU Universities. As of today, NUTECH has developed collaborative relationship with more than 20 industry associations in Pakistan, significant being Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujrat and Gujranwala. NUTECH has signed comprehensive MoU with FPCCI on March 17, 2020 as part of its efforts to truly become “University for Industry”


Professional and Technical Skills education development as part of levels 1 – 5 of NQF plays an important role in NUTECH’s vision of transforming the nation and youth into 21st Century Skilled Workforce. The NUTECH Skills Development Framework (NSDF) is the guiding framework for this endeavour. In a time frame of 5-10 years NUTECH shall have around 100 plus technical institutes under its fold wherein approximately 35000 skilled workers will be trained per annum for national and global industries. For this purpose NUTECH has got Qualification Awarding Body (QAB) status from NAVTTC and IBCC. All the professional and technical skills courses are being accredited with NAVTTC. NUTECH has also introduced the world famous concept of “lifelong skills” wherein the “Recognition of Prior Learning” and “Skills Testing Centre” will play major role in enhancing boundaries of our skills promotion in Pakistan.

While developing strong industrial linkages in and outside Pakistan, NUTECH has also commenced export of technical and vocational skills workers to Japan through a program called Technical Internship Training Program (TITP), which shall lead to induction of technical internees of Pakistan in Japanese industries in thousand annually. At the same possibilities of induction quality skilled workers in GCC and EU member states is being explored through different collaborations. Joint certifications with Finland TVET institutes in hospitality, tourism and other technical fields is well underway for our Youth.

NUTECH in partnership with Kamyab Jawan – Hunnarmand Pakistan is imparting hi tech skills trainings to Pakistani Youth to prepare them as entrepreneurs, industrial workers and freelancers. At the same time, the existing HR of Pakistan Railways is also being upskilled and reskilled at NUTECH. The first batch of these employees has successfully graduated from NIVATS. It’s heartening to note that out of approximately 750 skills students graduated from NUTECH, 63% are employed in different forms, 35% are pursuing higher studies and only 2% are unemployed. This speaks volumes of NUTECH contributions to national economy in the formative years.        


During Covid-19 Pandemic NUTECH quickly shifted to online teaching and learning system quite successfully. The under development Nutech Information Management System (NIMS) played a significant role in overcoming this challenge. The ICT and Dean teams worked day and night in adapting to online classes. At the same time University management staff implemented all Covid related SOPs and measures very effectively. As our system geared up alongside the pandemic, complete staff, faculty and students were quickly vaccinated, thus circumventing casualties and minimising the pandemic effects; Alhamdolillah! At the onset of Covid-19, a team of young engineers, technicians and skilled individuals under the leadership of Lt Colonel Junaid Aftab took up the challenge of designing and developing an ICU mode ventilator named as NuVent which is now under clinical trials at CMH after necessary approvals of PEC, NBEC and DRAP. Encouraged with this huge success, the University has established NUTECH Innovation Centre, which shall help students and faculty to convert their ideas into concepts to products and their subsequent commercialisation through incubation centre of NUTECH.   


In next 10 years NUTECH intends graduating 40000 students in the complete spectrum of education covering, Bachelors, Masters, PhD programs in sciences, engineering, technology, arts, humanities and social sciences as well as TVET certifications and diplomas in hi-tech and commercial cum industrial fields in line with its mandate. As the admission numbers swell and so the number of faculty and support staff, the university has started to look for a future home for its growing student body and is acquiring 300 acres land on M-2 Motorway for its main campus at Islamabad. In the meantime, extra emphasis is being placed on research and industrial collaborations, and consequently the establishment of schools and research centres will be established at Main Campus; the first two on this list are NUTECH Railway Engineering, Technologies and Skills School (NURETSS) including Advance Railway Technologies Innovation Centre (ARTIC) and Innovative Technologies and Skills Centre (ITSC). The University higher leadership is also actively exploring academic, research and development, and industrial collaborations with a number of EU, Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian Universities, TVET institutes and industries in the realm of IT, automotive, bio medical, textiles and fashion, hospitality, railways, green energies, construction and precision manufacturing technologies.


NUTECH is a philosophy, concept and a change as much as it is a university where Head, Hearts and Hands (H3) will combine to materialize NUTECH Motto “REHBERRE TARRAQQI o KAMAL”, that is, “Leaders in Progress and Excellence”. It is a growing university with large infrastructure with a soul and a heart to match. In four years it has started producing applied engineers, technologists and skilled manpower and is on its way to producing top quality technologies inventors, implementers and promoters for the national and global industries. NUTECH is the only university in Pakistan which is mandated to offer all levels of technical education, from basic skills based level-1 certificate to level 8 PhD degrees. NUTECH road map will continue to focus on “fulfilling the promise of transforming the industrial landscape, building knowledge economy and transforming Pakistan into an industrial powerhouse”, INSHA ALLAH! 

Co-authored by:

Lt Gen (Retd) Khalid Asghar, HI (M)

Gen Khalid is a Civil Engineer by profession with MSc in Defence Technologies from Cranfield University, UK and MSc in War Studies from NDU, Islamabad. He has served at prestigious assignments of Pakistan Army including Inspector General Communications and IT and Engineer in Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces. As founder rector, in under three years, he translated idea of NUTECH to a fully functional university.

Group Captain Salman Aslam

Salman is the Director of AI Applications and Algorithms at PAF’s Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC).  A distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Dr Salman holds Masters and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.  He has worked on projects for the US Department of Defence, Siemens, Qualcomm, Samsung and NVidia.  Dr Salman is the author of several international publications, and has twice won the Best Faculty award at CAE NUST.  His current research interests include AI, robotics, autonomous systems and military decision support systems. Dr Salman remained the member of NUTECH faculty from Nov 2018 to Mar 2020.