The Virtual University, Pakistanís first University based completely on modern Information and Communication Technologies, was established by the Government as a public sector, not-for-profit institution with a clear mission: to provide extremely affordable world class education to aspiring students all over the country. Using free-to-air satellite television broadcasts and the Internet, Virtual University allows students to follow its rigorous programs regardless of their physical locations. It thus aims at alleviating the lack of capacity in the existing universities while simultaneously tackling the acute shortage of qualified professors in the country. By identifying the top Professors of the country, regardless of their institutional affiliations, and requesting them to develop and deliver hand-crafted courses, the Virtual University aims at providing the very best courses to not only its own students but also to students of all other universities in the country.
HOW VU WORKS
The Virtual University of Pakistan delivers education through a judicious combination of broadcast television and the Internet. VU courses are hand-crafted in meticulous detail by acknowledged experts in the field. Lectures are then recorded in a professional studio environment and after insertion of slides, movie clips and other material, become ready for broadcast. Course lectures are broadcast over free-to-air television and are also made available in the form of multimedia CDs.
The Virtual University of Pakistan holds a Federal Charter, making its degrees recognized and accepted all over the country as well as overseas.
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In addition to the prescribed texts, comprehensive reading material / lecture notes in the form of web-enabled content are provided through a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS) hosted on the VU Web Servers and accessible over the Internet. The full power of hyperlinks is utilized for making the on-line experience a truly powerful one. The LMS also provides an e-mail facility to each and every student as well as discussion boards for interaction within the VU community.
An important feature of the LMS is a Question/Answer board where VU faculty provides answers to questions posed by students on the subject matter covered in the lectures. The Question/Answer board (also known as the Moderated Discussion Board) is extremely fine grained, providing separate sessions for each lecture of each course. In addition, read-only access is made available to previous question/answer sessions and this constitutes an extremely useful study resource for students. VU faculty monitors this board on a continuous basis and answers to student questions are provided within a short space of time.
Assignments are handed out through the LMS and also submitted by the students through the same mechanism. Pop-quizzes and practice tests are also conducted through the LMS.
Midterm and Final Examinations for every semester are conducted in a formal proctored environment at exam centers designated for the purpose throughout the country. Invigilators appointed by the University conduct the exams. The formal examination atmosphere assists in critical quality assurance of the student assessment system.