Islamabad, June 1, 2016: Pakistan Day was organized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan and Campus France in Paris, France on Wednesday. The aim was to bring French institutions of higher learning closer to Pakistani universities so to enhance collaboration for developing human resource and strengthening research in Pakistan’s institutions.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC was the chief guest on the occasion. Representatives from over 30 universities of France participated in the event that was also attended by Mr. Ghalib Iqbal, Ambassador of Pakistan to France and Ms. Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France to Pakistan.
The participants discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation in higher education, particularly identifying areas where Pakistani universities and academics could benefit from French institutions as well as pinpoint common disciplines for joint research projects.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed appreciated the French Government and higher education institutions for academic collaboration with Pakistan in the shape of doctoral and post-doctoral opportunities.
“France is providing a number of opportunities to Pakistani scholars and students. Both the countries are collaborating in higher education sector but this needs to be enhanced and the best way is institution-to-institution joint initiatives and HEC is ready to provide all possible support for this purpose.”
The Chairman also referred to plan of setting up a French university in Pakistan. "France has remarkable achievement in industrial growth and HEC would like to launch industrial-based research projects with France so that Pakistan could also efficiently cope with its industrial challenges," he added.
He also highlighted the concept of US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor and hoped that a similar initiative may be taken between Pakistan and France.
On the occasion, representatives of NUST Islamabad, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Information Technology University Lahore and Government College University Faisalabad gave presentations on their achievements, focused areas as well as identified fields for possible collaboration with the French institutions of higher learning.
Mr. Wasim Hashmi, Adviser (HRD) HEC also briefed the participants about various initiatives for faculty development including local and foreign PhD scholarships, fellowships for Post-doctoral research and other incentives building a strong pool of academics in every discipline particularly areas more relevant to national growth.
The representatives of French institutions where Pakistani scholars are studying appreciated competence and hard work of Pakistani students. They appreciated the performance of HEC for transformation of universities and facilitating faculty, students, research scholars to meet international standards of higher education. They expressed interest in enhancing academic links between the two countries.