Higher education is crucial for the socio-economic development of the country. The international cooperation has been greatly helpful in human resource and faculty development in higher education sector in Pakistan. It was stated during the seminar organized here at National Library Islamabad on the topic of “Development of Country to Country Relationships in Higher Education Sector of Pakistan” . The seminar was jointly organized by The Diplomatic Insight Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan and American Institute of Pakistan Studies and presided over by Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin Chairperson National Committee on Development of Social Sciences/Vice Chancellor University of Gujrat, Gujrat. The seminar was attended by vice chancellors, diplomats, academicians, civil society and scholars.
Delivering keynote address, Prof. Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi former executive director Higher Education Commission HEC described the young bright minds are the greatest asset of Pakistan. He said that realizing this fact, more attention was paid to this important segment of society in higher education sector of Pakistan during last ten years. He informed that young Pakistanis were provided opportunities to equip themselves with modern knowledge and technology in the leading universities of academically advanced countries. The pool of these trained and educated young people has been greatly helpful in overcoming the shortage of skilled human resource and qualified faculty in Pakistan. These Pakistani scholars performed exceptionally well and success rate of the attainment of PhD degree has been more than 95%. The hard work and intelligence level of Pakistani scholars has been acknowledged by the officials and academicians of partner countries. These young people as ambassador of Pakistan not only strengthened bilateral relationship with more than fifteen countries but also created good image of their country around the globe. While elaborating the selection process for award of scholarships, he informed that that each Pakistani scholar was selected through well-defined and transparent mechanism. So far, over ten thousand scholarships in more than 20 different programs have been awarded, and not a single complaint on account of lack of transparency has been received or proved. Transparency was ensured through an open advertisement in national newspapers and on the HEC website. The merit at each level for short listing was determined by test score/ scores in previous exams. In addition, the final selection of candidates for foreign scholarships was undertaken by panels of professors/ experts of foreign countries, without the involvement of HEC. All the scholarships were finally awarded through National Scholarship Management Committee NSMC, constituted by the Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan. This important national committee is comprised of representatives of provincial governments and federal departments.
Dr. Anita Weiss Professor/ Head of International Studies University of Oregon US and Vice President of American Institute of Pakistan Studies remarked that during last few years the senior faculty belonging to leading American universities has successfully conducted dissertation writing workshops for the young Pakistani scholars for enhancing their capacities especially in the disciplines of social sciences.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin said that international collaborations especially in the fields of social sciences, arts and humanities would be greatly helpful in undertaking research and towards solution of socio-economic problems being confronted by Pakistani society. Prof. Dr Muhammad Mukhtar Chairperson IUCPSS/ Vice Chancellor the Islamia University Bahawalpur acknowledged the support and role of HEC in strengthening relationship of Pakistani universities with leading foreign higher education institutes.
Dr. Masoom Yasinzai Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Dr. Rasool Bakhsh Raisani Vice Chancellor University of Balochistan Quetta, Dr. Zakir Hussain Vice Chancellor Govt. College University Faisalabad and diplomats also spoke on the occasion.