An online conference titled “International Online Conference on Future Trends in E-Learning and Collaborative Working” was arranged by the faculty of Science and Technology, Virtual University of Pakistan on June 16-17, 2020. This remarkable conference which continued for two days consisted of eight sessions in total, four of which were plenary sessions and four were scientific sessions. The main theme of the conference was “E-learning with special reference to Covid-19 pandemic”. In this conference, twenty-four distinguished speakers and keynote speakers talked about different aspects of E-learning and why it is so vital during the pandemic being witnessed these days. Talking on the opening ceremony, the Chief Guest Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Federal Secretary (IT & Telecommunication) emphasized the importance of online education in modern times. He also praised VUP for holding this eventful conference.
Another important feature of the conference was the talks from keynote speakers and speakers who were world-renowned academicians, researchers, and teachers, belonging to different countries of the world, e.g. Philippines, UK, Germany, Malaysia, and of course Pakistan. This reflects the remarkable, diverse, and grandeur nature of this conference. Among the keynote speakers were Prof. Dr. Naveed A. Malik, Founding Rector VUP and currently Special Adviser Technology and Innovation, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, Prof. Dr. Melinda Bandalaria, Chancellor & Professor University of the Philippines Open University, Prof. Dr. Rory McGreal, UNESCO/ICDE Chair in OER Athabasca University, Canada, Professor Dr. Axel Janke, Head of Research Group ‘Evolutionary Vertebrate Genomics’, LOEWE – Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, Ms. SukainaWalji, Online Education Project Manager, the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Rehan Akbar, Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems, Universiti Tuanku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysia and Prof. Dr. Jamil Ahmed, BUIETMS, Quetta, Pakistan.
All the honorable keynote speakers emphasized on the importance of online education in the days of pandemic and presented the challenges their institutes are facing in dealing with this difficult situation. Towards the end, in his concluding remarks, Prof. Dr. Malik Muhammad Arif Rafiq, Dean Faculty of Science and Technology, thanked the honourable Chief Guest, distinguished keynote speakers and speakers for sparing time from their busy schedule and giving such informative talks. Finally, Mr. Naeem Tariq, Rector VUP, in his vote of thanks expressed his gratefulness for all the participants in general and the Chief Guest, keynote speakers, and speakers in particular for sparing time for this conference. Especially he mentioned Dr. Naveed A. Malik’s eloquent talk and his pioneer efforts in establishing VUP and how this University proliferated under his visionary leadership. He also appreciated the Conference Chair, Prof. Dr. Malik Muhammad Arif Rafiq, Co-chair Dr. Muhammad Tariq, and their team for putting their untiring efforts for organizing this remarkable conference.
The Continuous two-day proceedings of this conference totally through online presentations and interactions were also a testimony that technology has the potential of revolutionizing modern-day learning approaches. It is worth mentioning that VUP is the single full-fledged online University in Pakistan. Holding such a grand event is really a reflection of the commitment and zeal of VUP for the promotion of online education in Pakistan.