HEC, British Council to boost higher education cooperation

ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the British Council Pakistan on Thursday signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to further strengthen the existing cooperation between the two organisations in the field of higher education and research. The agreement was signed by HEC Executive Director Mansoor Akbar Kundi and British Council Pakistan’s Country Director Peter Upton. HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmed presided over the ceremony held at the HEC Secretariat. The LoI relates to internationalising Higher Education Partnership Programme. The partnership would cover Knowledge Exchange Programme, Leadership Programme, policy dialogue, transforming English language skills, Researchers Links Initiative, Inspire Transactional Education Partnerships, Quality Assurance Training Programmes, international training on advocacy for greater public ownership of the higher education sector, outreach and networking, Pakistan Scottish Scholarship Scheme for Women, British Council Citizenship Education and Community Participation Programme, training on data collection, surveys and dissemination of HEIs statistics, Higher Education Reforms: the way forward, and the programme based budget for three years: June 2014 to June 2017.All specified activities are intended to be completed within a period of three years.However, it is expected that the desired outcomes would be achieved for the knowledge exchange (KE) partnerships, English Language Programme, Leadership Programme, and policy dialogue.Speaking at the occasion, Upton said that it was heartening to note that the partnership of the HEC and the British Council has a 10-year long history and both the organisations are committed not only to further promote the existing programmes but take initiatives for the development of the higher education sector. “Higher education is the means through which real socio-economic change can be brought about. Pakistan has an excellent human capital and the HEC’s efforts to tap on this capital are inspiring for others in the region. We have always valued our partnership with the HEC and are looking forward to deepen this relationship,” he said. Ahmed said that whatever the HEC had achieved since its establishment would not have been possible without the support from its partners, like British Council. “Our working relationship had a humble start in 2004 with a launch of Linkages Programme, which has now spread into a number of different projects for the uplift of Pakistan’s higher education sector,” he said.He appreciated the continuous interest of the British Council for promoting the cause of higher education in Pakistan. “Our joint initiatives have benefited faculty, researchers, and management staff of our universities. Around 70 percent of the vice chancellors have visited UK for different programmes. A number of good joint research projects have been initiated between the researchers and the institutions of both the countries,” Ahmad remarked.

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