The Syed Ahsan Ali and Syed Maratib Ali School of Education (SOE) through its MPhil in Education Leadership and Management aims to produce reflective practitioners who are committed to spearheading education reform through research and evidence-based inquiry.
Over the past few years, we have welcomed cohorts of diverse, motivated and aspiring MPhil students. The student body features diversity across experience, region, gender, age, socio-economic background, ideology and interests. Female students constitute 64 percent of the MPhil class and about 28 percent of the students are LUMS alumni. Our first cohort graduated in May 2020. The final semester of the demanding and productive MPhil program saw students embedded in a semester-long “residency” rooted in field-based research, during which groups of students were placed in 13 educational organizations with impact to work on a mission critical problem of practice. Through a strategic, student-led project, supervised by faculty, our students have not only produced an analytical and reflective capstone for the MPhil programme, but have also been successful in developing research-based solutions to challenges encountered in the field.
The Undergraduate Minor in Education was launched in Fall 2019. Through the 15 diverse and innovative courses offered, undergraduate students got the opportunity to engage with foundational educational issues such as education and social justice, teaching and learning, and policy and practice. The SOE faculty has been a champion in operating at the nexus of research, policy and practice - affecting the domestic education landscape, through the implementation of innovative pedagogies, strategic research projects and policy engagements. This includes a myriad of government education task forces, international linkages and leading policy roundtables. Recently, SOE embarked on a large-scale project with the Education Department in Punjab, developing and implementing cascaded training for 300 Assistant Education Officers (AEOs) responsible for 3000 AEOs, in four districts of Punjab.
It is a testament to the quality of the MPhil ELM programme that amidst a global crisis, a large number of students from our inaugural batch were employed even before graduation! Our students undergo an unparalleled educational experience which enables them to practice adaptive leadership and thrive in the ever changing educational landscape. Through the Career Placement Program at SOE, our students underwent comprehensive, skills-based professional training which included strategic sessions on resume writing, mock interviews and a Graduate Networking Event with 20 employers participating. Our students have developed their knowledge and experiences appropriate to career opportunities - available in Pakistan and globally. This program enabled over 90% of the inaugural batch to secure employment during the pandemic.
Moreover, in November 2020 SOE launched its Executive MPhil ELM, a weekend-based programme designed for study alongside a full-time job. The degree will prepare working professionals who are looking to join the education sector to create transformative learning at every level and in every role — from teachers to district leaders, policymakers to entrepreneurs, learning designers to nonprofit leaders.
I am looking forward to seeing our graduates become resilient and reflective leaders, who will shape a reimagined education reform agenda for Pakistan.