The purpose of the contest is to encourage innovation to help improve the quality of life of aging populations in the West and the rest of the world.
The 2017 Stanford Longevity Design Challenge had the following goals:
1. Create well-designed, practical solutions that address key issues associated with aging
2. Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about aging issues
3. Provide promising designers with a path to drive change in the world
|2017 Stanford Longevity Design Challenge Winners|
NUST's Hooriya Anam, Awais Shafique, and Arsalan Javed defeated teams from around the world with their anti-tremor prototype project TAME. The team from famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) placed second while Virginia Tech team stood third, according to results announced by the Center.
|NUST's Stanford Challenge Winners From L to R: Arsalan Javed, Hooriya Anam, Awais Shafique|
In addition to NUST, MIT and Virginia Tech teams, there were other teams from Cornell University, University of Sao Paolo Brazil, China's Beijing University and Silicon Valley's Stanford University who also competed in the contest.
The winners received $17,000 in cash prizes along with paid travel to Stanford where they presented their designs to industry, academic, and government leaders.
College and University Enrollment in Pakistan:
Wins such as the Stanford Challenge are the result of improvements in higher education in Pakistan since the year 2000.
There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14. The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years. In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).
|Graduation Day at NED Engineering University For 1300 Graduates in 2013|
|Source: UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2009|
Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only one university, the University of Punjab. By 1997, the number of universities had risen to 35, of which 3 were federally administered and 22 were under the provincial governments, with a combined enrollment of 71,819 students. A big spending boost by President Pervez Musharraf helped establish 51 new universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008. This helped triple university enrollment from 135,000 in 2003 to about 400,000 in 2008, according to Dr. Ata ur Rehman who led the charge for expanding higher education during Musharraf years. There are 161 universities with 1.5 million students enrolled in Pakistan as of 2014.
Rise of research and publications at Pakistani universities began during Musharraf years when the annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. Government R&D spending jumped seven-fold as percentage of GDP from 0.1% of GDP in 1999 to 0.7% of GDP in 2007. It has since declined as percentage of GDP.
Pakistani students, scientists and researchers are continuing to produced highly recognized and cited research in spite of serious economic and security challenges. Enrollment in higher education is rising and giving a boost to innovation. With better policy focus and more investment in higher education, Pakistan can make an even greater impact with its young demographics.
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