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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