ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Tuesday urged the universities to increase the proportion of online education as it was cost-effective and would also help the students get easy access to higher education. The president, during a briefing on Riphah International University (RIU), Islamabad, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, said that the education institutes needed to rethink their vision and focus on getting an intellectual edge to meet the challenges of the fast-changing world. The meeting was attended by Vice-Chancellor RIU, Professor Dr Anis Ahmad, Executive Director RIU, Asad Ullah Khan, Registrar RIU, Brigadier (R) Eng. Salim Ahmed Khan, and senior officials from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and Higher Education Commission (HEC). Vice-Chancellor RIU briefed the president about the achievements and role of his university in the promotion of education in the country. Highlighting the importance of information technology, the president said that the universities needed to focus on the requirements of the 4th Industrial Revolution and Research and Development activities enabling Pakistan to join the ranks of technologically advanced countries. He added that besides academic achievements, universities should also focus on ethical studies and the character-building of students. The president also appreciated HEC’s policy of providing a waiver to differently able students in tuition fees, hostel fees, and utility fees. He expressed the hope that it would encourage them to get higher education. He also underscored the need to develop academia-industry linkages and collaborations with international universities that would help in the promotion of quality education. The president appreciated the performance of the university which had played a significant role in the promotion of education.