Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pakistan, US launch $127 million centers for advanced studies

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Pakistan, US launch $127 million centers for advanced studies

ISLAMABAD: The U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies (CAS), a $127 million investment from the United States, was officially launched here Tuesday at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) for building partnerships in higher education and research between the two countries.

The U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson joined Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif to launch the centres.

More than 300 students, faculty, and administrators attended the event, said a news release of the embassy.

This initiative is a set of partnerships between world-class U.S. and Pakistani universities that will harness applied research to find innovative and practical solutions for Pakistan's energy, water, agriculture, and food security challenges.

Both NUST and the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar will partner with Arizona State University to create two centers for energy research; the University of Jamshoro and University of Utah will partner to create the center for water; and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and the University of California at Davis will partner to create the center for agriculture and food security.

"The future we want to build with Pakistan is inherently university-to-university, business-to-business, people-to-people.  Those are the ties that last, that build real understanding and prosperity on both sides, and we have a strong foundation for progress," said Under Secretary Stengel in his keynote address.

Through the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies, U.S. and Pakistan universities will also partner to build capacity and long-term cooperation, including with the private sector to drive innovation and growth.

To this end, the United States will provide graduate-level scholarships through exchange programmes and support construction of world-class libraries, laboratories, and additional research facilities.

Since 2009, the United States Government has built or rehabilitated about 1,000 Pakistani schools, provided over 5,000 scholarships for Pakistani students to study English and awarded scholarships to more than 12,000 Pakistani students to study at Pakistani higher education institutions through various USAID educational programmes.

The United States also currently supports nineteen partnerships between Pakistani and U.S.-based universities, it said.

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