The Fourth Exposure Visit of the Saranan refugee camp School No.13 was organized by the International Center for Refugees and Migration Studies (ICRMS) on August 24, 2023, at Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta. BUITEMS and ICRMS staff warmly welcomed students and faculty staff from the school that gathered in the Orange Hall. The visit formally started with recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by an introductory video showcasing the facilities and resources of BUITMES and ICRMS. The main aim of the video was to inform Afghan refugee students about the opportunities and services available for them to access these resources and secure admission in the universities in Balochistan.
The session was moderated by Ms. Nafisa Nasar, Program & Research Assistant ICRMS, with a welcome note. Ms. Nasar briefed the audience regarding ICRMS, its vision, core values, objectives, and activities, followed by an interactive session with the students. During the session, students questioned related to the challenges faced by Afghan refugee students during the admission process in tertiary institutions. They inquired about the admission process at BUITEMS, eligibility criteria, Afghan refugee quotas at BUTIEMS and other universities of Balochistan, scholarships, and future job opportunities for Afghan refugee students. Ms. Nasar responded and reassured ICRMS’ persistent support for the Afghan refugee students during the admission sessions both directly through the ICRMS office and through established help desks for Afghan refugee students. The students showed gratification as they had no, or very little, previous information regarding these issues.
Subsequently, Mr. Manzoor Hussain, Director of Academics BUITEMS, briefed about the university’s academic support to Afghan refugees and regarded it as a part of the social responsibility of the institution to open the doors of opportunities for all regardless of the socio-economic background of individuals. He reiterated BUITEMS’ commitment to facilitate Afghan refugee students through collaboration with UNHCR. Later, Mr. Salar Khan, Deputy Director of Academics BUITEMS, delivered a comprehensive presentation about BUTIEMS, covering all aspects of the university. He enlightened students about the admission process and requirements for Afghan refugee students at BUITEMS and shared statistics of previous admissions of international students, especially Afghan refugee students, which was followed by an interactive session with the students. The students asked about degree equivalence issues and post-qualification employability, which were responded to by Mr. Khan.
After the sessions, the students were taken on an exposure visit of BUITEMS. They visited various facilities, including the Computer Labs, National Incubation Center (NIC), Library, Digital Library Sports Complex, Fitness Gym, Laboratories, Youth Development Center, and Research Center. During the visit, Mr. Akmal Khan gave a briefing with information about the entrepreneurship and skill development opportunities for refugees at NIC. Moreover, students were briefed regarding sports facilities and library membership procedures by the staff. Additionally, the students visited the ICRMS office, where Mr. Nisar Ahmad, enlightened them about the availability of mentoring, career counseling, and assistance related to university admissions or ICRMS activities/events. The students were encouraged to stay updated through ICRMS’ website, YouTube channel, and Twitter handle.
Finally, the Principal and the Vice Principal of the school were presented with honorary shields, and certificates of participation were distributed among the students. They were also provided refreshments at the sports complex. The principal was invited for the final remarks, who appreciated the productive and interactive sessions and overall Exposure Visit, concluding the visit on a positive note.