Rigour, relevance and usefulness are the hallmarks of academic and practitioner research and play a pivotal role in making universities competitive worldwide. Quality research enables universities to explore organizational and societal issues to identify or suggest solutions. It also enables universities to stay updated about contemporary issues, and work closely with industrial sectors to develop collaborations to achieve their common goals. Therefore, to achieve above-mentioned goals, University of Central Punjab established Directorate of Research in December 2014. The key goal of the Directorate is to create an enabling environment at UCP in which our faculty and students can conduct rigorous, relevant and useful research.
The key tasks of the Directorate include: To organize and promote research activities such as seminars, training workshops and individual mentoring to enhance the faculty and students’ research skills. It aims to increase the number of quality research papers at UCP and keep an active liaison with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, the Punjab Higher Education Commission and international universities to remain updated about national and global research forums and activities.
The Directorate has been working actively since its establishment to enhance quality of research coursework both in qualitative and quantitative research designs at the University to enhance our students’ research skills. We have designed a new coursework for qualitative research. It intensifies our students’ research skills, enabling them to explore complex social issues faced by organizations and society in Pakistan. We have developed UCP’s first research policy in order to provide guidelines about nature and purpose of the research at the University aiming to ensure relevance of the research with the market needs. We provide individual counselling to our students for their research projects and theses.
The Directorate has one focal person from each faculty to ensure representation of all stakeholders. We consider the focal persons as CHANGE AGENTS because they are responsible to bring change in their faculties to promote rigorous, relevant and useful research.
Our Directorate has a culture of openness, honesty, mutual respect and mutual learning. We develop our strategies in consultation with key stakeholders and we keep our strategies flexible to accommodate emergent issues to address them proactively.
In 2015, UCP secured 3rd position in CIIT-CIMA Business Case Study Awards – Impact 2015 by developing a research based case study on Summit Bank of Pakistan to explore how a successful merger of three banks was managed by the leadership of the bank. The team was led by Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Dogar (Team leader, Director Research UCP) and it won a cash prize of Rs. 200,000. The top 5 case studies of the competition will be published by CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and COMSATS. UCP’s team was the only team from academia which was considered as one of the top three in this competition. It is pertinent to mention that all other teams who participated in the competition were from the corporate sector of Pakistan.
In 2016, the Directorate organized several research seminars and training programs. Amongst them, three seminars were conducted by International speakers on topics such as: (1) “Contemporary Issues in Globalization” by Professor Rajneesh Narula from Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK on February 26, 2016; (2) “Roadmap from MS To PhD” by Professor Jamshed Y. Uppal, Associate Professor of Finance, School of Business and Economics, The Catholic University of America on March 03, 2016 and (3) “Introduction to Systematic Literature Review: Gateway to Publishing in Good Quality Journals” was delivered by Dr. Irfan Butt, Assistant Professor, Marketing – Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman on October 21, 2016 at UCP. In January 2016, a two-day training workshop titled “Qualitative Research Practices” was organized for UCP faculty to orient them about qualitative research and its benefits to social sciences.
In February 2016, UCP organized the 3rd International Conference on Contemporary Issues in Business Management (ICIBM) on the theme “Innovations in Business: Opportunities and Challenges of Emerging Markets”. It was attended by a good number of academics, researchers and industry experts. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to presenters across Pakistan to share their research work. Two international keynote speakers namely: Dr. Rajneesh Narula, Henley Business School, University of Readings, UK and Dr. Naubahar Sharif, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong delivered their talks on Innovations in Business. The Inaugural Ceremony was graced by Dr. Muhammad Zafarullah, Conference Chair and the Pro-Rector UCP, Mr. Muhammad Adrees, Chariman & CEO of Sitara Group of Industries, while the closing ceremony was graced by Mr. Ben French, Provincial Representative UK & Head of DFID Lahore. Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Dogar, Director Research and Conference Secretary concluded that academia and corporate sector need to work collaboratively in the areas of research and development in order to devise innovative business strategies to meet the challenges of emerging markets and to leverage the benefits of available opportunities of the 21st century.
In March 2017, the 4th International Research Conference on Contemporary Issues in Business Management (ICIBM) on the theme “Sustainable Business Practices in South Asia” was jointly organized by UCP Business School and KEDGE Business School, France. In this conference, 69 research papers from 30 international (France, Austria and Malaysia) and national universities and institutes were presented. Two keynote speakers namely: (1) Dr. Yahia Zubair from KEDGE Business School France and (2) Dr. Jean Pascal Gond from Cass Business School – City University, the United Kingdom (UK) given their keynote speeches on sustainable business practices in South Asia and how to publish research in top tier business and management journals respectively. The inaugural ceremony was graced by Syed Raza Ali Gillani, Minister for Higher Education Punjab and Dr. Muhammad Zafarullah, Conference Chair and Pro-Rector University of Central Punjab. The closing ceremony was graced by Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin, Chairperson Punjab Higher Education Commission. Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Dogar, Conference Secretary and Director Research UCP presented the conference report in which he highlighted the key features of the conference namely: Doctoral Consortium, Panel Discussion by corporate representatives on investment prospects in Pakistan, Multilevel Modeling Workshop using Mplus by Dr. Omer Farooq from KEDGE Business School, France and technical sessions on ten sub-themes of the conference. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin lauded the research efforts made by the University of Central Punjab.
In summary, the above-mentioned achievements reflect that the Directorate is working rigorously to build the research capacity of our faculty and students in order to make meaningful contribution to national and international research with the aim to solve organizational and societal issues in Pakistan.
The UCP Alumni Association is committed to
- Service – UCP alumni serve as ambassadors for the university and in our communities – around the world.
- Connection – By connecting more than 10 alumni networks, groups and alumni boards through the Alumni Leadership Forum, the UCP Alumni Association brings together alumni leaders to enhance their individual affinity connections and to support “UCP” that works for all.
- Engagement – Working with the Office of Alumni Relations, the UCP Alumni Association provides opportunities for alumni to engage with the university and with each other.
- Excellence – The members of the UCP Alumni Association are committed to pass on their Educational experience to the future generations. Philanthropic support is provided by all UCP Alumni to ensure that UCP students continue a tradition of excellence.
The Association Organizes Alumni Homecoming
Thousands of Alumni attend the event with their families.
Mian Amer Mehmood, Chairman Board of Governors UCP, Prof.Sohail Afzal, Executive Director and Dr. Muhammad Zafarullah, Pro-Rector UCP along with myriad esteemed guests from Industry, Embassies, Corporate and Public sectors grace the Mesmerizing events of Alumni Homecoming.