Karachi   ->   Sweden   ->   Karachi, again   ->   Dubai   ->   Bahrain   ->   Karachi, once more   ->   London and Leeds

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Road Ahead: Going to Sweden for Higher Studies

I have been accepted in MSc Dependable Computer Systems program offered by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. It's a 1.5 years program and I'll be leaving for Goteborg near 17th of August, Insha Allah. Till then, I am trying to close all open threads and do some preparation for which I have taken a break after almost 4 years of continuous work!

[As a side note, the program consists of courses like Fault Tolerance, Redundancy, Concurrency and Cryptography amongst others. The whole idea is to make computers more dependable. Another very interesting field of study could be Ubiquitous Computing, where the idea is to make computers adaptable to human beings rather than requiring human beings to learn using computers - it's somewhat opposite to Virtual Reality.]

Sweden, being a welfare state, offers free education at all levels, even to foreign students. However, the country's economy isn't as strong as that of Germany or France. Adding the fact that the native language is Swedish, one can conclude that after getting the degree, the odds are against getting a job. Moreover, an MS degree doesn't directly contribute to your career growth in Pakistan. In fact, doing an MBA from a local school might pay off more.

In parallel, I had applied for admission to the MS program of LUMS. I did get through and had even paid the first semester fee (which I couldn't get refunded because of my extremely busy schedule). The academic as well as administrative difference between LUMS and Chalmers University of Technology is a big one. I started my admission process with LUMS in January this year and it's still not finalized (for example, I have not been told what courses will be offered and what would be my study plan). At every step, from waiting for the result of LGAT to paying the fee, LUMS has made me sweat. Chalmers, on the other hand, has not even asked for a single penny; has responded to my queries on email promptly; has posted the complete course plan on the web-site with credit hours, course outline and recommended reading [however, the process of getting visa was very tiring].

If constrained to Pakistan, LUMS is a very obvious choice - the MBA and BSc programs are producing excellent graduates. While it's the best institute in Pakistan for learning Management and Administration, it's very unfortunate to see the way LUMS handles admissions. And perhaps this one is a currently enrolled student complaining about LUMS.

It requires just one person to change everything! Just one person!

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