In conversation today with us today is Nishat Riaz, Director Education at British Council. Nishat has over 20 years of experience of programme management and oversight. She has developed and supervised large scale programmes on health, gender, skills, culture and education.
Nishat holds an engineering degree in Electronics and Communications – the first female engineer from Gilgit Baltistan. She was the Premier Chevening Scholar from Pakistan in 2003- a special award that is awarded to the best among Chevening scholars. Nishat is also a recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence for best academic performance. Nishat is one of the founding members of Karakurum International University– the first university in mountain ranges in Karakurum and Himalayas, Pakistan. Nishat has been on governing boards of international development organisations for over 17 years. At present she is chair of CIQAM Director and Trustee on boards of Aga Development Network and Hashoo Trust among others
At present, Nishat is managing British Council’s education work in Pakistan. Her portfolio includes management and implementation of multi-million-dollar education programme covering schools, skills, further and higher education, alumni relations, scholarships and Education UK. Nishat is a member of British Council senior leadership team.
Responding to technology adoption during the Coronavirus outbreak and the course it’s taken on the education sector, Nishat responds
“It’s a really fast and immediate reaction to implementing and integrating technology. We are learning by doing and also using new and innovative ideas. It is inevitable – there is no other option. The need on ground, demand and pressure is making it happen.”
British Council is taking a number of initiatives to support teachers and staff in their learning during the Coronavirus outbreak. Identifying that many educators may be hesitant to teach online or may lack the technology support, British Council TeachingEnglish program caters to the educators needs.
Commenting on how the overall healthcare and education system can benefit, Nishat says,
“The current experience will help our healthcare and education system benefit from the use of technology/data/artificial intelligence by understanding trends, issues, challenges and opportunities.”
To view Covid19 related updates on the official British Council website, please follow: https://www.britishcouncil.pk/covid-19-update
She holds an MA in International Development from University of Manchester, UK. Nishat believes in continued professional and academic development and has currently completed her research on education leadership as part of her PhD degree. Nishat has been instrumental in developing and strengthening strategic alliances and partnerships between federal and provincial governments and British Council. Recognising her contributions, Nishat was awarded the Most Excellent Order with an honorary title of Member of British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty- The Queen of United Kingdom in 2017.
She likes horse riding, is an avid social media user and could be reached at email@example.com and @nishatriaz on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. She is an international speaker and speaks at several international platforms including TEDx.
Nishat is married to Moin Uddin who works for Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, has three boys and is settled in Islamabad.
Interview conducted/edited by our webdesk staff.