PHEC signs MoU with AIPS for cooperation in higher education

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In order to promote cooperation between higher education sector of Punjab and 35 US higher education institutions a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Lahore and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS). The ceremony was attended by Punjab Minister for Education, Culture and Youth Affairs, Mashhood Ahmad Khan as chief guest while Punjab HEC chairperson Professor Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin and AIPS executive board member Dr Farhat Haq signed the MOU.

Speaking on the occasion, Mashhood said that the Punjab government is committed to promote higher education in the province.

The Punjab HEC has been mandated to bring higher education institutions of the Punjab at par with international standards. He also shared various details about the knowledge park being established by the government in Lahore and invited the leading American universities for establishment of their campuses in Lahore.

Dr Nizamuddin said that the focus of cooperation with US academia would be on improving the community colleges, skill development education, faculty training, placement of selected scholars and establishment of Academies of Professional Development by PHEC in Punjab.

Both the organisations would work more efficiently and effectively in order to provide increased services to the universities of Punjab.

While sharing the salient features of cooperation, AIPS Director Nadeem Akbar said that AIPS in collaboration with PHEC would organise training workshops in the area of community colleges where AIPS would invite prominent US Community College Administrators to lead the workshops where selected colleagues from Punjab would attend the training sessions.

“A selected group of trainees would be invited to US community colleges for professional meetings and exposure under a three year community college grant funding program,” he added.

The AIPS would also use its US institutional membership (consortium of 35 affiliated universities) to encourage and motivate junior and senior research scholars and faculty members to conduct field academic research on Pakistan in affiliation with PHEC.

AIPS executive board member Dr Farhat Haq appreciated the initiatives of government for strengthening higher education in the province and assured all out cooperation in this regard.

She apprised that AIPS would assist PHEC in finding suitable placements of doctoral and post-doctoral scholars at US universities primarily in Social Sciences and allied fields and AIPS would collaborate on short-term foreign faculty hiring for designated universities in Punjab

Dr Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, member of AIPS Board of Trustee, underlined the importance of promotion of social sciences in order to address various socio-economic issues being faced by the Pakistani society. He also suggested close coordination among provincial cultural department and universities for undertaking collaborative efforts in order to preservation of rich cultural heritage of the province.