Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is the largest university for distance learning in Pakistan. In terms of provision of informal and distant education, the university ranks first in all continents of the world except Europe. Considering the reputation of AIOU and its position in the top-ranking universities of world, Daily Times conducted an interview of AIOU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Zia ul Qayyum. Talking about the strength of AIOU, Dr Zia said that the university has 49 local offices all around the country. He said that AIOU is the only university in Pakistan whose degrees are recognized all over the world. The VC said that various steps had been taken to facilitate maximum students in distance learning. The initiatives include electronic registration of tutors, online home assignments and their scrutiny, online fee submission, online admissions, electronic lectures, virtual learning, amalgamation of project directorate and information technology and their reorganization. He told that digital transformation policy had been started for the promotion of education via the internet. Professor Dr Zia ul Qayyum said that various new courses will be introduced keeping in mind the needs of present times. He explained that a comprehensive academic calendar was formulated for the timely completion of the admission process and result declaration. The VC said that undue political intervention in any educational institute harms its progress, which seems to be the main reason why other government universities have failed to provide distance education, the VC said. Professor Dr Zia said that over 1.4 million students from both Pakistan and abroad are enrolled in AIOU. Most of the students are from the Middle East. He said that the main focus of the university is to enable students to earn a respectable livelihood. The problem is that the students after completing their degrees are unable to find jobs due to the lack of skill-based education, he added. He said that job-oriented programs will be introduced with the cooperation of Russia, Britain and other countries. Tutors and faculty training programs would be scheduled with the collaboration of the United Kingdom Open University, the first ever open university of the world, the VC said. While talking about the tutors training, Professor Zia said that he has laid great emphasis on the training of professors and various projects would be launched for the welfare of teachers. Teachers are being encouraged to learn the use of technology and modern means of learning, he added. Electronic registration of part-time tutors has started and the previous tutors of AIOU can also e-register themselves, the VC said. Under this system, students would be able to email their assignments to the teachers who would be able to grade them online. Regional campuses of AIOU would be constructed in those cities where the university is managing its affairs, he said. After the construction of these campuses, the total number of the university’s own campuses would increase to 35 in the next two years. 2billion rupees have been allocated for the construction of these campuses and offices. Digital transformation policy was solely introduced to upgrade the regional campuses and make them at par with the Islamabad campus, the VC said. These campuses would be equipped with the latest technology to facilitate the students, he said. These buildings would have computer labs, examination centers, libraries and workshop halls, the VC added. Along with the provision of technology and other facilities, administrative autonomy would be provided to regional campuses, as taking directions from the main office in all matters consumes a lot of time, the VC said. Commenting on the quality of research work, M.Phil and PHD degrees would only be allowed in Islamabad campus to produce quality based research and to avoid plagiarism, he said. An online Chinese learning program would also be introduced with collaboration of the Open University of Beijing, and the language centers of Islamabad and Multan would be functional soon, the professor added.