Ahsan Iqbal plans to introduce Pakistan-UK Knowledge Gateway


LONDON: Federal Minister for Interior, and Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal met Chief Executive of British Council Sir Ciaran Devane at the British Council Office on Thursday where he conveyed his plans to introduce Pakistan-UK Knowledge Gateway

Appreciating the support extended by the British Council to higher education in Pakistan as a strong partner, Ahsan Iqbal conveyed his desire to initiate a programme, Pakistan-UK Knowledge Gateway, along with the lines of US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, through which the HEC will send 1000 PhD scholars every year to the United States with the government providing living and accommodation expenses while local universities covering costs related to the tuition fees, a statement of Pakistan High Commission issued said.

The interior minister, who is in London to attend the CHOGM 2018, apprised the chief executive about his plans to build a state-of-the-art Teacher Training Institute in Islamabad to ensure standardised skill set and capacity building for teachers.

He sought the council’s technical assistance in design and setting up of the institute. He also sought cooperation of British Council to provide technical assistance to Pakistan to set up Pakistan Academy of Social Sciences.

Iqbal said the government had raised the budget of the Higher Education Commission from 13 billion rupees in 2013 to 45 billion rupees this year. One important initiative was the establishment of university campuses in each district, including four women campuses in Balochistan districts.

On female education, the minister noted with appreciation that the University Campus in his own District Narowal had now 4,000 students, with 80% being girls. The minister also showed interest in the British Council’s Creative Economy programme and observed that a pilot project could be initiated in the university of Narowal Campus.

Sir Devane assured support and follow up on all issues raised by Minister Ahsan Iqbal. He stated the British Council was also contributing to Social Enterprise by providing young people with pathways to a positive and productive life and career.