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Q1: Respected Mr Abidi, I am an engineering student currently studying A levels and I have completed my AS level 1st year with 2A, 1B. Sir, I have a question which is confusing me and I needed your special advice on that. Please guide me regarding the best option for engineering universities in Pakistan and abroad. If Pakistan is the best option, then what entrance test I am supposed to be preparing for and when are they held. If abroad (not UK or USA) then which entrance test should I prepare for and what are the requirements for scholarship. I am interested in studying in Australia or Canada so please mention some renowned universities. Do you think it would be wise if I give ILETS test (B grade in O level English)? (Stephen Gill, Lahore).

Ans: Dear Mr Gill, I see that you have achieved reasonably good scores in your AS levels and if you maintain the same or improve this to straight A’s, there are good chances that a number of universities across the world and as you say other than UK or USA will be happy to accept you and offer full or partial scholarships. There are a number of universities that you may like to consider in Australia such as University of Sydney, University of Queensland, University of Melbourne or Canada; McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta etc.

Q2: Dear sir, I am a student of O levels (Cambridge). I want to get your expert opinion about my subjects for O levels. I have actually opted pre-Engineering Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and want to opt Environment Management as my optional subject. Can you please guide me that, is there the scope for Environment Management in Pakistan? As I am a little confused about what to choose for my optional subject, and what subjects should I opt in A levels if I want to continue with Environment Management. I would appreciate for your help and expert opinion to my query. (Maarij Sheikh, Karachi).

Ans: Dear Maarij, Environment Management is an emerging subject area and as you rightly said it has lot of importance in Pakistan, considering the aspects of Global Warming and Clean Technology. All you need to do is get good grades in your Physics, Chemistry and Math or Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science or Physics, Maths and Business Management. Any combination should be good for getting into a degree programme towards Environmental Management. This is equally good whether you wish to study in Pakistan or abroad.

Q3: Dear sir, I request you to please guide and suggest about Hotel Industry in Pakistan. I am surprised to see the package which is provided to employee even on management position. Other countries really gave honour to hospitality field with attractive packages. I do understand we had less amount of hotels in Pakistan. I had 10 years’ experience in Hotel Industry in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now I am willing to come back to Pakistan and do something for my country but I am bit disappointed about pay packages. Kindly also advise me shall I go back and serve my skills for others or I will stay here with low package. I do have my kids and parents as well. Waiting for your kind reply. Regards, (Yalmaz Siddiqui, Dubai)

Ans: Dear Yalmaz, it is good to know that you have served the Hotel Industry for a long time and have made your career in this field. I would recommend that you create a professional CV / resume highlighting your qualifications and experience in this industry with particular reference to specialisation such as front office, banquet or sales and marketing etc. I would recommend that you write to all big hotel chains in Pakistan and offer your services to see the response only then can you plan your visit to Pakistan. I hope this advice will help you beside your future way forward.

Q4: I have done BA and my specialisation was in Journalism, History of Islam and Pakistan, and Arabic from Punjab University with 2nd Division. Sir, now I want to do Masters in International Relations or Mass Communication. I got successful in securing admission in MA (International Relations) at University of Sindh, Jamshoro. Kindly guide me what should I do and reply me as soon as possible? I have also planned to do CSS after Masters. (Uzair Jokhio, Thatta)

Ans: Mr Jokhio, I think you are on the right track having done your BA with social science I would recommend you to do masters in IR instead of Mass Communication. All you require for attempting a CSS is a high proficiency in English communication and comprehension, extensive knowledge about current affairs, international and local politics and social and economic factors in the region. If you have basic science knowledge, then with the above combination you should reach home.

(Syed Azhar Husnain Abidi is a renowned educationist in Pakistan, with more than 20 years of experience as provider of education counselling services. He has represented Pakistan in over 100 national and international seminars, conferences and fora. He is a recipient of the most coveted civil award Tamgha-e-Imtiaz).

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