Ambassador of Uzbekistan calls on HEC chairman

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ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan Ambassador to Pakistan Furkat Sidikov, visited the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat and called on HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.

Ahmed briefed the ambassador about the initiatives taken by the HEC since its inception in 2002 for the promotion of higher education in the country. He said that there were only 59 universities in Pakistan 15 years back, and now the country had 188 higher education institutions, both in the public and private sectors, in addition to a large number of HEC recognised affiliated colleges.

The chairman said that the HEC had taken significant measures to promote research culture in Pakistan through various steps, including establishment of Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation, and Business Incubation Centres. He told the ambassador that the commission had awarded 2,51,000 scholarships, including overseas, indigenous, merit and need-based scholarships, in addition to the scholarships availed by Pakistani students under various foreign collaboration programmes.

Dr Ahmed emphasised that Pakistan and Uzbekistan should identify the areas in which they could hold bilateral collaboration. “Adopting and practicing education diplomacy is the need of the hour,” he said, while underlining that the solution to all social problems was the promotion of education. The chairman also said that Uzbekistan had a very rich Islamic heritage and it was necessary to tap into the endless treasure of Islamic history present in the country.

In the end, ambassador Sidikov appreciated the effort of the HEC for bringing different nations closer through joint academic endeavours. Stressing the importance of collaborative steps between both the countries, he said the time had come for the two countries to strictly implement educational policies to successfully meet their future goals.