The University of Hertfordshire has awarded an honorary doctorate of education degree to a Pakistani educationist in recognition of his contributions to the development of teaching and learning and for empowering thousands of students in Pakistan with quality education. Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq flew in from Islamabad to receive the degree of doctorate of education, which the university confers only in rare cases of extraordinary contribution in the field of educational growth, social change and development in the education sector.
The ceremony to award the degree was held at the St Albans Cathedral in St Albans. Around 500 students and families attended the ceremony and received their diplomas. This was the University of Hertfordshire’s first mass public event after nearly two years of lockdown. The university’s board, according to a statement, resolved unanimously to grant Mushtaq the honour in recognition of his passionate and unmatched contributions to the development of teaching and learning, education and society at large in Pakistan.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Mushtaq dedicated his achievement to Pakistan and told the audience that he left behind a thriving career in London several years ago to become an educationist in Pakistan and he was thrilled that his passion paid off and his services were acknowledged by one of the UK’s most prestigious universities. He told the audience he was thankful that he was given the doctorate degree for creating change and impact in the education sector through innovative methods and forward-thinking.
Speaking to the publication after the event, Dr Mushtaq said: “This recognition is dedicated to my country Pakistan, for me teaching and learning is a journey, not a destination — the global endorsement further strengthens my pledge to contribute towards a holistic yet inclusive education provision at home aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals SDGs 2030 goals and It shall allow me to reinforce my commitment towards a knowledge society.’
University of Hertfordshire Vice Chancellor Prof Quintin McKellar described Mushtaq, who is the founder of Roots Millennium and TMUC Education Group Pakistan, as an award-winning educationist and trailblazing academician who had done extraordinary work for the education system in Pakistan.
Prof McKellar said: “Faisal Mushtaq is an extraordinary man. He has established schools and colleges in Pakistan. He has now developed a very strong relationship with the University of Hertfordshire to teach students to the degree level. We have developed a fabulous relationship with Faisal. We know that he has great plans for the future. He’s very conscious that education is the foundation of all kinds of success and he’s striving to instil that in Pakistan. ‘’We only give these degrees to people who have a national status and connection with the county of Hertfordshire. Faisal’s national status effectively in education is why he’s getting the doctorate of education degree. I had the great privilege of going to Islamabad to visit the schools and colleges he has developed. The Pakistani students are wonderful. I have spoken to them, they are getting a great education and enjoying it at the same time.”
Other honorary doctorate recipients for the year 2021 included leading football pundit and former England Footballer Alex Scott MBE; current Arsenal Captain and Team GB Olympian Kim Little; and former England Footballer Luther Blissett.