Islamabad, November 10, 2018 (PPI-OT): Ambassador Paul W. Jones, US Chargé d’Affaires to Pakistan visited the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and called on Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman, and HEC here on Friday. Welcoming the dignitary, Dr. Banuri appreciated the US Embassy’s role and efforts to promote collaboration between the Pakistani and US universities and higher education institutions. “The US and Pakistan have an extensive record of collaboration in the higher education sector,” he stated. He mentioned that the US support has been very critical in establishing and strengthening some of the best Pakistani universities including Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi; Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS); and, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF).
The Ambassador said the US extends general support to its friendly countries in various areas, especially education, as it is a very significant sector of long term growth. Appreciating the USAID Centre of Advanced Studies (CAS) programme, Dr. Banuri said that efforts are afoot to ensure sustainability of the centers. He further said that the US Fulbright initiative is the largest programme of its kind in the world and Pakistan is benefiting from it.
He maintained that the US-Pakistan research collaboration is another remarkable milestone, as the 7th phase of the US-Pakistan Science and Technology Programme is being completed while the 8th phase of the programme will soon be launched. Collaborative research initiatives need to be encouraged, emphasised by both, Dr. Banuri and Ambassador Jones.
The Chairman stressed that HEC looks forwards to expanded bilateral collaboration. He emphasized on no-cost extension in the CAS projects in order to enable effective utilization of resources put in them. He underlined the need for engagement of US universities in support for capacity building of Pakistani universities and the revival of National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE). He informed the dignitary that NAHE will provide trainings for potential university leadership, faculty and administrative staff of universities.
Dr. Banuri said HEC has recently taken measures to streamline the process of degree verification and equivalence. The Ambassador said that undergraduate Pakistani students also need to apply for admission in the US universities. He said the number of undergraduate students studying in the US institutions could be increased. He hoped that the bilateral collaboration will thrive and the academic relations will further strengthen mutually beneficial relations between Pakistan and the United States.
The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Christopher Fitzgerald, Public Affairs Officer; Mr. Matthew Singer, Cultural Affairs Officer; Erica Rounsefell, Director, USAID Office of Education; and Nadia Kamran, Senior Cultural Specialist. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Muhammad Asghar, Acting Executive Director, HEC and Dr. Mahmood ul Hassan Butt, Consultant, HEC also attended the meeting.
For more information, contact:
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC)
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-90402404, +92-51-90402412