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  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018

  • CIIT

  • International Office

Delegates from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan (CIIT), comprising the following, paid a visit to the Embassy of Brazil on 16th April, 2018 and met with His Excellency Mr. Claudio Lins, The Ambassador of Brazil in Islamabad:

  • Dr. Arshad Malik, Head International Office
  • Dr. Gustavo H D Tonoli Associate Professor, Department of Forest Science, Federal University of Lavras, Brazil (who is currently visiting the Department of Biosciences, CIIT, Islamabad under Visiting Foreign Faculty Program of HEC)
  • Dr. Muhammad Zeeshan Hyder, Associate Prof, Department of Biosciences,
  • Mr. Muhammad Abbas, Senior Program Officer, International Office

The meeting was requested to focus on the ways and means for strengthening the academic and research linkages between CIIT and the research institutions in Brazil. After the exchange of pleasantries, a brief introduction to CIIT was made and a desire was explicitly expressed that CIIT keenly wished to foster closer ties with Brazilian research institutions and universities with active support of the Brazilian embassy in Islamabad. Several ideas were shared, discussed and agreed on which follow up actions were to be taken by all the involved parties including the Brazilian Embassy.

Meeting ended with a group photograph and exchange of the good will. 

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  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018

  • CIIT

  • International Office

The Ambassador of France, H.E. Dr. Marc Barety, along with his Higher Education Attaché   Mr. Sebastien Cartier, were accorded a warm welcome upon their arrival at CIIT Islamabad campus on Monday, March 26, 2018. The purpose of the visit was to further bolster CIIT’s linkages with France and strengthen the engagement with the French Embassy in Islamabad. It is worth mentioning that this was the first visit of the newly appointed French Ambassador to any university in Pakistan.

A brief meeting took place between the visiting diplomats and the Rector CIIT and Head International Office where, besides, the exchange of pleasantries, a brief introduction to CIIT was made and a desire explicitly expressed that CIIT is extremely keen to foster closer ties with French academic institutions through the support of the French embassy.  The Ambassador was also apprised about the current engagements of CIIT with French universities namely EPF, EESIE, University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis, University of Cote d’Azur and Paris Sorbonne and Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

Afterwards, the French Ambassador delivered a talk on Pakistan-France Relations. He said that France is a country which has a deep history dating back to ancient times when the first settlers made the present-day France as their home. France then traversed its journey from the medieval times through to Renaissance era and finally turning into the present-day Republic. The Ambassador further stated that France is a country which established relations with Pakistan right after its independence from the British Rule in August 1947 and has been cooperating with Pakistan on a number of fronts including Science and Technology and in the field of higher education. At present, France has around 160 universities most of which do not charge tuition fees making them most attractive destination for foreign students.

After the talk, questions regarding the lifestyle of students in France, scholarships opportunities in France, etc. were raised which were aptly addressed by the French Ambassador. Subsequently, Mr. Sebastien Cartier delivered a detailed and comprehensive presentation on “Educational opportunities in France” in which it was informed that it is possible to do higher studies in France in the English language and the fees are generally quite nominal. Students are allowed to work part time to finance their living expenses. Later on, two French alumni namely Dr. Bushra Sadiq from Department of Humanities and Dr. Abdul Rauf from Department of Biosciences shared their experiences of living and studying in France.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Arshad Malik, Head IO profusely thanked the Ambassador for sparing his precious time to visit CIIT. He also informed the audience that CIIT has 66 young French Alumni in its various campuses. He then gave a comprehensive briefing on CIIT, its impressive growth, national and international standing and outreach. Talking about CIITs fast growth, he said that the Times Higher Education (THE) latest rankings have placed CIIT amongst 301-400 range in the world in the subject of Engineering & Technology and among 401-500 both in Physical Sciences and Life Sciences; while in the world universities rankings, CIIT has been placed in the range of 601-800, and in Asian region at #125. In Pakistan, CIIT has been consistently performing above par in producing impact factor international research journal articles in excess of 1,000 in 2015, above 1,500 in 2016 and last year above 2,000. Dr. Malik also said CIIT has good relations with France and wishes to further build upon them by cooperating through student mobilities and visiting professors under institutional framework agreements.

The function ended with a group photograph after which the Ambassador departed close to 1.00 PM on a positive note of his availability whenever invited again to the campus.

