ISLAMABAD: British Council Pakistan, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and key stakeholders came together for a consultative workshop here on Tuesday to enhance the quality of international research and education programmes to help improve the quality of higher education in the country.
According to British High Commission, the increasing prevalence of quality research and partnerships had led national and international education providers to consolidate their efforts to develop strong partnerships of “policy learning”, in which stakeholders from the United Kingdom (UK) and Pakistan co-developed solutions.
Under the auspices of HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and the British Council Pakistan Deputy Director James Hampson, the workshop brought together an array of stakeholders and decision makers, including industry partners and employers, private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the core education challenges of Pakistan, and possible collaborative solutions by developing a “Pakistan-UK Education Gateway”, to help address these challenges. Also, in attendance were several representatives from the UK, British Council Pakistan and the HEC.
The gateway aimed to facilitate intensive programmes to help build the capacity of working professionals. Key elements included innovative and collaborative research in emerging disciplines, including climate change and water management, leadership courses, mentoring schemes and formal trainings, distance learning and scholarships and split PhD programmes.
Dr Mukhtar Ahmed commended the efforts of HEC and the British Council in Pakistan and said that HEC was committed to the promotion of socio-economic development of Pakistan through the capacity building of higher education institutes in the country. He added, “I sincerely hope that today’s workshop would open up meaningful dialogue on the “way-forward” for the Pak-UK Education Gateway and lead the way in developing this initiative in the next few months.”
The British Council in Pakistan in collaboration with the HEC had been supporting the achievement of higher education road map for over a decade. Enhancing the access, improving quality and institutional capacity of the sector have been the primary objectives of joint programmes. Over these years, 150 British and Pakistani university links have been jointly funded and implemented, thus, resulting in increased growth of international partnerships in research, faculty development and institutional partnerships.