Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pakistani, American academics meet to promote higher education linkages

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Senior Pakistani academics from 33 universities met with 21 US partner institutions in Washington DC for a four-day workshop from October 26 to 30. The workshop allowed participants to promote community engagement, interactive teaching methods, collaborative research, and academic regional integration in Pakistan and the United States. The event was organised through the University Partnerships Program, an educational initiative sponsored by the US Mission to Pakistan with support by the US Department of State in Washington DC.

Senior-level representatives from the US Department of State, the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) joined the delegation to highlight the importance of higher-education linkages between both countries. The US Department of State’s Director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Angela Aggeler, opened the workshop. Aggeler highlighted the importance of international education and global exchanges and thanked both the US and Pakistani partners for their continued collaboration.

HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed addressed the 55 participants in a videotaped message saying, “The United States-Pakistan University Partnerships Program forges a spirit of academic collaboration between our countries’ higher education communities and contributes to the overall quality of higher education. Regular and meaningful discourse among scholars, students, and faculty has supported the Higher Education Commission’s goals to promote social sciences and humanities in Pakistan. Further, it has helped align research priorities and needs throughout the country.”

The University Partnerships Programme is a flagship higher-education program sponsored by the US Mission to Pakistan. It provides over $25 million dollars in funding to 44 universities in Pakistan and the United States to create three-year partnerships that foster collaboration, curriculum reform, and joint research. Since 2012, approximately 500 faculty members, administrators, and students from both countries have participated in this exchange programme. The first University Partnerships Best Practices Workshop was held in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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