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  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018

  • CIIT

  • International Office

A 16-member senior delegation comprising of VC’s and international office representatives from the following universities of Italy visited CIIT on 20th March 2018 to learn more about Pakistan’s higher education sector in general and CIIT in particular:

  • University of Rome-Tor Vergata
  • La Spienza University-Rome
  • Ca’Foscari, University of Venice
  • University of Iuav, Venince
  • Politecnico Di Milano
  • Conservatory of Milan
  • Albertina Academy of Fine Arts Torino

The Rector CIIT warmly welcomed the Italian delegation at the Rector’s Conference Room where other senior academics and Italian alumni had gathered to interact and exchange views with the visiting delegates.  Through a brief power-point presentation, CIIT was introduced to the delegates as a young, reputed, fast growing, research focused and international oriented institution.

The Rector CIIT emphasized that CIIT is now chanting the mantra that we produce job providers and not job seekers.  In this regard we are focusing on Entrepreneurship and have an Incubator at CIIT Islamabad which has already graduated 20 companies.  He told that we also plan to build more incubators in other campuses and an S&T park also.  CIIT is also adopting the hybrid mode of teaching, combining online lectures with virtual discussion boards and physical interaction on campus. 

The Rector said that we have linkages with a number of Italian universities and have also availed number of mobilities to University of Padova under Erasmus Mundus program.  In future we wish to work with Italian universities and benefit from Erasmus +, have split site or even full time PhD programs, Sabbatical leave, joint projects under Horizon 2020 and Italian participation at our international conferences. 

The head of the Italian delegation Prof. Federico Cinquepalmi, in return said that we have a lot of room for cooperation and at the government level a framework agreement is being worked out, which can then be used to develop secondary agreements with top universities at both sides.  Further the Italian side is interested in holistic interaction in a number of disciplines i.e. STEHAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Humanities, Arts, & Mathematics).

After the meeting the delegates, continued the discussions with CIIT academics and staff over lunch.  A visit of EE labs, Architecture department and SSBC was also arranged for the delegates.  After the visit, the delegated marveled at a painting exhibition exhibited by CAG, especially for them.  The visit came to a conclusion through a group photo at the entrance of the library.

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  • Thursday, March 22, 2018

  • CIIT

  • International Office

The Ambassador of Romania H.E. Mr. Nicolae Goia along with his Counsellor / Deputy Head Mission, Mr. Laurentiu Ciocan, were accorded a warm welcome upon their arrival at CIIT Islamabad campus on 16th March 2018. A brief meeting took place between the visiting diplomats and the Rector CIIT and Head (International Office) where, besides, the exchange of pleasantries, a brief introduction to CIIT was made and a desire explicitly expressed that CIIT is extremely keen to foster closer ties with Romanian academic institutions through the support of the Romanian embassy. 

Afterwards, the Romanian Ambassador delivered a talk on Pakistan-Romanian Relations. He said that Romania, with a history dating back to 2,500 years, is a country with traditions very similar to Pakistan and is a nation where east meets west. He said that that the name Romania is derived from Rome, since Romans occupied the present lands of Romania, and the Romanian language in related to the Latin language. Present day Romania was established in 1st December 1918, so this year Romanians will be celebrating their centennial celebrations.

Regarding Pakistan, the Romanian Ambassador said that he has been here since 16months and finds Pakistan to be a very normal country with brilliant, open and friendly people. He lamented that Pakistan suffers from a negative perception and said that Romania had itself experienced such a situation in the past. The Ambassador went further and offered his “partnership” to improve Pakistan’s image. He said every country has problems, but the problems have to be assessed, understood and solved.

Regarding Pak-Romanian relations, the Ambassador said that at the political level we enjoy very cordial relations with no contentious issues. A number of visits of senior officials takes place between Romania and Pakistan. Romania appreciates Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. Romania supported Pakistan in its bid for non-permanent membership of the UN security council and expects that Pakistan will also support it in its bid for non-permanent membership of UN security council.

Regarding Economic relations, the Ambassador said he was not very pleased at the present level of cooperation. Romania is the fastest growing economy in Europe with a per capita GDP of U$ 22,000 and Pakistan too is a fast-growing economy in the region; so he is confident that with his efforts the current bilateral trade of U$ 130 million would be raised to U$ 500 million very soon. The Ambassador said that Pakistan has to transform itself from a political nation to an economic nation; and Romania is willing to make investment and offer assistance like it has done in the past while establishing the oil refinery in Karachi, cement factory in Lasbela and Kohat and tractor factory in Karachi.

Regarding Romanian academic institution, the Ambassador said that the state universities are very good and around 200 Pakistani students are currently studying in Romania in disciplines like medicine, engineering and IT. He said that Bucharest is the capital of IT and has the top fourth position of internet speed in the world. He further said that Romania is facing shortage of skilled and unskilled manpower and is looking to fill many positions from outside Romania.

The student audience appreciated the talk of the Romanian Ambassador by asking engaging questions. In the end, Dr. Arshad S. Malik, Head (IO), thanked the Ambassador for his enlightening talk and said CIIT has good relations with Romania and wishes to further build upon them by cooperating through student mobilities and visiting professors under institutional framework agreements.

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  • Thursday, March 15, 2018

  • CIIT

  • International Office

To strengthen CIIT’s linkages with Germany and further engage with the German Embassy in Islamabad, the newly appointed German Ambassador, Mr. Martin Kobler, along with his Cultural Counsellor, Burghard Brinksmeier, visited CIIT on Monday 12th March 2018. The visit was split into two parts: meeting with the Rector, Deans, Principal Officers and the faculty members who trained in the German universities; and in the second phase, a heart-to-heart talk to the young students and faculty members on his personal experiences of traveling through Pakistan.

The meeting commenced with a power-point presentation about CIIT, its origins, rapid growth, rankings, research focus and its internationalization activities with special reference to Germany. The Rector then highlighted CIIT's multi-faceted and multi-dimensional cooperation with Germany which include mobilities under EMMA/Erasmus Programs, faculty/student visits, academic and research collaborations, joint projects, and joint programs.  He said that CIIT is collaborating with leading German universities like Heidelberg University, University of Bonn, University of Rostock, University of Saarland and others.

Learning about the level of cooperation with German institutions, the German Ambassador enquired about how CIIT compared its cooperation with German institutions via a vis the other countries.  He also enquired about how the relations could be further improved. The Dean Sciences and Dean Engineering replied that UK and US had remained popular destinations because of historical and language connections but Germany is now becoming a destination of choice for higher studies and research mainly because there is no tuition fee and more and more programs are now available in English language; and also because of the level of industry-academia linkages in Germany.  

The Rector then sought support from the German Embassy in the already existing mobilities and introduction to new German universities, and in helping set up a CIIT campus in collaboration with a German University. The Ambassador responded that before he can convince a German university to come he first needs to find attachment opportunities for German faculty in the Pakistani universities like CIIT. This meeting concluded with exchange of mementoes and a group photograph.

The second segment of the program was the candid talk of the German Ambassador to the student and faculty audience.  The German Ambassador said that since his arrival six months ago he has been reaching out to the Pakistani community and discovering Pakistan.  He said that Pakistanis are kind and hospitable people and they have all resources that one could ever desire.  All that is needed is proper image projection and better management. He said for this reason, the present focus of his embassy is on three areas, i.e. Youth and education, Modern Economy and Climate change and Energy. 

Youth & education is critically important for Pakistan as its major chunk of population is young. The number of youth will further increase as Pakistan’s population will double at its 100th anniversary.  In this scenario the youth have to be trained and developed to be able to contribute effectively to the welfare of Pakistani society.

Modern economy dictates that Pakistan starts producing goods of high value and start competing with other developed economies.  The Ambassador said that if Pakistanis could produce nuclear bomb, so there is absolutely no reason that it can't excel in civil technologies. Climate change and Energy is also important as the future can't be secured without addressing climate issues and energy requirements.  The Ambassador said that in Germany a major portion of energy is derived from renewables, Pakistan can do the same.  The German Ambassador emphasized the need to change the perception of Pakistan.  He said that though this is not his job, he is trying hard to do this through different means to convince the Germans that it is safe to visit and do business in Pakistan. 

He further said that the Pakistanis have to come forward and reset their mindset and realize that only they themselves can change the negative perception about their country. He added, yes he can help, but it is for the Pakistanis themselves to take charge. 

The student audience took keen interest in the talk through very active and animated Q & A with the Ambassador. The Q & A was moderated by the Head IO who kept on urging the students, especially the girls to ask questions. The talk and the visit ended with the presentation of a shield and a group photograph.

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